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Leading Flamenco Guitarist Vicente Amigo Launches Major U.S. Tour on March 2nd
11-City Tour Opens with Concerts at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center and
New York City's Carnegie Hall;
Amigo Will Also Bring his Distinct Flamenco Sound to Boston,
Washington DC, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Irving, Austin and Savannah
Wed March 2 Miami, FL Adrienne Arsht Center for Perf Arts / Knight Concert Hall*
Fri March 4 New York, NY Carnegie Hall / Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage**
Sat March 5 Boston, MA WORLD MUSIC/CRASH Arts / Berklee Performance Ctr
Sun March 6 Washington, DC Lincoln Theatre
Tue March 8 Santa Cruz, CA Rio Theatre for the Performing Arts
Thu March 10 San Francisco, CA SFJAZZ Center / Herbst Theatre
Fri March 11 San Francisco, CA SFJAZZ Center / Herbst Theatre
Sat March 12 San Francisco, CA SFJAZZ Center / Herbst Theatre
Sun March 13 San Francisco, CA SFJAZZ Center / Herbst Theatre
Wed March 16 Seattle, WA UW World Series / Meany Hall for the Performing Arts
Fri March 18 Los Angeles, CA Wilshire Ebell Theatre ***
Sun March 20 Irving, TX (Dallas) Irving Arts Center
Wed March 23 Austin, TX Long Center for the Performing Arts / Austin Classical Guitar
Fri March 25 Savannah, GA SCAD Trustees Theatre
* Part of Flamenco Festival Miami 2016
** Part of NY Flamenco Festival 2016
*** Part of Los Angeles International Flamenco Festival
Spanish guitarist and composer Vicente Amigo loves to take the long view.
"I come from flamenco, I have a great respect for flamenco and it would probably be impossible for me to leave flamenco. It's a way to feel and it is rooted that deeply in me," he says. "But flamenco is just one of music´s children. Music and art are bigger than flamenco and what's most important for me is expressing myself."
A transcendent performer, composer and producer, Amigo burst onto the major stages of flamenco while still a teenager. Since then, he has earned a shelf full of awards, including the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes, roughly Spain´s equivalent of the National Medal of Arts, in December 2015, as well as a Latin Grammy for Ciudad de Las Ideas (City of Ideas) in 2001.
A musician's musician, Pat Metheny called him "The greatest guitarist alive."
While over the years he has performed before sold-out halls in places such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C and Chicago, this is his first major tour of the United States.
His most recent release,Tierra (2013), is an unexpected, fascinating blend of flamenco and Celtic music. The emphasis on this tour will be on flamenco, however, as he brings with him an ensemble comprising Añil Fernández, backing guitar; Paquito González, percussion (cajón); Rafael de Utrera, cante (vocals) and Ewen Vernal on bass. Also, flamenco dancer Choro (Antonio Molina) will join the group for performances in Miami, New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Santa Cruz and San Francisco.
"I've always been interested in mixes," says Amigo. "We ourselves are products of a mix of our father and our mother, how could we be against it? Besides, one of the wonders in music is that is open-ended, infinite, and in the place you least expect it, you can find something that enriches you as a musician and as a person."
Born in Guadalcanal, a small village in Seville, Spain, on March 25th, 1967, Vicente Amigo Girol actually grew up and lives in Córdoba, also in Andalusia. He started studying guitar when he was eight with maestros such as El Merengue (Rafael Rodríguez Fernández) and El Tomate (Juan Muñoz Expósito) and at 15 he became an apprentice of the great Manolo Sanlúcar, in whose group he worked for several years. He appears in Sanlúcar's masterpiece Tauromagia (1988), considered one of the most important flamenco albums of all time.
He gained early recognition while accompanying singer El Pele (Manuel Moreno Maya), with whom he recorded "Poeta de Esquinas Blandas" (1988). That same year, Amigo also launched his solo career. Soon, he built an international reputation as he performed with Camarón de la Isla, arguably the most important singer in modern flamenco history, but also with artists such as John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Brazilian singer and songwriter Milton Nascimento, and Spanish pop superstar Alejandro Sanz.
