The sentence of professor in flamencology and historian D. Jose Luis Navarro leaves little doubt: “Dorantes is doing with the piano, in giant steps, what Paco de Lucia does with the guitar”.
About 20 years ago, an unusual pianist from a family with great flamenco tradition, DORANTES (Lebrija, 1969) burst onto the scene. He preserves the frankness of someone who is proud of his origins, son of guitarist Pedro Peña, El Lebrijano’s nephew. Today, after his first 20 years on the scene, he is one of the most international, most recognized and most awarded figures in flamenco music. Among them, the recently awarded Seville Gold Medal.
Tireless worker and studious, he has carried out recognized works for orchestral music and has toured some of the largest music festivals from East to West, with more than 1000 concerts behind him.
Gonzalo de la Figuera describes him this way: “Dorantes takes flamenco as his starting point and main axis but lets his sound discourse to be crossed and enriched by bursts of jazz or tasty Cuban influences with amazing results. His piano exudes flamenco depth, combining virtuosity and emotion, gathering at the same time echoes and influences that refer to Chick Corea and Chucho Valdés, Randy Weston or Eddie Palmieri, just to name a few. He can either play a blues of overwhelming beauty or embark on the Caribbean waters of Guajira back and forth, always displaying a high melodic sense. What Dorantes does is jaw dropping, reaching a creative maturity that is difficult to express in writing.”
Dorantes produces music full of intelligence, of a flamenco truth with jazzy evocations, quite unique. His most recent work, La Roda del Viento, a new creation, commemorates the V Centenary of the First Around the World and is part of that ephemeris’ official program. It is a magnificent work written in a flamenco key for piano, chamber orchestra and flamenco choir, and, without a doubt, an outstanding and innovative contribution to Spanish musical life as extensive specialized critics have defined it.
”David comes from lineage, he also plays the guitar wonderfully, and dominates every resource of the musical world of his time. As a pianist, we are without a doubt with one of the most prominent flamenco figures in the transition from the 20th to the 21st century” – the musicologist Pablo San Nicasio dedicated to him.
Without musical, social, or border walls, Dorantes combines and merges, kindly and intelligently, something more than three worlds: classical music, flamenco, jazz, plus a few related ones.