Rikki Thomas-Martínez, nylon-string guitarist, vocalist, harmonica player, stomp-box percussionist and songwriter. His music is infused with joy, sunshine and his songs full of meaning; melodically rich and infectiously rhythmic.
An outstanding solo artist, with the use of harmonicas, unique rhythmic, powerful guitar style and singing voice, he has been described as a fully contained one-man Latin orchestra.
He has an extensive repertoire of original songs composed in Spanish, English and French as well as exciting interpretations of well-known songs.
He has pioneered his own form of Rumba Flamenca, which includes influences from Salsa, Reggae and Cumbia. This driving dance rhythm underpins his music.
A truly original and contemporary artist and songwriter.
Rikki is frontman, band leader and composer of his internationally acclaimed band
Más Y Más.
He also has an exciting duo with Dalila Thomas-Martinez on Ubass.
He was mentored in his mother’s hometown, Madrid by one of Spain’s leading flamenco masters, El Entri. He has composed and recorded with the great Cuban rumba master Chaguito and the late Mequiades Fundora in Havana, Cuba. Rikki’s music has been released all over the World and used in films, animations and documentaries.
“…outstanding songwriter and one-man Latin band…”
“…alongside the greats of today’s international music scene…”
“ …a rousing passionate performer that gets everyone on the dance floor…”
Rikki was mentored by El Entri, on of Spain’s leading Flamenco master and educator for many years. In 2004 Rikki made a film homage to his friend and teacher.
About My Guitar
I commissioned a guitar from my friend, Jorge de Gubia, one of Spain’s finest luthiers. Jorge, originally from Poland, and trained by his father, an expert luthier, accordion maker and virtuoso settled in Madrid 20 years ago. Since then he has produced guitars, violins and other stringed instruments second to none for Spain’s top musicians. In particular, guitarists from the Flamenco scene have been quick to see the unsurpassable quality of his work and many of the greats, including El Entri use his guitars. At the time he operated from an narrow but long workshop in the Alto de Extremadura district in Madrid. A veritable heaven for any guitar lover. Hanging all around the workshop were guitars in various stages of their creation, shelves full of planks of amazing woods and here and there a beautiful shining finished wooden box of joy.
Amongst the dust, wood shavings, strange tools and varnishes Jorge was often to be found chatting with gypsy guitarist or a member of one of Madrid’s orchestras. An immensely likeable and knowledgeable man, it was easy to spend days watching him work and talking about the multitude of subjects from woods to genetics that interest him.
Before I got to Madrid in the October 2005, I ruminated deeply over what sort of guitar I wanted Jorge to make me. This included a couple of dreams where Jorge was measuring my fingers and hands! I decided upon a guitar for stage use, small and comfortable in the body, with a cutaway and a plug in pickup system. When I got to see him, he did indeed measure my hands – although no rulers were involved as Jorge seems to have an internal micrometer in his eyes. For the back and sides I chose ‘Coco bolo’, an African hardwood and Spruce for the top.
The pickup system I decided upon was a Fishman Prefix PROBlend Narrow. I have one on my other guitar and find it gives a good live sound with effective feedback control.
For more information on Jorge de Gubia, his website is http://www.artluthier.com
For amplification Rikki uses a Fishman Loudbox Performer
Rikki uses a Digitech guitar multi-effects and a BOSS RC-3 Looper.
Rikki uses Hohner and Seydel harmonicas.
The percussion stomp box is custom made by Rikki.