Diego El Cigala is a Spanish Romani flamenco singer who is famous for his flamenco versions of Latin American music. He has a distinctive smoky voice and a unique phrasing.
El Cigala is best known for his work with Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés on “Lágrimas Negras” (2003) with Paquito D’Rivera and produced by Javier Limón and Fernando Trueba (“Calle 54” filmmaker). “Lágrimas Negras” (Black Tears) is one of Cuba’s most iconic songs. El Cigala’s version is our favorite.
Diego El Cigala in New York City
Diego El Cigala brings his “Obras Maestras” Tour of classic Latin American love songs to The Town Hall in Midtown, Manhattan; on Friday, October 13, 2023 at 8pm. From $79. thetownhall.org 🇪🇸 🇩🇴
Flamenco and Latin Music Go Together Hand in Hand
Spanish guitar, African rhythm, and Indigenous percussion in Cuba are the Spanish/African/Indigenous roots of what we call Latin music today.
Latin musics blend naturally with flamenco because it is a return to roots. Rumba is Afro-Cuban. Tango is Italian-Argentine with an Afro-Uruguayan root. Both rumba and tango blend beautifully with flamenco.
Diego El Cigala
Ramón Jiménez Salazar was born in Madrid, Spain on December 27, 1968. His father was a flamenco performer.
His nickname “El Cigala” means cicada. He is said to have received the nickname for his powerful voice, like the insect’s.
When he was twelve years old, Salazar won a flamenco competition and a prize on a Spanish TV show that launched his career.
After supporting many renowned flamenco artists, El Cigala went solo in 1997 with “Undebel.” He recorded a few albums including a live album at Madrid’s Teatro Real.
Lágrimas negras won the 2014 Latin Grammy for Traditional Tropical Album.
Picasso en mis ojos won the 2006 Latin Grammy for Best Flamenco Album.
Cigala & Tango won the 2011 Latin Grammy for Best Tango Album.
Romance de la Luna Tucumana won the 2013 Latin Grammy for Best Tango Album.
In Indestructible. He takes on la salsa.
In September 2023, El Cigala released “Obras Maestras” a flamenco album of Latin American love songs.
He now lives in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic because La Republica is cool and you can easily fly around the world from Punta Cana.
El Cigala at Carnegie Hall
May 8, 2015 ~ El Cigala brings his Latin Grammy winning album Romance de la luna Tucuman tour to Carnegie Hall in Midtown, Manhattan at 8pm.
I was really blown away by this concert. The relationship between a colonizer and its former colonies can be challenging. We love our Hispanic heritage, but hate what the colonizers did to us.
El Cigala, the Spaniard, sings of the Americas with love. The people love him back. They didn’t want to let him leave the stage. I’ve never seen anyone connect so powerfully with an audience on the Carnegie Hall stage. ¡Bravo!
To learn more about El Cigala, visit elcigala.com