Master flamenco guitarist Vicente Amigo gives two rare local performances in support of a strong new album | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Master flamenco guitarist Vicente Amigo gives two rare local performances in support of a strong new album 

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click to enlarge Vicente Amigo

Vicente Amigo

Juan Perez-Fajardo

For several decades, Vicente Amigo has reigned as one of flamenco’s premier guitarists, a dazzling technician and an explosive performer carrying the torch of the great Paco de Lucía to push the Spanish tradition in new directions. Not all those directions have led to success—the 2013 album Tierra was a rather mushy collision of flamenco and Celtic music—but through each phase of his career Amigo, who turned 50 this year, has stuck to the fundamentals of his art. On his magnificent recent record Memoria de los Sentidos (Sony), Amigo plays deep within the flamenco tradition, collaborating with superb vocalists such as Potito, Miguel Poveda, Arcángel, and Rafael de Utrera—the last of whom will join the band for these rare local dates. Amigo is a fiery stage presence, and when he performs he seems to reach inside himself to access something beyond virtuosity, walking the line between lyrical beauty and rhythmic volatility. His ensemble includes Paquito Gonzalez on cajón, Añil Fernandez on second guitar, Ewen Vernal on bass, and dancer Antonio Molina “El Choro.”   v

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