Ana Alcaide is a musician and composer from Toledo, Spain, who carries out research on ancient traditions and cultures.
While pursuing her degree in biology, Ana travelled to Sweden where she discovered the nyckelharpa, a traditional Swedish instrument that dates back to the Middle Ages. She fell in love with the instrument and taught herself how to play it on the streets of Toledo, far from its traditional setting. Ana has played a pioneering role in the introduction and popularization of the nyckelharpa in Spain.
Her music is inspired by the journey of the Sephardic Jews and her city, which is why her music is commonly referred to as the ‘Toledo Soundtrack’. Rooted in ancient traditions yet resolutely modern, her compositions deftly blend musical styles from different cultures. From the inspirational backdrop of the city of Toledo, Ana writes and produces her songs, creates new arrangements and adapts her instrument to ancient melodies that originated in medieval Spain and have travelled throughout the Mediterranean region.
She got international recognition with her third album, ‘La Cantiga del Fuego’ that remained 5 months at the WMCE -‘World Music Charts Europe’ and was considered one of the best 2012 albums for specialized criticism. Beginning as a self-production, was released worldwide by the English label ‘ARC Music’ in November 2012.
Alcaide has presented her music in France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Morroco, Canada, Bulgaria, Indonesia, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Argentina & Uruguay, and also in important spanish venues and festivals as Getxo Folk, Folk Plasencia, Folk Segovia, Parapanda Folk y Festival de las dos Orillas, among others.
Her personal and artistic evolution leads her to conquer new creative fields in the recent years.
In 2015 she starts the new recording series ‘Tales of Pangea’, in which she creates new music in collaboration with musicians from other parts of the world. The first release ‘Gotrasawalaensemble’, was recorded in Java island (Indonesia) after two years of musical and cultural exchange with local musicians and it was released by ARC in May 2015, being in the ‘World Music Chart Europe’ from June to September 2015, and sparking interest and intrigue among audiences and press, not only with the recording but also in live performances.
In 2016 she releases "Leyenda", an album that digs into the strength of the Femininity through the presence of the woman in diverse cultures and mythologies from a modern view, and which takes an important step further bringing her music into the theatrical scene.
Her personality and her special way of showing and spreading her music has positioned her as a musical attraction in her city and a recommendation to Toledo visitors. Since 2013 she has been awarded for her artistic work in her region (Premios Cope, Juanelo Turriano) and was selected by Spanish National Radio to represent Spain at the European UER Festival. In 2017, she was awarded in the music category in the Scenic Arts Awards of Castilla la Mancha.
Since 2016 she is the artistic director of the ‘Toledo World Music Festival’. In 2017 she collaborated on Loreena McKennitt most recent recording.
Ana is mother of Bruno León (7) & Saba Sinta (0).