Juan Cortés Rafael Santiago was born in Sabadell (Barcelona) in 1965. He is the son of nomadic farmers, wherefore his devotion to singing comes from his ancestors. At the age of seven, he stood upon a stage for the first time, accompanied by another boy who would later be famous, Juan Manuel Cañizares. At the age of eight, he became frenzied when Camarón took him onstage in Badalona and played the guitar with him.
This was his artistic recognition and the launch of his career as Duquende, who has always confessed to be "camaronero" to the bone. He took part in the film "Flamenco" by Carlos Saura.
In 1996, he became the first invited singer to give a concert at Theâtre des Champs Élysées, where he performs regularly. In 1997, he joined the sextet of Paco de Lucía, with whom he achieved his greatest achievements to date. He worked in other projects such as “Qawwali Jondo”, alongside the Pakistani singer Faiz Ali Faiz. He after sang solo on the most prestigious stages of Europe and America: From the Philharmonie De Paris in France, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Canada and the Swiss Montreaux JazzFestival to the Prinzregententheater in Munich.
Several of the albums he recorded include "Samaruco", produced by Isidro Sanlúcar and "Rompecabezas", produced by Pepe de Lucía, with the collaboration of great flamenco guitarists like Paco de Lucia, Juan Manuel Cañizares, Tomatito, Moraíto hijo, Niño Josele, Niño de Pura, Enrique Abellán and Raimundo Amador.
Duquendes personality and his unique voice tone makes him one of the greates cantaores of our time.
"One of the greatest flamenco voices of the century to be discovered!" Institut du Monde arabe, Paris.