DURING HIS FIRST MAJOR UNITED STATES TOUR ON FRIDAY, MARCH 4
Amigo’s Concert is Part of the Citywide Flamenco Festival
|Vicente Amigo, the composer, producer, and master of flamenco guitar noted for his creativity and inventiveness within the flamenco tradition, appears at Carnegie Hall on Friday, March 4 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. Over the years, Amigo has performed in sold-out halls throughout the country, but this concert is part of his first major tour of the United States.
Since winning the Latin Grammy Award in 2001 for his album Ciudad de las Ideas (City of Ideas), Amigo has gone on to expand flamenco’s influence and versatility while still honoring its roots. His most recent album, Tierra—composed entirely by Amigo with music that fuses Spanish and Celtic traditions—debuted at Celtic Connections in Glasgow in 2013.
“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.”
His March 4 concert, however, focuses specifically on flamenco with several selections from Tierra arranged for Amigo and his fellow performers Antonio “Añil” Fernández (second guitar), Francisco “Paquito” González (cajón), Ewen Vernal (bass), and Rafael de Utrera (vocals), along with special guest flamenco dancer Antonio Molina “Choro.”
“I come from flamenco,” says Amigo. “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 deeply in me. 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.”
Amigo’s performance is part of the 2016 Flamenco Festival taking place throughout New York City from March 2–19. The festival presents Spain’s finest singers, dancers, and musicians along with cultural activities and educational programs at venues city-wide. Joining in the festivities, Granada-born conductor Pablo Heras-Casado leads Orchestra of St. Luke’s in “Colors of Spain” featuring singer Marina Heredia and pianist Javier Perianes at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, March 10 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. The following week on Friday, March 18 at 8:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall, Sevillian cantaora Rosario Guerrero “La Tremendita” and Iranian traditional vocalist Mohammad Motamedi come together to perform Qasida, a musical fusion of Spanish folk poetry and Persian high art, presented by Carnegie Hall as part of the Flamenco Festival.
About the Artist
Born in Guadalcanal, a small village in Seville, Spain, in 1967, Vicente Amigo Girol actually grew up and now resides 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.
Amigo 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.
Amigo won several flamenco guitar prizes and appeared at Leyendas de la Guitarra (Legends of the Guitar), an international event in Spain that served as a preview of the Seville Expo in 1992, representing flamenco with the late Paco de Lucía, a decisive figure in modern flamenco guitar who became a lifelong friend and admirer.
Given Amigo’s elegant, melodic style, he has been especially prolific in 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. Amigo has also contributing playing, writing, and production ideas to flamenco singers José Mercé (on Del Amanecer) and Remedios Amaya (Me Voy Contigo).
Amigo set out early on to explore the possibilities of fusions in 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. In his Paseo de Gracia (2009), named after the street in Barcelona, he explored pop music, collaborating with the Morentes and Sanz. And on Ciudad de las Ideas (City of Ideas), Amigo worked with Argentine pop artist Pedro Aznar and Algerian raï star Khaled.
Tierra, Amigo’s 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.
with Special Guest
Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Flamenco Festival, Inc.
Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.