Rubén Díaz Levaniegos: “El Despertar,” the alegría of Solera!

This week at Solera Flamenca, we bring you Rubén Díaz Levaniegos’ guitar. For us, Rubén has something very special that distinguishes him and makes him stand out from other guitarists, and that is his ability to captivate and delight the listener from the very first moment with his music. His music carries beautiful and universal melodies that anyone can understand and enjoy without sacrificing harmonic complexity.

Rubén Díaz Levaniegos was born in Seville in 1982, in the neighborhood of La Macarena. At the age of 6, he started taking lessons with Pepe Varo, and shortly after, Pedrito Sevilla took over his education until he was 10 years old. At the age of 11, he won the second prize in the 1st Guitar Competition of Peña Torres Macarena. At just 15 years old, he won the 1st prize in the National Competition of Jaén, and a year later, he won the concert prize at the Festival de Cantes de las Minas, known as the “Bordón Minero.”

In 2001, at the age of 18, he participated in the national competition of Córdoba in the Concert Guitar category, winning the prestigious award. He has also collaborated with and composed music for María Pagés Company’s productions, such as “Canciones antes de una Guerra,” “Sevilla,” “Autorretrato,” “Flamenco y Poesía,” “Dunas,” “Mirada,” “Utopía,” “Yo Carmen,” “Óyeme con los ojos,” “Una Oda al tiempo,” “Paraíso de los Negros,” and currently “Sheherezade.” He is the composer of the music for the first three albums of Juan Antonio Valderrama, artistically known as “Valderrama,” collaborating in 2011 on his album “Sonidos Blancos” in tribute to Pepe Marchena (La Rosa), and in subsequent works such as “Ambrosia” and the tribute album “Juanito Valderrama 1916-2016.”

He has composed and collaborated on recordings and live performances throughout his professional career with renowned artists such as María Pagés, Juanito Valderrama, Julio Iglesias, Joan Manuel Serrat, Ana Belén, Valderrama, Antonio Carmona, Arcángel, Ángel Corella, Tamara Rojo, Guillermo Cano, Paquiro, El Chozas, and more.

His technique and guitar playing style are characteristic of a master, creating personal variations and offering agile and powerful accompaniment in response to the singing, engaging in a dialogue with the vocalist through questions and answers, with a very flamenco soniquete. He fully immerses himself with the singer, sometimes showing restlessness in his seat, always attentive to each precise moment to perform the toque.

Without further ado, we present this composition titled “El Despertar” in the alegrías style, accompanied by percussionist José Córdoba Moskito. For this recording, Rubén Díaz Levaniegos played a guitar crafted by master luthier Paco Rey from the year 2023, a guitar with plenty of duende and magic, just like our protagonist’s touch.