Traditional flamenco artists never received any formal training: they learned by listening and watching relatives, friends and neighbors. Flamenco occurs in three settings and it is in the traditional juerga that I feel the truth is found.
The juerga is an informal, spontaneous gitano gathering (rather like a jazz “jam session”). This can include dancing, singing, palmas (hand clapping), or simply pounding in rhythm on an old orange crate or a table. Flamenco, in this context, is organic and dynamic: it adapts to the local talent, instrumentation, and mood of the audience. This context invites comparison with that other creation of a dispossessed class, the blues. Flamenco has been referred to as The Gypsy Blues, or even the European Blues as a means of providing a frame of reference to those new to the genre.