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Once he was just flamenco and now Cigala is a whole lot more

  • Published in Music

Diego el Cigala sings various genres of music at The Music Center of Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTODiego el Cigala sings various genres of music at The Music Center of Strathmore.  COURTESY PHOTO  Ask people the key component in flamenco, and they’ll likely say, dance. Experts will reply that dance is only one of five elements – and singing is another.

One who illustrates the centrality of singing in flamenco is Diego el Cigala, who will appear at The Music Center of Strathmore, under the co-sponsorship of Strathmore and Washington Performing Arts.

Becoming a flamenco singer was a foregone conclusion.

“It was never a conscious decision,” el Cigala said. “I am a flamenco singer since I can remember. I won my first contest at 11 or 12 years old and started to work really early, so there was never a moment where I said: ‘Now I am going to be a singer.’”

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Israel’s Idan Raichel in ‘stripped-down’ show sings and plays piano

  • Published in Music

Idan Raichel, on solo tour, has since shed his turban and dreadlocks.  COURTESY PHOTOIdan Raichel, on solo tour, has since shed his turban and dreadlocks. COURTESY PHOTOIsraeli world-music superstar Idan Raichel has undergone a transformation.

Gone are his signature dreadlocks and black turban. At least for a while, The Raichel Project he founded – incorporating performers and sounds from many different backgrounds – has taken a backseat.

Instead Raichel has gone on tour, performing a “stripped-down” show of songs and personal stories, jumping from acoustic to electric piano and percussion instruments.

One stop on the tour is The Music Center at Strathmore, where he appears Thursday, Feb. 22.

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Strathmore Music Center gets $10 million tune up

xStrathmore renovation rendering 2Artist's conception for the renovation at Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTO  

The Music Center at Strathmore will undergo a $10 million renovation that will enable concertgoers to enjoy dinner at the Bethesda venue but will not change at all the concert hall. 

When the Center celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2020, the Montgomery County venue that features concerts by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic, the Washington Performing Arts and many popular musicians will be 5,000 square feet larger.

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