Born in Almeria, Spain, in 1958 and coming from a gypsy family, Fernandez Torres "Tomatito" is today a flamenco guitarist without "compás" - an exceptional talent who was once dubbed the "Pope of the buleria" because when you see him play in private or at a flamenco gathering, he exudes a quality of playing the guitar that's an unforgettable moment in this musical genre.
Tomatito's style is rhythmic and elegant. He possesses an innate sense of rhythm but the compás is engraved on his subconscious. He doesn't need to think twice as he plays - a true mark of his absolute mastery of the compás. A guitarist without "compás" may play his own music which may have some flamenco characteristics, but it will never be genuine.
Tomatito embarked on his career in the 1980s when he formed what was to become the most famous of flamenco duos with Camarón, and then, taking the path prepared for him by Paco de Lucía, performed with accompanists such as Antonio and Juan Carmona (Ketama), Antonio Canales and El Duquenque.
Although this gypsy maestro has clearly established his career as a solo guitarist and flamenco temple guardian, he remains very much a man, a gypsy of his time.
This 1980 video clip shows Tomatito was way ahead of his time with modern syncopation. Despite his modern style, he keeps an earthy "gypsy" sound in his playing. This clip below is from "Rito y Geografia del Toque" DVD set, which is a must for any guitar aficionado. - AcousticTwang