Radio Tarifa

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Radio Tarifa was a Spanish World music ensemble, combining Flamenco, Arab-Andalusian music, Arabic music, Moorish music and other musical influences of the Mediterranean, the Middle Ages and the Caribbean. The name of the ensemble comes from an imaginary radio station in Tarifa, a small town in the Spanish province of Cadiz, Andalusia, the closest part of Spain to Morocco. Instead of simply fusing musical styles as they are currently known, Radio Tarifa went back in time to the common past of those styles, before the final conquest of Granada in 1492, when the Moors and Jews were exiled from Spain. This invented style sheds light upon the real styles of Spain, most notably flamenco,[1] although the band rejected all musical purism, preferring to mix arrangements of traditional compositions with their own melodies and combining instruments from Ancient Egypt, classical Greek and Roman times with modern saxophones and electric bass.[2]


Both Fain Dueñas (percussion, Spain) and Vincent Molino (flute, France) were students of Moroccan multi-instrumentalist and composer Tarik Banzi of the Al-Andalus Ensemble. Together they founded an early music group playing music from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance called Ars Antiqua Musicalis, but this group was unable to attain commercial success. When they met Benjamin Escoriza from Granada — a flamenco singer raised by Gypsies — in Madrid in the late 1980s, the last piece for a new band was in place.[3]

Their first album, Rumba Argelina, was recorded in 1993 and became a success in Europe when it was released in 1996, and again, when it was re-issued (through association with Nonesuch Records) in America in 1997. The critical and financial success of that disc made it possible to put together a full-fledged touring band which played in 17 European countries, as well as in Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Canada and the United States".[2]

After 14 years of intense musical activity, the band announced they would take an indefinite break; their farewell concert was performed in Barcelona on 11 November 2006.[2] - On 9 March 2012, singer Benjamin Escoriza died at the age of 58.[4]


  • Rumba Argelina (1993)
  • Temporal (1996)
  • Cruzando el río (2000)
  • Fiebre (2003) (live at the 2002 Toronto Small World Music Festival)
  • Live 25 July 2004 - Ramallah, Palestine



  • Jaime Muela - flute, soprano saxophone
  • Pedro Esparza - soprano saxophone
  • Amir-John Haddad - oud, backing vocals
  • Wafir Sh. Gibril - accordion
  • Ramiro Amusategui - bouzouki
  • Jorge Gomez - flamenco guitar, electric guitar
  • Sebastian Rubio - pandereta, bongos
  • David Purdye - electric bass, backing vocals
  • Peter Oteo - electric bass
  • Javier Paxarino - flutes, wind instruments

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Liner notes to Cruzando el Rio
  2. ^ a b c Radio Tarifa website Archived 2005-05-29 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Liner notes to Fiebre
  4. ^ Benjamín Escoriza obituary, Robin Denselow, The Guardian, 14. March 2012