Before moving to New York in 2009, Nacho Arimany was chiefly known as one of Spain’s most sought after Flamenco percussionists. He entered the world of Flamenco through the Spanish Dance and Flamenco Choreography Contest of Madrid, winning a prize for “Pa´dentro,” a martinete composed for Triazion danza. When asked to form a percussion group, he introduced to Flamenco the use of a gourd from Mali as a percussion instrument. Academies, tablaos and baile were his school for eight years and he collaborated with Joaquín Cortés, Gerardo Nuñez and Rocio Molina, along with many of Spain’s hottest Flamenco dancers and artists. As a child, age 6, had been classically trained as a pianist, and later on he performed as vocal soloist with soprano diva Montserat Caballé and the Spanish National Orchestra at the opening act of the Spain National Auditorium with the World Premiere of “La Atlántida” by Manuel de Falla. He turned to percussion in his teens and Flamenco was a break with the formalism of his early training.
Arimany’s unique style and diverse capabilities ultimately steered him into the broader scopes of World music and Jazz, where he has performed and recorded with Lionel Loueke, Lizz Wright and Angelique Kidjo. His first independent project, the Nacho Arimany World-Flamenco Septet, integrated this wide range of musical experiences. Reviewing his album, “Silence-light” (Fresh Sound Records, 2007) recorded with his septet, La Abeille Musique (France) compared Arimany’s advanced exploration of the Flamenco universe to the jazz explorations of acclaimed guitarist Lionel Loueke, writing, “Percussionist, musician and nearly a musical philosopher inasmuch as his ideas are dense and open to the world, Nacho Arimany is without a shadow of a doubt a separate case on the sometimes compartmentalized flamenco scene….The result is an album which somewhat redefines for the 21st century a type of music, flamenco, already crossed by multiple musical experiences. Unique and indispensable.”
In Fall 2008, Nacho Arimany was commissioned to compose and conduct a new work for Global Perfussion, a gathering of 15 percussionists from around the world. The group reconvened in November 2009 touring in Bamako, Mali and the Canary Islands. He settled in New York in 2009 and the next year, appeared at City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival in the U.S. premiere of “Rooted on Earth,” his acclaimed duet with Flamenco dancer Rafaela Carrasco. Months later in 2010 was his BAM Café debut with his Nacho Arimany Trio along with pianist Robert Rodriguez and bassist Michael O’Brien beginning a very powerful and fruitful collaboration. During the fall of 2012 he presented in residence at La Mama experimental Theater in NYC his latest creation “Landscapes of The Soul” a World-Jazz Multimedia concert along with his Trio and awarded film maker/video artist Laia Cabrera.
The style of his work is so new and original that it has resisted accurate labeling up to now. While it is close to Jazz and Flamenco, it is an experience of world and natural sounds with influences of oriental melodies and Indian and West African percussion. Notwithstanding this confluence of influences, Flamenco rhythms are always prominent in Arimany Music, which he describes as “a prism with a lot of faces.” Depending on the light, one of the faces is reflected and shining. He has a Flamenco heart, but it depends on the day and soul-sonic mood intention whether that shows.
Arimany’s musical innovations have discovered another avenue where they are being applied to sound therapy and transformational processes. In this field, his contribution is remarkable as he has entirely composed, performed and produced the music of inTime a 9CD rhythm-based music listening therapeutic method created to improve brain function, developed in collaboration with Sheila Allen and Advanced Brain Technologies. The official debut of inTime was February 9, 2014 at Rockefeller’s University, Caspary Hall with a panel discussion with neuroscientists and therapists, and a solo concert by Nacho Arimany.
Among other venues in New York like Lincon Center and New York City Center Theatre, Arimany has recently performed last fall 2015 as vocal and percussion soloist at Carnegie Hall with Duke Bojadziev & the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra.