Goodbye to cantaor José Cortés “Pansequito”
The world of flamenco is mourning the loss of José Cortés “Pansequito”. The renowned cantaor died at the age of 78 due to a brain tumor, leaving a huge void in flamenco art.
It has been a hard blow for the world of flamenco art. Once again flamenco dresses in mourning to say goodbye to one of its great artists. Cantaor José Cortés — better known as Pansequito — has passed away at the age of 78 due to a brain tumor, as confirmed by the mayor of Gines (Seville province) — where he lived with his wife Aurora Vargas — in a statement to Radio Sevilla (Cadena Ser).
This artist, considered one of the greatest, does not leave us with just a legacy of cantes and flamenco stories. He also left behind a busy 2023 schedule, as even at 78 he could not stop attending festivals and other flamenco events. He was meant to be the headliner of the 72nd Granada Flamenco Festival, he had been invited to celebrate his sixty-year career on stage at the Tio Pepe Festival in August and was going to be honored at the 67th Potaje Gitano de Utrera together with Aurora Vargas.
In fact, «both Utrera’s Madrugá Brotherhood and the Organizing Committee of the Potaje Gitano de Utrera have wished to communicate their most heartfelt condolences to his wife, Aurora Vargas — the artist who is going to be honored at the 2023 Potaje Gitano de Utrera 2023 — his children and all his family and loved ones», as stated by Utrera Web. The Organizing Committee of the Potaje Gitano de Utrera has indicated that the event honoring these artists will be held as planned and this will not be done as a posthumous tribute, because it was approved when the artist was still alive and he himself accepted it.
The sadness in the flamenco community was soon palpable in the social networks, and twitter accounts such as those of the Centro Andaluz de Documentación del Flamenco and cantaor Arcángel have expressed their sorrow
Acabamos de recibir la triste noticia del fallecimiento del cantaor Pansequito. Desde el CADF nos sumamos al dolor de sus familiares y amigos. Una gran pérdida para el mundo del flamenco. DEP pic.twitter.com/ZHQZAGqjBl
— C.Andal.Doc.Flamenco (@CADFlamenco) February 17, 2023
Se nos ha ido PANSEQUITO, pilar fundamental del cante, voz esencial del flamenco, fuente de sabiduría, padre del arte, hasta siempre maestro, ha sido un honor compartir con usted 🖤 pic.twitter.com/MndV2MQBUM
— Arcángel Flamenco (@Arcangel_Flamen) February 17, 2023
José Cortés Jiménez was born in January 1945 at Línea de la Concepción in Cádiz province, where he befriended Camarón, with whom he shared a flat in Madrid. Soon he moved to Seville, were his father had a textile business, and then went to Puerto de Santa María — where he earned the nickname “Pansequito” —, a city that honored him with the title “Adoptive Son” in 2001.
It was in Málaga where he first found success performing in tablaos, but already in 1963 Manolo Caracol took him to his tablao Los Canasteros, in Madrid. He was also part of the Antonio Gades company, with whom he performed in countries such as England, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Greece, among others. Later he would also succeed as a solo artist and would establish himself as a great flamenco artist. In 1974 he was awarded the Creativity Prize of Cordoba’s Concurso Nacional.
Pansequito leaves us with an extensive discography where he sings together with great guitarists such as Juan and Pepe Habichuela, Gerardo Núñez, Enrique de Melchor, Tomatito and Parrilla de Jerez. He was also awarded the National Prize of Jerez’s Cátedra de Flamencología.
We all at ExpoFlamenco share our sorrow with the flamenco community and extend our sincere condolences to all his family and friends.
Top image: Estela Zatania