Diego El Cigala
Diego El Cigala emerged as a modern flamenco icon in the late 1990s. With his distinctive gravelly voice and his luxuriant black curls, he conjured the romance of the form, updating
it with a swagger all his own. But El Cigala was never content to sing mere flamenco. Indeed his 2004 collaboration with legendary Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés daringly tied his style to dashing Cuban rhythms, suggesting that his future extended far beyond Andalusian territory. A decade later, he explored tango, even winning a Latin GRAMMY in the genre. It became clear that El Cigala was interested in exploring raw, emotional music, no matter the country of origin.
That is the underlying concept of Indestructible, El Cigala's masterful 2016 album of spirited salsa, delivered with authoritative flamenco power. El Cigala, who become a citizen of the Dominican Republic in 2014, traveled between Spain, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, New York, and Miami to record these songs. Recruiting musicians from each of those musical epicenters, El Cigala explored the salsa canon while working to stretch it with stylistic brio. He returns to Durham this time with a ten-piece band, investing this material with even more energy. El Cigala and his band pull together the sounds and sources of the world's foremost centers of tropical music.
Diego El Cigala is a co-presentation of Duke Performances & The Carolina Theatre of Durham.
"A seance that continually changed form and mood according to the whim of El Cigala, the great Gitano singer — a mile of charisma with a soul-scarring voice — and his band, as they played their own sort of traditional flamenco that brushed against jazz and tango. — The New York Times
Diego El Cigala joins the likes of Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Giuseppe Di Stefano as one of the great singers of the past hundred years. — The Sydney Morning Herald
Cigala again offered a lesson on how to break into other genres and and make them his own, as if they had always belonged to him. — El Mundo
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