Diego El Cigala has a secret. “We understand each other, we speak about the same things — and musically, this has strengthened us.”. “Whenever I heard he was jamming with his friends, I would be there. For more information on Gonzalo Rubalcaba, visit g-rubalcaba.com. Truth is certainly the core of El Cigala’s music of choice, flamenco, with its imperious dances, dramatic guitar and anguished songs. Their neighborhood provided a constant mix of boleros, ballads, guarachas, danzonetes, son montunos, and other tropical rhythms that blared from radios, television sets, record players, and local bars. Diego el Cigala, center, at Town Hall on Tuesday with Bernardo Parrilla, left, and Diego del Morao in the Festival Flamenco Gitano. Staff, “It’s a debt that Aymée and I had, not only for ourselves but also for our families,” says Rubalcaba, who lives in Coral Springs with wife Maria Gonzalez and has three children, now adults. El Cigala’s earthy, nicotine-stained voice can burn with a similar blue flame to Holiday’s, manipulate heart-strings like that great marionettist Di Stefano and, like Sinatra, successfully emote without becoming effete. The two performers have their roots in central Havana, where they studied classical piano, but they carry Afro-Cuban rhythms in their DNA. Careers, The modes and rhythms of traditional flamenco dominated the two-hour concert, no matter where the songs came from originally, and made it feel like one long song. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls. “It’s one of Aymée’s best interpretations from Celia’s repertoire,” Rubalcaba says. In his case they were planted in the womb. The song gives Nuviola a chance to show a different side as a vocalist — that of a jazz singer. His most recent album, “Cigala & Tango” — released last year on his new label, Cigala Music — is full of Argentine songs by Carlos Gardel and other tango composers. Get the latest updates in news, food, music and culture, and receive special offers direct to your inbox. The performance was alert and torrential in small moments, as great flamenco performances tend to be, even though it wasn’t made of traditional flamenco material. About Us, Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Circulation, It’s also, he adds, one of Cuba’s first songs to mix two genres: rumba and son. Diego “El Cigala”’s highly anticipated new album, Indestructible, will be released October 28 th. Asked when he fell in love with it he replies, “I think in my mother’s womb!” and laughs, but he is only partly joking. “El Raton”, with typical salsa themes and already available on digital platforms, is the first single from the new album which pays homage to the genre. The important thing is not to forget your roots.”. There was enough of his identity for four or five concerts. His full name is Diego Ramón Jiménez Salazar, but to contemporary flamenco fans he's known as Diego el Cigala, or "the Little Prawn. We always had a special relationship.”. Subsequently he has carved out his own niche, partly via collaborations with stars of Cuban music and Argentinean tango. Tuesday’s concert, produced by the World Music Institute as part of its Festival Flamenco Gitano, ran through most of that new album, as well as some Cuban songs at the end, and a few looser and almost punishingly good flamenco duets with his guitarist, Diego del Morao. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of our terms of use, our cookies policy, and our privacy policy. Mr. Del Morao is special. Diego . “I always support traditions, but if something does not evolve it is not alive, and therefore won’t survive. He moved there from Madrid once the Americas became the centrepiece of his touring schedule, and believes that the worldwide surge of interest in flamenco is partly explained because, like Italian opera, it suffers from no language barrier. His full name is Diego Ramón Jiménez Salazar, but to contemporary flamenco fans he's known as Diego el Cigala, or "the Little Prawn." The virus also struck Nuviola and her husband and manager, Paulo Simeon, who have since recovered and are awaiting new concert dates. It is about feeling rather than faking. From the moment I go on the stage I always put my heart and soul into singing, and I want my audience to feel that and feel the same things that I’m feeling when I’m singing. Aymée Nuviola, known for her improvisational vocal skills, portrayed the legendary Celia Cruz in a 2015 series. “And Gonzalo’s mom convinced him to study piano when he wanted to become a percussionist.”, Rubalcaba says his mother, Yolanda “Chiquitica” Fonseca, didn’t have