Esteban goes down a storm in Norwich
Review by Tonie Spencer
King Street, Norwich - home of The Waterfront and The Ferry Boat (sadly no longer with us) - has seen and heard some fabulous bands and musicians over the years. On the night of Sunday March 11 2007, King Street was treated to something spectacular and of a very different nature.
Esteban Antonio - a highly gifted flamenco guitarist put on a free show at the Kings Centre, home of King's Community Church, and went down a real storm. Having never even set foot inside the Kings Centre before, I arrived feeling a little apprehensive about what I would find and what to expect. It struck me as an odd sort of place for a concert of this nature, having spent many joyful evenings seeing bands and artists headline at The Waterfront.
Taking a seat early so as not to miss anything, I was surprised at how relaxed everything was; nobody seemed to be in any rush. However, no sooner had I thought it, than everybody filed inside and took their places.
With only a simple chair and basic set-up on the stage, I was still somewhat apprehensive, but when Esteban Antonio came on stage it became clearly very quickly that complexities weren't an issue - nor were they necessary.
Esteban has been described as one of the greatest flamenco guitarists in the world - certainly of the last 100 years. After offering a very humble greeting and thanks, he took up his guitar and kicked things off to an amazing start.
Esteban is clearly a very highly skilled musician and the passion that drives him is evident from the outset. The music is fast, furious and uplifting in places and very emotional and almost tear-jerkingly sad in others. It's true what they say - music speaks where words fail; it's certainly true in this instance.
Having begun playing guitar from the age of 3, and going on to study at the Royal College of Music at the age of 9 it's of no surpise he's sponsored by the Ambassador of Spain, and has worked alongside the likes of George Michael and Hollywood star, Johnny Depp, amongst many others.
Ever humble, Esteban goes on to encourage the children who are present, saying that if God has blessed them with a heart for music - they should go for it. His wife, Erica, joined him onstage for one song - 'Argentina' - on the violin. The Antonio household must be a joy to live in - Erica is also evidently blessed with the gift of music as well.
As well as entertaining folk with his phenomenal musical talents, Esteban also supports anti-drug programmes, saying "Young people don't need drugs to play music - they just need faith."
After enjoying a very successful career and having made millions of pounds, Esteban was injured in his home by a mirror that had fallen, irreparably damaging his spine. With support and prayer from a Christian friend of his, he was healed within minutes of reaching out to Jesus. Arriving at his friend's home in a wheelchair and crutches for support, he later walked home with many people around as witness to this miracle.
Esteban Antonio truly is a gifted individual and yet is humble enough to admit he owes everything to God - for his music and for healing him.
He finished his set with four tracks - inspired and encouraged by God, and left us with the words, "The Word of God has a sound - and that sound is faith."
Read report of Esteban at the CTI dinner in Norwich