tradition and innovation
Castanets of the South was born in Sevilla in the eighties, founded by the artisan masters José and Juan Vela Hernández. They both began their apprenticeship under their father’s guidance in the sixties, at the early ages of 7 and 9, in this way gradually getting to know the difficult task of handcrafted castanet construction.
Currently, the third generation, Juan y José Vela’s sons, continue this beautiful trade. Today they continue with the same handcrafted form as their fathers, with the same entrepreneurial spirit and the same ambition for innovation.
Because Castanets of the South has not only been dedicated to preserving a tradition. They have also incorporated innovation for more than half a century.
It was Manuel Vela who first used the fibre material to make castanets, which is more resistant than wood against temperature changes and has a higher quality sound.
It was Juan and José Vela who perfected the castanet, moving it from being a simple accessory in flamenco, to receive the importance it deserves as a musical instrument and extending its range to other types of dance and music.
They are the creators of two great innovations. The “double soundbox”, which gives the castanet a deeper sound. And the “grained black fibre”, one of the most successful materials due to its adaptable sound to all styles. They also included new designs to make it even easier to play the castanets.