Emilio Maya was born in the Granada village of Molvízar to a Gypsy family. At the age of 8 years he began to play guitar and at 12 he won first place at the Flamenco festival in Lanjarón, where he was the youngest guitarist. In 1980 he began to play in Flamenco clubs throughout Andalusia, accompanying various flamenco dancers and singers.
In 1984 Emilio moved to Seville, and joined the company of Curro Vélez in El Arenal, sharing the stage with artists such as Carmen Montoya, Lalo Tejada, El Lele, Juan Manuel Flores, El Toro.
In 1987, Emilio collaborated with the celebrated jazz percussionist Frank Holder, which led him to play alongside the group Fairport Convention at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Emilio also collaborated with the director Manfred Wafender, for his film about the music of Miles Davis, for the BBC.
In 1990, Emilio formed his own group 'Grupo Maya', which performed at the Teatro Isabel La Católica in Granada alongside such great artists as José Mercé, Aurora Vargas, Juan Habichuela, etc. From this moment on he began to tour more and more outside of Spain, performing with Nono García in France, Belgium and Holland, and becoming known as one of the most respected flamenco guitarists of Andalusia, collaborating not only with flamenco artists but many other styles of music, Arabic, Jazz, classical.
In 1997 he accompanied the great flamenco artist Enrique Morente to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Federico García Lorca. Meanwhile his own group 'Grupo Maya' was also performing at the International Festival of Music and dance in Granada.
Other collaborations include accompanying the flamenco singers: la Nitra, Chonchi Heredia, Estrella Morente, Marina Heredia, and dancers: Juan Ramírez, Juan Andrés Maya, Ana Calí y Fuensanta La Moneta. Abroad he has performed in Brazil with the dancers Antonio Canales and Juan de Juan on their 2001 tour.
Demonstrating a flair for music outside of flamenco he has worked with the jazz artists Jorge Pardo, the percussionist Rubén Dantas, la Orquesta Andalusí de Tetuán from Morocco and the Orquesta Andalusí from Tangiers, and performed at the Institute of Arab Studies in Paris with whose collaboration he made the CD "Al Kantara". Sadly no longer available.
In 2003 Emilio performed at the Flamenco Fería in Sevilla and the Flamenco Festival in Granada with the group 'Los Faraones' which included several singers from his own group, Victor El Charico, Antonio Campos and Juan Angel 'El Tirado' and Jaime Heredia ' El Parrón' who would all go on to colloborate with him on his album which he began recording that year. His producer Harold Burgon had already worked with such flamenco artists as Enrique Morente and his daughter Estrella with whom he recorded tracks for her albums 'Mi cante y un Poema' and 'Calle del Agua'. Harold Burgon had also produced the CD 'Cale Calé' ( Gypsy Rhythms) also available here at CDbaby which went on to win the National Critics Award for best flamenco percussion album 2002.
In 2004 Emilio presented his CD 'Temple' alongside members of his group, Juan Masana on bass, El Cheyen on percussion, the singers Antonio Campos, Juan Angel, Victor, Jaime 'El Parron' and the dancer Ana Calí at the Granada Festival of Music and Dance in Granada.
'Temple' is a bullfighting term, also used by flamenco dancers, which refers to the smoothness and rhythm of the bullfighter's movements.
The flamenco critic 'Miguel Angel Gonzalez wrote;
"The presentation of Emilio Maya's first CD, "Temple", which took place officially at the International Festival of Music and Dance in Granada 2004, can only be cause for rejoicing for fans of flamenco guitar. Emilio Maya is an excellent guitarist, practically self-taught, though of course his training has been influenced by such revolutionary personalities of flamenco music as Paco de Lucía and Manolo Sanlucar. Backed by numerous successes in and outside of Spain, notably accompanying singers such as Enrique Morente, Carmen Linares, Estrella Morente and dancers such as Antonio Canales, Anna Cali and Juan Andrés Maya, among other many figures of the genre. He has also demonstrated his versatility alongside the mythical Miles Davies in a film for the BBC. Emilio Maya's guitar has, in the opinion of the signatory of these lines, a personality, a distinctive stamp that makes it unmistakable: a clean sound, perfectly matching a deep purity with a rare eclecticism. "
Emilio has his own Flamenco school in Granada. For more information see his website http://www.emiliomayaflamenco.com/