Rafael Riqueni was born on August 16th 1962, on Fabié street in the Triana neighbourhood of Seville. At twelve years of age, he gave his first performances as a soloist, and at fourteen he won the two main national guitar awards: the Ramón Montoya Prize in the VIII Córdoba Competition, and first prize in the VI National Competition of Jerez. In 1981 he went on to win first prize again in Jerez.
In 1986, Riqueni published what would become the first chapter of one of the most praised discographies in flamenco and Spanish music history, Juego de Niños, where he introduces novel harmonic and compositional concepts that began to define his unmistakable style with classical music influences. His next album, Flamenco, earned a cult following among generations of guitarists. In 1990, he achieved critical acclaim with Mi Tiempo, where Riqueni also composed string arrangements that acted as an extension of his guitar. The next album was Suite Sevilla, in 1993, a conceptual work inspired by flamenco and conceived under the influence of Spanish classical music impressionism. In 1994, Rafael Riqueni published Maestros, where he paid tribute to Niño Ricardo, Sabicas and Esteban de Sanlúcar.
In 1996, Alcázar de Cristal became his last album for twenty-one years. After meeting Paco Bech, the 2014 Sevilla Flamenco Bienal became the stage for his long-awaited comeback, where his performance of “Amarguras” resulted in one of the most celebrated highlights of the festival. Rafael Riqueni received the Bienal’s Giraldillo a la Maestría Prize, “For his universal and unmistakably-Sevillian music, which places him among the greatest masters in guitar history”.
At the end of 2015, he premieres Parque de María Luisa at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, in a concert that becomes a historical success and receives unanimous critical acclaim. The seventh album by Rafael Riqueni, Parque de María Luisa, is published by Universal Music in 2017, marking the return of one of the greatest musical geniuses that Spain has ever produced, a record that evokes his memories from this emblematic garden of eden in his city. Also in 2017, Rafael Riqueni gets the XXXI Compás del Cante Prize, while main newspapers and music press declare Parque de María Luisa masterpiece and the best flamenco guitar album in recent history.
In January 2020, Rafael Riqueni premieres a new album, Herencia, at the Teatro Lope de Vega in Seville. After an international tour, he receives the Guitarra con Alma Prize at The XXXIV Festival de Jerez…