Flamenco guitar maestro Vicente Amigo will open the 12th edition of the Suma Flamenca festival on May 1 at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Suma Flamenca (Flamenco summit) is one of the leading flamenco festivals in Spain. The main bulk of the concerts will take place June 6-25 at 26 different stages throughout the Madrid region.
Vicente Amigo will perform most of the songs on his new album titled ‘Memoria de los sentidos’ (Memory of the senses). This album follows ‘Tierra‘, released four years ago. On ‘Memoria de los sentidos’ Amigo returns to flamenco roots with a very purist album.
‘Memoria de los sentidos’ includes an impressive cast of first-rate flamenco artists: Potito, El Pele, Miguel Poveda, Niña Pastori and Farruquito.
Vicente Amigo was recently awarded the prestigious Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts, bestowed by Spain’s Ministry of Culture.
Nimes, a city in southern France, is celebrating flamenco with an impressive program featuring some of Spain’s finest performers.
Flamenco 2017 Nimes Program
January 12 and 13, 2017
Venue: Théâtre Bernadette Lafont Rocío Molina, dance
January 13, 2017
Venue: Odéon La Taranta por Bandera with
Vocalists: José Heredia “Josélete de Linares”, Bartolomé de Haro “Toli de Linares”, Belén Vega, Nazaret Romero
Guitarists: Juan Ballesteros, Pedro Montesinos
January 14, 2017
Venue: Institut Emmanuel d’Alzon Perico Santiago (vocals) and Antón Fernández (guitar)
Venue: Théâtre Bernadette Lafont Rafael Rodriguez “El Cabeza” on guitar, accompanied by guest dancers Rocío Molina, Milagros Menjibar, Javier Barón; and David Palomar (vocals), José Anillo (vocals), Isa Rodriguez (percussion), Roberto Jaén (palmas).
January 15, 2017 Mehstura at Théâtre Bernadette Lafont
Artistic Direction and choreography: Jesús Ortega
Associate artistic director: Juan Carlos Guajardo
With Zaira Santos, dance; Vicky González, vocals; Sara Castro, guitar; Eva Soto, dance; Nane Ramos, vocals; Rosa Escobar Lόpez, violin; and Miriam Cantero, percussion.
January 16, 2017
Venue: SMAC Paloma | Scène de Musiques Actuelles de Nîmes Métropole Dorantes (piano) with Javi Ruibal (drums and percussion); Pastora Galván (dance); and Renaud Garcia-Fons (bass).
January 17, 2017 De sepia y oro show at Théâtre Bernadette Lafont
Andrés Peña (dance) and Pilar Ogalla (dance) with: Miguel Soto “Londro” (vocals), David Carpio (vocals), Inma Ortega “Melchora” (vocals), Anabel Rivera (vocals), Rafael Rodríguez (guitars), Diego Montoya (palmas), Roberto Jaén (palmas).
January 18 and 19, 2017 Flamen’Comic! at Théâtre Christian Liger
Flamenco cartoons by Eddie Pons with Jesús de la Manuela on vocals and Anton Fernández on guitar.
January 18, 2017
Venue: Théâtre Bernadette Lafont Jesús Mendez (vocals) with Manuel Valencia on guitar; Diego Montoya and Manuel Salado on palmas; and Luis Carrasco on percussion.
January 19, 2017
Venue: Théâtre Bernadette Lafont Miguel Ángel Cortés (guitar) presenting Sonantas en tres movimientos with Los Makarines and Dani Bonilla on palmas and backing vocals; Jorge Pérez “El Cubano” on percussion. Guest dancer: Ana Morales.
January 20, 2017
Venue: Théâtre Bernadette Lafont Manuel Liñán (dance) presenting Reversible. Guest dancers: Lucia Álvarez “La Piñona”, José Maldonado and “El Torombo”; Miguel Ortega and David Carpio on vocals; Francisco Vinuesa and Pino Losada on guitar; and Miguel “El Cheyenne” on percussion.
January 21, 2017
Venue: Institut Emmanuel d’Alzon María Terremoto (vocals) and Antonio Moya (guitar)
Venue: Théâtre Bernadette Lafont Vicente Amigo (guitar) accompanied by Añil Fernández (second guitar), Paquito González (percussion and cajón), Ewen Vernal on bass, Rafael de Utrera on vocals, and dancer El Choro.
