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Cristian Amigo is a New York City-based American/Latino composer, blues guitarist, and producer who explores connections between art (classical and free jazz) music and Latin American and American popular and roots musics. Known as an acoustic and electric guitarist, and improviser, Amigo composes music for chamber ensembles, rock bands, opera, theater, installation, and film. He performs his music in various groups including Deep Ecology Trio (with JD Parran and Andrew Drury) and Kingdom of Jones. Amigo’s compositions are characterized by the use of freely tonal and extended techniques, a foregrounding of timbre and dynamics, and free movement between multitemporal planes including psychological time. Amigo describes himself as, “a post- bop blues guitarist.”
Amigo’s awards include a 2016-2019 Fulbright Scholar/Artist Fellowship, a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in music composition, and the Van Lier Fellowship from Meet the Composer. He has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and has studied theory, composition, and performance with masters from various world music traditions including Vincent Bredice (jazz), Kenny Burrell (jazz), Bruce Holzman (classical guitar), Harihar Rao (Hindustani music) Carlos Hayre (Afro- Peruvian and criollo music), Randy Woolf (orchestration), and Wadada Leo Smith (composition). 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 teaches music at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning.
His work has also been supported and/or produced by organizations including the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Knitting Factory (LA), BET, Playboy Jazz Festival, Vision Festival, MicroFEST NYC, BIRDFest (Amsterdam), Brooklyn Museum, Flea Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, PUBLIC Theater, Rattlestick Theater, Ma-Yi Theater Company, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), New York City Opera, Jerome Foundation, American Composers Forum, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), New York State Music Fund, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Danish Arts Council, Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, LAByrinth Theater Company, José Limón Dance Company, Sundance Institute’s Film Composer Labs, UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance (APPEX) , CSI(CUNY) Foundation, ASK Playwright/Composer Labs, Durfee Foundation, Teatro del Pueblo (Minneapolis), Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.), INTAR Theater, Oslo Elsewhere, Atlantic Theater, Brava Theater (San Francisco), Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center, New Dramatists, 59E59, Making Books Sing, The Coterie, El Paper Magazine, White Fungus, La Peña de Berkeley, 3-Legged Dog, Inner-City Arts (LA), Teatro del Pueblo (Minneapolis), Frank Sinatra High School for the Performing Arts, UCLA, USF, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Stanislaus, CSU Northridge, University of Oregon, Bates College, CSU San Diego, UC Riverside, NYU, and CSI (CUNY).
Amigo has collaborated with hundreds of music, theater, and dance artists (and poets) including the current Poet Laureate of the United States Juan Felipe Herrera, Elliott Sharp, Bern Nix, J.D. Parran, Carlos Hayre, JACK Quartet, The John Cage Big Band, jill sigman/thinkdance, Wadada Leo Smith, Hans Tammen, Jason Kao Hwang, Miguel Frasconi, Justo Almario, Hans Zimmer, Mark Mancina, Narada Michael Walden, Alice Tuan, Kevin Mambo, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Alexis Marcelo, Patrick Grant, Angela Babin, Kristin Norderval, Royce Vavrek, Lauren Worsham, Migdalia Cruz, Eve Beglarian, Mary Rowell, Martin Tillman, Michael John Garces, Lou Moreno, David Anzuelo, and Renato Rosaldo.