Diego El Cigala triumphs at Zellerbach

Posted on Nov 3, 2011

The anticipation was high at Zellerbach Auditorium for the debut of the renowned flamenco vocalist Diego El Cigala at the Bay Area Flamenco Festival.  The lines at the box office were so backed up due to an internal snafu that caused the show to start one hour late.

However, once the long haired and bearded El Cigala stepped on stage and started to sing, the crowd who hassled to get in the show thawed out as he took them under his spell.  His distinctive voice was as grand as were his hand gestures which he used to direct the band.  His group consisted of exceptional players such as guitarist Diego Del Morao (son of Flamenco guitar legend Moraito), pianist Jaime Calabuch Jumitus, bassist/vocalist Yelsy Heredia, percussionist Sabu Porrina and violinist Bernardo Parrilla.   They joined Cigala in different configurations from duo to full band to perform the variety of flamenco, tango and boleros that was presented that evening.

Cigala sang captivating versions of great songs such as his classic version of “Lagrimas Negras” from his 2003 Grammy award collaboration with Bebo Valdes.  El Cigala gave so much of himself during this performance displaying both the strength and tenderness of his expressive voice.  He was touched by the Bay Area audience who cheered him on and brought him back on for 3 encores.  What a phenomenal show!