Paco Cepero (b.1942 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz) is without a doubt one of the few remaining witnesses of a generation that has been very important for an understanding of flamenco. During his long career he has accompanied Tío Borrico, Terremoto, la Paquera, Caracol and Camarón de la Isla. For this reason, taking advantage of the presentation he made in Seville of his record "De Pura Cepa" we had the opportunity to talk to him about the current moment of the flamenco guitar.
How and with whom did Paco Cepero start out playing the guitar?
As everyone knows, I'm from Jerez and of course, ever since I was small I've felt flamenco close at hand. My father wanted me to study, and that's exactly what I did, but a time came when he had to take me to a guitar teacher there was in Jerez - his name was Rafael el Aguila - so that he could teach me the basics and I could go out and make a living.
What was that like Paco, going out and making a living?
It's just a manner of speaking that we flamencos had and have. Remember that I was only a boy, because we're talking about a time when I was just 15 or 16 years old. I remember I used to hang out with other boys my age and they used to look for fiestas with Terremoto - when he was in his prime - Tío Borrico, Sernita, el Sordera, etcetera. Those were the ones who really taught me how to play.
Well, but you're talking about playing just for cante, aren't you?
Of course! That's my world, in playing for singing. The thing is the years go by and you're not going to discover anything new. I think my style or way of playing is rather well-defined. I've never tried to compete with anybody, which is why I think I've been honest with myself and I managed to get a personal and unmistakable sound from the guitar. Nowadays, thank god, I'm one of the few who can say that I don't sound like anyone else.