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
Nino Ricardo’s letter box
Calle Hortaleza 68 3-derecha
Niño Ricardo photograph dedicated to El
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
Ricardo revered the Gran Poder.
Niño Ricardo accompanying Manuel Mairena –
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.
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.
more details on the book Rostro de un Maestro see
the section Books on this website.
listen and seen Niño Ricardo via:
comprar el libro "Niño Ricardo
Rostro de un maestro"
Please click to order the book Niño Ricardo:
The face of a Master