Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Meet The Composer award-winning guitarist, composer, sound artist/designer, producer, and educator Cristian Amigo plays contemporary blues, free jazz, r&b, dub, rock, and new music with an open ear and an expansive mind. For Amigo, the blues and jazz are the “source of American popular music,” and constitute the formal foundation of his electric and acoustic guitar sound. Inspired by music from country blues to hard bop, Chicago electric blues to r&b, and from London to Mali to NYC to Bolivia, Amigo draws inspiration from classic artists such as Miles, Mingus, Monk, and Hendrix, while being committed to new blues paths both abstract and popular.
Amigo earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and studied with Kenny Burrell, Wadada Leo Smith, Cheik Tidiane Seck, Harihar Rao, Randy Wolff, and Bern Nix.
Amigo has collaborated with hundreds of artists including Grammy, Pulitzer, Oscar, Emmy, and MacArthur genius winners (see name drop list). The 2012 New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Oxford Press) contains an entry on Amigo and his music. Recent performances include the NYC Latin FreeJazz Festival, Vision Festival, NYC Alternative Guitar Festival, and The World Festival of Sacred Music (LA). He is currently composer-in-residence at INTAR Latino Theater in New York City and on a Fulbright (2017-19), teaching theory and improvisation at UMSS and Pua Escuela de Rock in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He is currently artist-in-residence @ INTAR Latino Theatre in NYC and Adjunct Assistant Professor @ BMCC (CUNY)
THE SIMPLE PATH
Based on his Fulbright teaching in Bolivia (2016-19), Amigo is currently developing the bilingual (English and Spanish) on-line guitar/theory lessons The Simple Path with the Pua Escuela de Rock in Cochabamba, Bolivia and back home in NYC. The Simple Path uses a few simple tools (pentatonic minor scale, triads) to give intermediate to advanced guitarists immediate access to all the new and altered sounds, or “colors” (a la George Benson) available on the guitar, with techniques they already know.
” Guitarist-composer Cristian Amigo straddles the contemporary-classical, improv and rock worlds; no wonder he calls his Kingdom of Jones a “new music jam-band.” During any given performance, Messiaen grapples with Led Zeppelin while Perez Prado teaches Stravinsky to mambo.”
– TIME OUT NEW YORK
“ I kind of hate myself for digging this abrasive clatter [War is Good for Business] because it’s galaxies away from my Beatles- and Beethoven-forged sense of composition. But it rocks real hard against its orchestra of bloops and bleeps, and then breaks down to a mournful sound collage. A great theme for Halliburton’s symphony of opportunism.
– GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE
“Cristian Amigo is an excellent creative artist, guitarist and composer whose works reflect his concern with tradition and innovation in creative music in America.”
– WADADA LEO SMITH (AACM composer/trumpeter)