Guitarist Eric Hansen passed up the opportunity to become a classical guitar student in the master's program at the New England Conservatory, preferring instead to listen to his heart and pursue the craft of new flamenco, or nuevo flamenco.
He had landed one of the coveted open spots at the school, but turned it down. It's a decision that fans of the genre are glad he made when they discovered his first solo album, Without Words. The recording was released by Neurodisc Records/EMI early in 2000, and included the popular Bryan Adams' tune "Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman?" Previously, the American born Hansen had been making a name for himself in a musical partnership he had forged with Cesar Paucar, a guitarist from Peru. In 1997, the duo put out the CD Isla del Sol. A pair of songs that Hansen wrote for the album, "Punta Arenas" and "La Scala," respectively a rumba and a ballad, were chosen for inclusion on Pure Flamenco, a Neurodisc compilation. Paucar and Hansen remained together for several years. Neurodisc Records/EMI later inked a deal with Hansen for three albums over the same number of years. Hansen also recorded an album of love songs, which he adapted to nuevo flamenco. The collection includes a pair of original numbers composed by the guitarist, as well as "And I Love Her" by the Beatles and "Killing Me Softly With His Song," made famous by Roberta Flack. Hansen turned his attention to the guitar when he was 14 years old. When he enrolled in Florida Athletic University, he studied classical guitar. He served the school's Classical Guitar Society as its president while earning a minor in jazz. He became acquainted with Paucar during his student days at Florida Athletic University.