The 55th edition of the International Festival of “Cante de las Minas” shall take place in the region of Campo de Cartagena (Murcia-Spain) from the 5th to the 15th of August this year. An internationally acclaimed event declared as first class tourist destination and recipient of prestigious Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts. Every August since 1961 this festival gathers together the most respected artists in the realm of flamenco singing, dancing and guitar, as well as fresh talent in search of their own light.
The so called “Cante de las Minas” (Miner´s song) flourished out of the contact between the locals of the Sierra Minera of Cartagena-La Union and the Andalusian miners that came to work in the local mines. It became a way of expression and release for miners who, at that time, worked in extremely hard conditions. They sought ‘oxygen’ at the singing cafés with their levanticas, tarantas and cartageneras…
The mining crisis that struck the area in the first half of the 20th century jeopardized the survival of Cante Minero, however in 1961, celebrated Juanito Valderrama encouraged the people and local authorities of La Union to establish the National Festival of Cante de las Minas of La Union. This festival has become one of the greatest strongholds of the flamenco art after over five decades of existence.
Between numerous events and competitions that take place within the scope of the festival we would like to single out the International Flamenco Guitar Competition known as the “Bordon Minero” Prize. This year’s 36th edition will take place on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th of August. The inscription period concluded on April 30th; and during the months of June and July the definitive contestants are being selected for the final showdown in August.
The contestants will be asked to perform toque minero as well as a piece of any other flamenco style. In the final stages more weight will be given to pieces played to rhythm, different from pieces performed in the semi-final. A highly specialized jury will decide the winners; first price carries a 6000 euro award and the second prize 3000.
In the years of 2012 and 2013 no winners were declared. In the last year’s edition Jose Tomas Jimenez was proclaimed winner, a very much deserved first place as you can see in the following video: