‘The man who brought flamenco to Colorado’
René Heredia is a leading figure in the development of flamenco guitar and dance in the United States. He has contributed as a performer, teacher, choreographer, educator, mentor, composer and recording artist.
With roots in Granada, Spain, René was surrounded by masters of flamenco dance and music from birth. His father, a pure Spanish Gypsy, taught his impressionable young son the intricacies and elegance of the rich form of expression.
René proved to be a natural, and at age 13 formed a dance troupe with his five siblings, known as Los Heredia. The family shared their talents at clubs and theatres in their native country as well as performing on television and radio.
The Heredia brothers and sisters entertained for four years, and it was during this time that René crossed paths with Spain’s most popular flamenco dancer, Carmen Amaya. The much-admired performer had met René as a young boy and was now impressed by the 17-year-old virtuoso. She immediately hired him to accompany her on stage as lead guitarist, and together they traveled the world, dazzling audiences with their beautiful, intense performances.
After several years with Amaya, René joined forces with Carmen’s male equivalent, Jose Greco. While performing with Greco during the 1960s, René appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Steve Allen Show, and The Art Linkletter Show.
By now, the young, brilliant guitarist had gained the recognition and fans to branch out on his own and performed as a soloist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra and in venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Westminster Theater in London, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
After moving to Denver, René opened his studio and company, The Flamenco Fantasy Dance Theatre, in Washington Park. He has taught hundreds of guitar and dance students the authentic styles of flamenco that he learned directly from some of the art forms greatest legends. Many of his students perform regularly with his company and other flamenco groups across the globe.
The Maestro has also done command performances for President Gerald Ford, President Jimmy Carter, Princess Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer of Monaco, and Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia and Queen Noor of Jordan.
As performer, teacher, choreographer, mentor, and recording artist, René Heredia is credited with bringing flamenco to Colorado and has received numerous awards, including the Governor’s and Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. For over forty years René has brought the authentic sounds and sights of flamenco to the Denver region. Through his teaching, performances and connections with other artists, he has created an appreciation and respect for the art form that continues to develop.
“René Heredia is the most sensational young flamenco guitarist in the United States.”
“The guitar playing of René Heredia is the finest tradition of flamenco, creating a flaming intensity that cannot fail to arouse.”
—The Denver Post
List of Awards
- Carson Brierly Dance Library, “Living Legend of Dance in Colorado” 2007
- Colorado Dance Alliance, “Lifetime Achievement Award”
- Colorado Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts
- Denver Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture, 2000
- Grand Prix de Disc
- Denver Musicians Association, “Distinguished Award Recipient for 40 plus years of membership and pioneering work in the music industry”
- Latin Chicano Music Hall of Fame
- President Gerald Ford
- President Jimmy Carter
- Princess Noor of Jordan
- Princess Grace Kelly
- Prince Rainer of Monaco
- Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia
Guest Artist/Televised Performances
- Art Linkletter
- Steve Allen
- Ed Sullivan
- Ann Southern
- Peter Nero
- Hal Linden
- Eddie Fisher
- George Gobel
- Bill Cosby