to do much convincing: “I did it to please her. “We have a certain chemistry, and that was important for what we sought to achieve [in Viento y Tiempo].”, Rubalcaba agrees. The famous flamenco singer José Monje Cruz gave him the nickname because of Diego's small size and the enormous passion that pours out of him (although it is also a reference to Cruz's own nickname, "Camarón," which is Spanish for "shrimp"). All rights reserved. Guillermo Rubalcaba was a popular pianist, composer, and bandleader, and several family members were also musicians. Released earlier this year on the Top Stop Music label, the album is their love letter to a shared musical past. The Black Market Festival Braves New Territory With Outdoor Event. El Cigala, born Diego Ramón Jiménez Salazar, is a Gitano singer from Madrid in his mid-40s who grew up encouraged by masters of the form; he had his first major success in 2003 on a record of songs from Cuba, Mexico and Argentina, “Lagrimas Negras,” made with the Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés, which sold more than a million copies worldwide. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. Miami Restaurant Directory: Takeout/Delivery/Dine-in, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée Nuviola Pay Tribute to Their Havana Childhood with, Diego el Cigala's New Documentary Reminisces About Old-School Salsa. The coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of a Viento y Tiempo concert tour that had included Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Working together brought back memories, but it also made them realize something: Both are survivors of a totalitarian regime where lack of freedom and resources makes it hard for any artist to grow. “You need a guitar and you need a good voice, and then you need to have your feelings. I would say to myself, ‘Oh, my God.’”. Rubalcaba says the environment helped launch a new wave of Cuban musicians, among them Juan Formell — his longtime neighbor — who created the iconic dance band Los Van Van, and Chucho Valdes’ internationally acclaimed Afro-Cuban jazz group Irakere. “Aymée can do a lot more than she’s known for,” Rubalcaba says. Diego el Cigala's New Documentary Reminisces About Old-School Salsa; Through the years, Nuviola, an acclaimed Afro-Cuban singer, songwriter, bandleader and actress, and Rubalcaba, a … “Bemba Colora” is the album’s one song that wasn’t played in Cuba when the two were growing up. It puts him in rarefied company with Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Giuseppe Di Stefano, making him one of the great singers of the past 100 years. She became his biggest admirer. When we speak (via an interpreter) El Cigala is at home amid th e palm trees of the Dominican Republic, where he lives with his wife (who doubles as his manager) and two sons. Asked why flamenco can adapt and blend so readily, El Cigala initially repeats the heart-and-soul mantra, then explains that ultimately he attributes this to its “rhythmic richness”. On the other hand he says that flamenco is also “very basic”. Me and [the late Cuban master pianist] Bebo [Valdes] used to say that our music was like cousins getting back together after a long time without seeing each other!”, While El Cigala’s commitment to flamenco is such that he sees it as a way of life, he nonetheless listens widely, and such potent opera singers as Luciano Pavarotti and Maria Callas have been major influences. How to convey emotion without becoming sentimental; how to sing with the raw truth of an open wound. Songs like that weren’t necessarily in Cigala’s repertory before, but the international audience for flamenco seems to be in fusions or extensions, and now it would be unusual for him to play a concert without a Cuban bolero; he’s also surrounded himself with a touring band that can easily move into jazz harmony and Cuban rhythm. The band played mostly in a tense, collective murmur until the end, when the pianist Jami Calabuig worked Cuban montuno figures into the bolero “Dos Gardenias,” and the whole balance shifted: rhythm spoke up, and the music briefly and definitively became non-Andalusian. We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. I love a variety of music.”, For his first Australian tour his band consists of two guitars, piano, bass and percussion, and the material will wander from what he calls “raw flamenco” to the lush music of his collaborative projects. Diego el Cigala regresa a México, para presentar su nuevo disco: El Romance de la Luna Tucumana. Even then, I saw his talent, the speed with which his fingers moved over the keys.