He won several flamenco guitar prizes and appeared at Leyendas de la Guitarra (Legends of the Guitar), an international event celebrated in Spain that served as a preview of the Seville Expo in 1992, representing flamenco with Paco de Lucía, the decisive figure in modern flamenco guitar. De Lucia, who passed away on in February, 2014, became a lifelong friend and admirer. Those who set out sports-like comparisons or are eager to bestow the unwanted mantle of "the next Paco de Lucia" fail to grasp the depth of their relationship, which is underscored by the fact that they became compadres, godfathers to each other´s children: Amigo to De Lucia's daughter Antonia; De Lucia to Amigo's youngest son, Marcos.
"Such is life. I play guitar because when I was three years old I saw Paco de Lucia on TV and it stayed with me," recalls Amigo. "Later we became friends and shared many great times. For all flamencos, Paco is the greatest. He opened paths. He did so much for flamenco guitar that we are all indebted to him."
Thoughtful and introspective, Amigo pauses before putting his work as a player in a larger context. "I'm a guitarist, but I love music well beyond my instrument," he says. "Music is my life."
Given his elegant, melodic style it's no surprise that he has been especially adept at writing for, and working with, singers, including the great Enrique Morente (who recorded several of Amigo's songs), his daughter, Estrella Morente, Carmen Linares and Diego El Cigala within the flamenco tradition, but also with artists such as Sting (on "Send Your Love" from Sting's Sacred Love), and Brazilian jazz pianist and vocalist Eliane Elias outside it. He has also stretched out, contributing his playing, writing and production ideas to flamenco singers José Mercé ( on Del Amanecer) and Remedios Amaya (Me Voy Contigo).
Still, while clearly rooted in flamenco, Amigo set out early on to explore the possibilities of fusions in both his recordings and collaborations. In the remarkable Poeta (1997), he paid tribute to the poetry of Rafael Alberti with a work for guitar and orchestra featuring Cuban guitarist, composer and conductor Leo Brouwer and pop star Miguel Bosé, who collaborated reciting the texts. Then, in his Paseo de Gracia (2009), named after a street in Barcelona, he explored pop music, calling on the Morentes and Sanz. And in the expansive Ciudad de Las Ideas (City of Ideas), Amigo collaborated with Argentine pop rocker Pedro Aznar and Algerian rai star Khaled.
Tierra, his seventh and most recent release, features all music composed by Amigo and arranged by him and Dire Straits keyboardist Guy Fletcher. It was recorded in London with members of Mark Knopfler's band and the Scottish folk group Capercaillie.
"Regardless the genre, be it jazz, be it classical music, be it pop or flamenco, there is certain music that touches your heart and your mind," he says. "And so it happens that you are listening to something and you find yourself saying 'Yes. That's right,' because it's something that you know, something that's inside you, perhaps dormant, perhaps unrecognized. And then listening becomes an embrace."
Vicente Amigo - guitar
Antonio "Añil" Fernández - second guitar
Francisco "Paquito" González - cajón (box drum)
Ewen Vernal - bass
Rafael de Utrera - vocals
* Special Guest Dancer - Antonio Molina "Choro" (Miami, NY, Boston, Wash DC, Santa Cruz and SF only)
Cosmic Barrio Radio with Betto Arcos (2016) http://cosmicbarrio.podomatic.com/entry/2016-02-10T14_17_17-08_00
Easy Reader News (2012) http://www.easyreadernews.com/48822/vicente-amigo-laflamenco-festival/
Tangos del Arco Bajo (videoclip)
"Ciudad de las Ideas" (Bulerias)
"Ciudad de la Ideas" (full concert)
Solo (live in Cordoba 2013)
PRESS PHOTOS - DOWNLOAD LINK: