She performed her first show outside of Granada at the age of 16 at the universal exhibition in Barcelona, alongside Monolo Amaya’s Zambra, performing with Carmen Amaya for King Alfonso XIII. She shared the bill with La Niña de los Peines, Angelillo, Pepe Marchena and Pepe Pinto amongst others. She recorded 19 successful albums and performed on television on many occasions.
Maria Cortes Heredia was born on February 27th 1913. She was a flamenco dancer and singer known as “María la Canastera” (The Basket-craft woman)since her father was a craftsman who made wicker baskets. Since she was a little girl, she danced at Sacromonte Zambras, where she became a consummate artist making the Zambra a personal artistic profession.
María la Canastera, Thought to be one of the more representative artists of Granada’s Flamenco, she had an overpowering personality and was one of a kind as anyone who met her could say. She is the only person of gypsy background (after a popular vote) considered as one of Granada’s most important citizens of the 20th century an award that fills Maria’s family with even more pride (if possible). In the early 1990s Granada City Council gave Maria La Canastera’s name to a Sacromonte square, and in March 2010, a statue was erected in her honour alongside those of Granadas other most distinguished citizens at the boulevard of Constitución Avenue in Granada.