DIEGO EL CIGALA
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The Great Voice of Contemporary Flamenco, DIEGO EL CIGALA Launches Major North American Tour, including SFJAZZ, Walt Disney Concert Hall and more
Romance de la Luna Tucumana
Reinvents Tango and Argentine Folk Classics,
Includes Moving Virtual Duet with Mercedes Sosa
Latin Grammy-winning Disk Set for U.S. Release on September 23
on Universal Music Latino Entertainment
DOWNLOAD mp3 & booklet
"He radiates a magnetic mix of winking charm and unpredictable vitriol reminiscent of a singer from an entirely different milieu, Frank Sinatra."
- The New York Times
Diego has one of the most beautiful flamenco voices of our time" -
Paco de Lucía [1947-2014]
"Flamenco royalty" BBC
DIEGO EL CIGALA 2014/2015 TOUR
Thurs Oct 23 Calgary, AB, CN Epcor Centre / Jack Singer Hall
Sat Oct 25 Vancouver, BC, CN Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
Thurs Oct 30 San Francisco, CA SFJAZZ Center
Fri Oct 31 San Francisco, CA SFJAZZ Center
Sat Nov 1 San Francisco, CA SFJAZZ Center
Sun Nov 2 San Francisco, CA SFJAZZ Center
Wed Nov 5 Folsom, CA Harris Center at Folsom Lake College
Sat Nov 8 Los Angeles, CA LA Phil / Walt Disney Concert Hall
Tue Nov 11 Stamford, CT Stamford Ctr for the Arts / Palace Theatre
Wed Nov 12 Hanover, NH Dartmouth College / Spaulding Auditorium
Fri Nov 14 Cambridge, MA World Music/CRASHarts / Berklee Perf Ctr
Sat Nov 15 Toronto, ON, CN The Royal Conservatory / Koerner Concert Hall
Tues Nov 18 Washington, DC GW Lisner Auditorium
Thurs Nov20 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre of Durham
Sat Nov 22 Miami, FL Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theatre
The dedication by Diego El Cigala in Romance de la Luna Tucumana, his most recent U.S. release, tells the story in a few words, clearly and
"My eternal thanks to Bebo Valdés for giving me the confidence I needed to travel beyond flamenco and explore other musical worlds."
In Romance de la Luna Tucumana, released on CD September 23 on Universal Music Latino Entertainment to coincide with his first major North
American tour, Cigala, as he´s commonly called, reinvents classics from the tango and the Argentine folk repertoire, including "Nieblas del Riachuelo,"
"Naranjo en Flor," "Por Una Cabeza," "Balderrama" and "Canción Para Un Niño En La Calle" (Song For a Street Child), a posthumous, electronic duet with the
late singer Mercedes Sosa. In his album notes, Cigala writes about his excitement at getting the approval of Mercedes's son to add her voice,
coincidentally in the same key, to his interpretation. "... One final, wonderful gift from the world beyond," Cigala concludes his notes. "Thank you,
Mercedes, great mother of Latin America!"
is Cigala´s first studio tango recording. Initially released in Mexico, and only digitally in the United States, the album won a Latin GRAMMY for Best
Tango Album in 2013.
"When I finished Cigala & Tango, [his live tango recording] I wanted more," he wrote in the notes for Romance "Around the same time,
in my travels in Argentina I got to know the repertoire of Mercedes Sosa and became a real fan of her work. It was through her that I came across
"Balderrama", the chacarera "Déjame que me vaya" (Let Me Go), "Canción de las simples cosas" (Song of Simple Things) and Atahualpa Yupanqui and
Pedro Aznar's "Romance de la luna tucumana" (Romance of the Tucumana Moon)"
For Cigala, bridging musical traditions has become an art form. A writer once gave it a name: "acigalar," a play on words in Spanish with acicalar
, to do up, to polish - Cigala style.
It is the kind of touch that cannot be learned in books or acquired in a lab; it has to be lived. Not surprisingly, when asked recently in an interview
what music he listened to, he mentioned in the same breath Maria Callas, Mozart and Ray Charles. "Listening to all that is how your ear gets bigger. I'm a
flamenco singer, but I'm not about to just listen to flamenco."
Born into a family of Spanish Gypsy artists in Madrid, Ramón Jiménez Salazar, better known as Diego El Cigala, (El Cigala, roughly "the prawn," alluded to
his thin frame), was a promising young flamenco singer with a bright, open-ended future, winning a flamenco singing prize and a television singing contest
by age 12. Soon he was working with major flamenco artists such as the singer Camarón de la Isla, guitarists Paco Peña, Tomatito, Gerardo Núñez and Vicente
Amigo, as well as dancers Farruco, Carmen Cortés and Joaquín Cortés. His path seemed set.
In 1997, at 29, he recorded his first album under his own name, Undebel, followed in 2000 by Entre Bareta Y Canasta. It is around this
time that he met Oscar-winning film director and Grammy-winning music producer Fernando Trueba, then working on his Latin jazz feature film Calle 54. By Trueba's account, Cigala saw a rough cut of the film and "fell in love" with "Lagrimas Negras," a track featuring two great Cuban
masters, the pianist, arranger and bandleader Bebo Valdés (1918-2013) and bassist Israel "Cachao" López (1918-2008). A year later, Valdés appeared on two
tracks of Cigala's third album, Corren Tiempos de Alegría. Their recording session was such a special affair ("Everybody in the studio was crying
-- even the prompter," wrote Trueba) that it led to Lágrimas Negras (2003), a brilliant collaboration remaking a repertoire of (mostly) Cuban
music with a flamenco inflection. The recording included a version of the classic tango "Nieblas del Riachuelo." It was Cigala's first tango performance on
record and it is one of the highlights of the disc. Lágrimas Negras won a Latin Grammy and became an improbable worldwide success. In fact, the
recording also spawned a feature length video that became an unexpected hit on many PBS television stations.
While Cigala has since released flamenco projects, he also recorded Dos Lágrimas (2008), a follow up of sorts to Lágrimas Negras and Cigala & Tango (2010), a selection of tangos re- interpreted, recorded live in concert in Buenos Aires. Romance de la Luna Tucumana
(Tucumán is a province in Argentina's northwest) includes Cigala´s distinct interpretation of both tangos and Argentina´s rural folk music.
His relationship with tango started early on in his life. His father José de Córdoba, a singer, once had a contract that took him to Argentina. "When he
came back, he would sing tangos at home, " he recalled in an interview with an Argentine newspaper. "I grew up with those songs."
From early on in his explorations, be it of Cuban music or tango, it was clear that Cigala was not out to mimic anybody -- especially classic interpreters
such as Carlos Gardel or Roberto Goyeneche who, each in his own time, set the standards for tango singing.
"Why try to sing like Gardel or Goyeneche? For that, you already have them. And they are geniuses at that," said Cigala about his approach to tango
singing. "The idea here was to sing tango as I felt it, from my point of view, with my experiences."
Diego El Cigala Voice
Jaime Calabuch "Jumitus" Piano
Dan Ben Lior Electric guitar
Yelsy Heredia Double Bass
Isidro Suarez Percussion
Romance de la Luna Tucumana
U.S. CD release date Sept 23, 2014
Universal Music Latino Entertainment
Sun May 3 Irvine, CA Irvine Barclay Theatre
Tues May 5 Quebec City, CN Le Palais Montcalm
Wed May 6 Montreal, CN Place des Arts de Montreal
Fri May 8 New York, NY Carnegie Hall