Vicente Amigo is one of the finest Flamenco guitarists in the world. He was born in Guadalcanal in 1967, a small town in the province of Sevilla, though he grew up in Córdoba. It was there where he had his first guitar lessons. “I believe that flamenco has always been something for adults, not just for children. To understand flamenco, you need maturity. You can play the guitar as a child You understand the technique. But the essence of flamenco is something that requires maturity.” Amigo became a professional very quickly. Then, he joined Manolo Sanlucar’s band in which he played guitar for five years.
In 1989, Amigo began a solo career and earned first prize in guitar at the prestigious Festival Nacional del Cante de las Minas de la Unión. Shortly thereafter, he won the Contest of Extremadura. He became part of the Flamenco Guitar elite when he won the “Ramón Montoya” award in May 1989 as well as the first prize in guitar at the XII National Concert of Flamenco Art in Córdoba.
Amigo has accompanied flamenco singers Luis de Córdoba and Carmen Linares, among others. He also recorded with Brazilian composer Wagner Tiso and Spanish pop stars Miguel Bosé and Nacho Cano.
Vicente Amigo is a guitar player with an obviously strong personality, a natural sense of modern flamenco as well as the traditional forms. Flamenco’s wealth and diversity give him an extraordinary opening to all kinds of music. “I love flamenco music as a foundation because it allows me to tell a story in a very different, non-linear fashion,” says Amigo. “The organization of that tale is less important than the feeling of it. I can start at the end or the beginning and explore and insert many themes upon the main theme, adding little messages along the way. There can be many hidden meanings within the main storyline as I change melody and harmony. There doesn’t have to be a specific ending. It’s just a matter of following my soul when I find something good to express in the song.”
The Ciudad de las Ideas (City of the Ideas) album title was taken from a verse by classic Greek poet Kavafis. In the early stages of recording, Amigo became enamored of Kavafis and especially a poem titled “The First Step.” “The piece is about an old poet in conversation with a young poet. The youngster brags that he’s written a masterpiece that can never be surpassed, but the older man puts him in his place and tells him he has so much to learn, that such talk is foolish. The young man eventually realizes the wisdom of this and says thank you. With City of Ideas, I related to the young poet, opening myself up to new experiences and new influences. Each song is like a big ‘thank you’ to all the life experiences I’ve had to draw from. I see music as a realm with no frontiers and each project allows me to explore even further.”
The CD is dedicated to Andalusia and it includes pieces like the bulería Ojos de la Alhambra (Eyes of Alhambra), that is sung by the renowned Algerian singer Khaled. There are also vocals by Diego El Cigala, Argentine singer Pedro Aznar, Montse Cortes and Lin Cortés. On percussion you can find three of the big names of Spanish and flamenco percussion: Tino di Geraldo, Chaboli and Echegaray Street. Mino Cinelu is on drums, Alfredo Paixao on bass.Recorded at the Filigrana Studios in Cordoba (Amigo’s adopted hometown) and mixed in Madrid, the collection is orchestrated and conducted by Joan Albert Amargos.
Ciudad de las Ideas won the 2001 Latin Grammy for Best Flamenco Album and was the first album by Amigo to be released in the United States.
“Making music for so many years has carried me deep into the heart of myself, to the place where I have come to understand what it means to be a fully realized human being,” says Amigo. “Music plays a very important part in the world today, and it’s wonderful to be a part of bringing that joy to people. When people listen to me play, they know it’s coming from a very real and truthful place inside me.”
After five years without publishing a solo album, Vicente Amigo returned in 2005 with Un momento en el sonido. The album features Tino di Geraldo and Joan Albert Amargos as well as singers Antonio Villar and ‘Potito’.
Paseo De Gracia, released in 2009 was produced by Vicente Amigo and features many friends and guests including the entire Morente family led by the “patriarch” Enrique Morente together with Estrella,” Soleá and Enrique Jr. Other stars include Niña Pastori, pop singer Alejandro Sanz, Rafael de Utrera,” Pedro Heredia, Miguel Ortega, José Parra,” Lin and Nani Cortés. The band on the album includes Tino di Geraldo (drums and percussion)”,” Antonio Ramos “Maca” (bass)”, Alexis Lefevre (violin) and Paquito Gonzalez (percussion).
In 2013, he released Tierra, composed completely by Amigo with music that combines flamenco and Celtic music traditions. It debuted at Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow in 2013. the album was recorded in London ad features musicians from Mark Knopfler’s band and the Scottish folk supergroup Capercaillie.