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Niño Ricardo in his hotel room – 1965.


I have been an admiror of Niño Ricardo ever since I was fifteen years old. I was very priviliged to become his student and study with the master between 1969 and 1971. I will therefore refer to him as my teacher.

Niño Ricardo was born in Seville, in San Pedro street, July 1st, 1904. His father, Ricardo Serrapi, was a furniture painter by profession and a fan of the guitar . From the age of ten, the young Ricardo had to work as a coal roundsman. During that time his father passed his love for the guitar on to him. That’s why Niño Ricardo’s artistic name  initially was Manolo the Coalman (Manolo el Carbonero). Eventually he left the world of coal and began working as a furniture painter in the house of Matamoro. The director of this firm, himself a great guitar lover, was to become Ricardo’s tutor on the instrument.

Nino Ricardo’s letter box
Calle Hortaleza 68 3-derecha


Niño Ricardo photograph dedicated to El Payo Humberto

When Ricardo came upon a Javier Molina record, he studied it down to the last falseta, trying to master the techniques required for playing flamenco. When Ricardo left the furniture painting office he had the opportunity to enter The Ideal Concert en Seville where the guitarist Antonio Moreno accepted him as his student. My teacher had the good fortune to be able to fill in for the great guitarist Javier Molina when he was taken ill in the concert bar called Novedades. When, once recovered, Javier Molina returned to his position, Ricardo was appointed  second guitarist alongside Molina. That was in 1921 and that was when the artisitic career of Niño Ricardo truly started.

Niño Ricardo’s tomb at the San Fernando cemetery - SEVILLA

Niño Ricardo revered the Gran Poder.


Niño Ricardo accompanying Manuel Mairena – 1968

Niño Ricardo

We will talk in more detail about my teacher and his career in several  parts of this website. For now suffice it to say that Ricardo evolved to be the second guitarist after Ramon Montoya. Like, in these days, Paco de Lucia, Nino Ricardo influenced the flamenco guitar in a profound way. He had a very personal way of playing,  he was a creator of new techniques and a transformed existing ones. His great strength was accompying flamenco singers. All great singers of his time worked with him. In the beginning these were Niño de Marchena, Niña de las Peines and her brother the great Tomás Pavon.  Niño Gloria, Escacena, the Carbonerillo, El Sevillano and others. Later Juanito Valderrama, Manolo Caracol, Pepe Pinto, El Chocolate, Porrinas de Badajoz and Antonio Mairena:  And finally the younger singers like Enrique Morente, Manuel Mairena and El Lebrijano. His last recording was with Curro Malena in 1969.

Shortly after that my teacher fell ill and after a brief recovery he died April 14, 1972 in his native town of Seville. With his death an era come to an end. Ricardo left the stage and many people forgot about him. For that reason I embarked on writing write a book on Niño Ricardo bearing the title: The Face of a Master, published at the 1990 Seville Guitar Biennale.

For more details on the book Rostro de un Maestro see the section Books on this website.

You can listen and seen Niño Ricardo via: Youtube

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Rostro de un maestro"


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 The face of a Master