The 15th Commemoration of Rocío Jurado ‘La Más Grande’
Updated: May 31, 2021
15 years have already passed since Rocío Jurado, one of the most influential Spanish singers, died on 1st June 2006.
She was born in Chipiona, near Cádiz, on 18th September 1944 as María del Rocío Trinidad Mohedano Jurado. Professionally known as Rocío Jurado, she attracted and connected the hearts of Spanish audiences as a cultural icon. Among many famous singers, she was crowned as ‘la más grande’, the greatest.
Flamenco fans would recognise her singing voice in Carlos Saura’s following film excerpts:
‘El Amor Brujo’ (1986) - Dancers: Antonio Gades, Cristina Hoyos
Although she sang flamenco throughout her career, she was better known for coplas, a form of Spanish popular songs. This music style is also called canción andaluza, associated with Andalusia, hence coplas could sometimes show a certain similarity to flamenco.
The copla as a music genre flourished in the ‘30s and the ‘40s, but its popularity was declining until the genre was revitalised by Carlos Cano, a Granada born artist, in the ‘60s and the ‘70s. Rocio added a glamorous charm to the music form by her expressive voice, distinctive looks, energetic stage presence and lavish costumes.
Rocío’s most famed contribution would be the production ‘Azabache’, a grand show presented at Seville Expo ‘92 as a homage to the Spanish heritage of coplas. Performing together with other significant personalities such as Imperio Argentina, Juanita Reina, Nati Mistral, and María Vidal, she emitted a radiating impression of Spanish-ness not only with her powerful singing but also with gorgeous, fabulous dresses:
‘Carmen de España’ (Copla) from ‘Azabache’ 1992
Whether back in the ‘90s or now, who else could look more magnificent in such an over-the-top costume and staging? Rocío Jurado would be one of the few who could express the elegance, richness, dignity and authenticity of Spanish music through the means of herself.
To conclude this little tribute, I’m sharing a sensual piece called ‘Como Una Ola’. Along with her gentle singing, her hypnotic moves are like dreamy ocean waves. 15 years past, her legend still remains as the profound sea of Spanish culture.
‘Como Una Ola’ (released in 1981, performed in 1993)
‘Orígenes’ - 2CD album of Rocío Jurado