• Diego Amador

On Thursday evening the Chicago Flamenco Festival kicks off with a performance by Diego Amador‘s trio at Instituto Cervantes. His group, which also includes drummer Israel Varela and bassist Julián Heredia, will play again at the same time and same venue on Friday night. He hails from Sevilla—he’s part of a big flamenco family—and he started out playing the guitar. When he first began performing professionally, though, it was on the drums, as a member of Pata Negra, a popular flamenco-rock group and a key part of the nuevo flamenco movement during the 80s. Amador emerged as a solo artist in the mid-90s, by which time he’d moved out from behind the drums, playing mainly piano rather than guitar.