Pedro Javier Gonzalez, one of the most acclaimed flamenco guitarists has freed himself from show business to pursue his own projects. From lines ups with BB King to tiny church rooms, he became free to express an art form based on the sufferings and persecution of the Spanish gypsies. A small back room of the 15th century gothic church, Basilica Santa Maria Del Pi, provided a suitable backdrop for such sufferings. Sitting underneath an effigy of Jesus on the cross, Pedro explored the music of Paco De Lucia, Nino Miguel and Manuel de Falla producing some of the purist flamenco which was hugged and contained by the austere stone walls which were older than the public art form of flamenco itself (thought to have started with the cafe cantante, Seville in 1842).

With a relaxed and easy stance and outstanding technical ability that flamenco guitarists are famed for, he poured forth the emotions of the music. More familiar with percussive than flamenco guitar, I found myself drawn to the percussive and rhythmic side of the music while some of the meandering yearnings drifted away from me. Had I known he was going to play for an hour maximum, I may have tried to anchor my attention to the melodies and complex fingerstyle picking a little more. He was affable enough to greet the audience leaving the concert and I cursed myself for not asking about the make of his guitar. I literally stumbled upon the concert in one of the back alleys in Barcelona and figured that if I was going to see flamenco in Spain, I may as well become acquainted with some of the best. What a lucky find!