Diego El Cigala in Washington, D.C.
Three-time Grammy Winner Diego El Cigala has captivated audiences all over the world with his gravelly voice and passionate interpretation of flamenco.
The innovative Spanish Gypsy flamenco singer Diego El Cigala rose to international fame in 2003 after the release of Lagrimas Negras, his smashing collaboration with the venerable Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés. It won a Latin Grammy and inspired The New York Times critic Ben Ratliff to anoint it best album of the year, hailing it as
one of the great new cross-pollinating documents of Latin music.
Born in an artistic Romani family in Madrid, El Cigala (a nickname meaning the Norway lobster in Spanish) is a gripping
blood-and-iron flamenco singer, as Ratliff calls him, with a natural gift for merging his ancestral music with the boleros, tangos and rumbas of other Iberian and Latin American cultures. He won another Latin Grammy in 2005 for Picasso en Mis Ojos, which featured the great (now late) flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía and the prized Latin-jazz trumpeter and percussionist Jerry Gonzalez.
His 2010 collaboration with top Argentinean musicians, Cigala & Tango, featured classic tangos and flamenco-inflected interpretations of music by Astor Piazzolla and others. The singer and his fiery band of Spanish and Cuban musicians will serve up songs from that rich repertoire.
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