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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

Newest CD 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 Download

"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


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 elegantly:

"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!"

Romance 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."

Touring Lineup:

Diego El Cigala Voice

Jaime Calabuch "Jumitus" Piano

Dan Ben Lior Electric guitar

Yelsy Heredia Double Bass

Isidro Suarez Percussion

CD Release:

Romance de la Luna Tucumana

U.S. CD release date Sept 23, 2014

Universal Music Latino Entertainment

2015 Concerts:

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