Cristian Puig will be celebrating not only flamenco this Saturday night, April 28, when he perform’s in Berdole’s “Emocion” at the Emory Performing Arts Studio, but also his new citizenship.

Puig, the Argentine born flamenco guitarist and composer, became a U.S. citizen last week. Puig’s parents moved to Argentina from Spain during the Spanish Civil War. His father also played the guitar and his mother, whose father was a flamenco musician from the gypsy tradition, was a a singer. Puig explains that flamenco music is part gypsy music, which had both Indian and Jewish origins, and folkloric music from Spain’s Andalusia region.

As in southern Spain there is a big flamenco community in his homeland of Argentina. Puig says that flamenco and the tango are similar in their lyrical traditions but very different in their rhythmic structures.

For Puig, flamenco is divided into two periods, before and after flamenco master Paco de Lucia, who took traditional flamenco into the arena of world music and jazz collaborating with greats like Chick Corea and Al DiMeola. Puig has been inspired to pursue musical collaboration with blues, jazz and Bangladeshi musicians. He says that flamenco can transform old standards like “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Summertime.”

For his Saturday performance, “Emocion,” at Emory’s Performing Art’s Studio Puig wil be joined by Spanish flamenco singer El Gambimbas, master percussionist Emrah Kotan (head of world percussion at Agnes Scott College and currently touring with Jennifer Holiday) and dancers Carlos Menchaca, Marilla Quevedo and “Julie Moon.”

Free parking is available and the Performing Arts Studio is located at 1804 N. Decatur Rd. The event is sponsored by Berdole Productions. Find out more information at

Franklin Abbott is an Atlanta psychotherapist, writer and musician.