"Tientos Tangos" with Ricardo Bustamante

I’m delighted to share a video from my first collaboration as part of the Otherlands project.

Location: Torrent, Spain • Date: September 9, 2019


I met Ricardo Bustamante while attending a weekly flamenco concert on Sunday nights in a cozy terrace at Mar d’Amura (Cabanyal, Valencia, Spain). After hearing him play, we arranged to meet for a lesson. One week later I was taking the train from Valencia to Torrent, and Ricardo picked me up at the station. We drove to the local cultural center where the gypsy community gathers, and Ricardo has a room to teach.

Up to this point, I had been studying a small amount of flamenco independently - getting tips from friends, using resources online, and trying to play along with recordings. At the first lesson, I showed him No siento en el mundo más a recording by El Camaron de la Isla I had been trying to play along with and asked him questions about it. Hearing an up tempo bulería, he chose to show me Gitanos Andaluces—a Paco de Lucía development of an old traditional tune called Olé. There were many small phrases with rhythms and melodic phrases that were new to me, and it was quite challenging. We set up another lesson the following week.

I did my homework and at the start of our second lesson, we were able to play Gitanos Andaluces together (a short snippet is at the end of this video). For the rest of this meeting, we focused on a slow and beautifully melodic tango of his own, Tientos Tangos. In a meeting of traditions, inspired by Ricardo's flamenco guitar technique, I found the American fiddling double-shuffle bowing to fit rather comfortably during one section. This video recording is the result of our two hour lesson.


Song: Tientos Tangos

Music Arranged by: Ricardo Bustamante & Casey Driessen

Composer & Guitar: Ricardo Bustamante 

Fiddle & Audio/Video: Casey Driessen

To follow along the Otherlands project, please visit the Otherlands webpage, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.



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