Part of the band Amparanoia, September 2008
|Origin||Alcalá la Real (Jaén), Spain|
|Labels||La Marmita Productions|
José Alberto Varona
Amparanoia is the pseudonym of Spanish singer/guitarist Amparo Sánchez combining her first name with the word 'paranoia'. It was also the name of the band she fronted from 1996 to 2006. Debut album, El Poder de Machín, has been described as being "bright, exuberant... with a heavy Latin influence", whereas the 2002-released Somos Viento has been called "a more acoustic blend of Cuban and reggae forms".
Amparo Sánchez ranks as the queenpin of the internationalist Euro-mix force gathering steam behind Manu Chao, a close friend and sometime collaborator. But the individual, festive blend of elements Sánchez has put together combined with catchy songs and her powerful singing gives Amparanoia a distinct identity. The constantly changing sound works off a Latin, reggae, and rock foundation and lyrics offering social critiques drawn from daily life struggles more than political slogans.
Born in Granada, Spain, in 1970, Amparo Sánchez joined her first band, the Correcaminos (Roadrunners) at 16, a year after apparently becoming a mother for the first time. With Billie Holiday as her chief inspiration, her ability at singing blues, soul, rock, and jazz quickly established Sánchez as the foremost vocalist in the region. She formed Amparo & the Gang in the early '90s and the group released Haces Bien on Fabrica Magnetica in 1993, only to see the label fold two months later. Amparo & the Gang broke up and, despite plenty of work opportunities around Granada, Sánchez wanted to escape being locked into the blues circuit and moved to Madrid.
Starting in 1995, she spent 18 months developing an enthusiastic following playing around the Spanish capital's active club circuit. She also expanded her musical range by absorbing classic Cuban forms through exposure to Madrid's healthy Latin music scene while Manu Chao schooled her in other Caribbean styles. Sánchez developed a side group, cleverly named Ampáranos del Blues (Protect Us From the Blues), that toured parts of Spain and southern France.
By December 1996, the first edition of Amparanoia (the wordplay gets better once you know it comes from the verb amparar, meaning to protect) was recording its first demo and quickly landed a deal with the Edel label. Amparanoia's 1997 debut album, El Poder de Machin (a reference to bolero-singer Antonio Machin), is a bright, exuberant disc with a heavy Latin influence, but each of the group's three releases has a distinct flavor. The hard-charging Feria Furiosa, released in 1999, reflects the participation of a contingent of radical Basque rock and punk musicians.
The line-up that made these albums fell apart late 1999. Amparo went on to record an album of children's songs which she released as Los Bebesones.
A trip to Mexico late 2000 left its mark when she came into contact with the Zapatista communities in Chiapas. On returning to Spain, she organized a sound system mini-tour with like-minded musician friends to raise funds and Sánchez also went back to Mexico in March 2001 to take part in the Zapatista caravan in Mexico City.
2002's Somos Viento resurrects a more acoustic blend of Cuban and reggae forms but with an Amparanoia twist. Violist Vesko Kountchev is from Bulgaria and introduces a new Balkan flavor to the mix, which is typical since the group lineup and guest artists always come from a wide range of musical cultures and usually a song or two per album has verses sung in English or French. But the international flavor of Amparanoia's evolving sound just seems to be a natural outgrowth of Amparo Sánchez's open, inviting musical personality.
In 2003, the year that Enchilado was released, Amparo recorded Don't Leave Me Now with Calexico as backing musicians. The track appeared in 2004 on compilation Rebeldía con Alegría which covers all her albums except Bebesones.
In 2006 Amparanoia released their final album La Vida Te Da and recorded a live CD/DVD at the Barcelona Sala Apollo in November. Seguire caMinando was released in 2008 and promoted on a byebye-tour.
In 2010, Amparo Sánchez released her debut solo album Tucson-Habana.
- El Poder de Machín 1997
- Feria Furiosa 1999
- Somos Viento 2002
- Enchilao 2003
- Rebeldía con Alegría 2004
- La Vida Te Da 2006
- Seguiré caminando 2008
- Tucson-Habana 2010
- Hacer Dinero 1997
- En La Noche 1997
- Me Lo Hago Sola 1997
- Que Te Den 1998
- ¿Que Será De Mí? 1999
- Desperado 1999
- La Pared 1999
- La Maldición 1999
- Llámame Mañana 2000
- La Fiesta 2002
- Somos Viento 2002
- Mar Estrecho 2002
- Ella Baila Bembe" 2002
- Dolor Dolor" 2003
- Dolor Dolor Alerta Trabajar 2003
- Caravane 2004
- Don't Leave me Now 2003
- La Vida te Da 2006
- La Vida te Da (corte ingles) 2006
- Més raons de pes. El tribut a Umpah-Pah. 2009, collaboration with Enrique Bunbury, Iván Ferreiro and Pep Blay as art director.
Musicians 1997 - 2008
- Amparo Sánchez (lead singer, guitar) 1996
- Eldys Isak Vega  (piano,drums, percussion) 1998 - 2006
- Jose Alberto Varona (trumpet) 1999
- Tomas Runquist  (guitar,sitar,chorus,tres) 2001 - 2003
- Carmen Niño (bass, chorus) 2000
- Frank Padilla (drums, percussion) 2000 - 2003
- Vesko Kountchev  (viola, percussion) 2001 -2008
- Susana Ruiz (voice, chorus) 2001 - 2002
- Jairo Zavala (guitar) 1997
- Jordi Mestres (double bass, guitar) 2005
- Daniel Tejedor (drums) 2005
- Robert Johnson (guitar) 1997 - 1999
- Piluca la Terremoto (voice, chorus) 1997 - 1999
- Yago Salorio (bass) 1997 - 1999
- Andrés Cisneros (percussion) 1997 - 1998
- Sito Camacho (percussion) 1997 - 1998
- Alfonso Rivas (percussion) 1998 - 1999
- Namsan Fong (guitar) 2004 - 2005
- Caridad Borges (piano) 2004 - 2005
- Nestor "el Yuri" (percussion) 2006
- Lazaro Ordoñez (trombon) 2008
- Oscar Ferret (piano) 2008
- Joel Dominguez (bajo) 2008