Flamenco, as we all know, is the quintessential style from La Madre Patria (the Motherland), harking back to the Andalusian gypsies. Fittingly, the genre has its legends. Names of those past, like Lola Flores and El Camaron de La Isla ("the Shrimp of the Island," no joke), pass with reverence from lips of Spaniards everywhere.
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A few of the old guard still perform, like Paco de Lucia, and other, younger artists are forming a new generation of flamenco greats.
Case in point: Diego El Cigala, who's probably best known for his work with one of Cuba's living legends, 85-year-old pianist Bebo Valdes. The two released Lagrimas Negras together in 2003, a brilliant fusion of flamenco's fiery vocal style with the tropical sway of Cuba's piano. The collaboration won them a Grammy, three Premios de la Música, an Ondas Award, and five Amigo Awards, not to mention three platinum albums in Spain and one each in Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela.
El Cigala arrives in Miami tonight to play the Gusman Center, and to do what he does best -- take that traditional flamenco vibe, and respectfully rework it. This time he's giving tango the business. At least that's the word about his upcoming new album, from which this performance should feature some material. Tickets go for $30 to $70.