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University of Colorado Boulder

Frets on fire: Paco Peña brings “Flamenco Vivo” to Boulder

Paco Pena flamenco guitarist

Paco Pena flamenco guitarist

Virtuoso composer and performer brings guitar, song and dance to Macky Feb. 14

BOULDER, Colo. — When Paco Peña plays flamenco guitar, it’s hard not to wonder if there aren’t  a few more guitarists hidden behind a curtain nearby. He’s that fast and that good. No wonder he’s been named Best Flamenco Artist of the Year five times by America’s Guitar magazine.

But Peña’s “Flamenco Vivo,” which comes to Macky Auditorium Feb. 14 as part of CU Presents’ Artist Series, offers much more than a concert by one of the world’s top flamenco guitarists. Vocalists, percussionists and dancers also will set the stage afire with a fast-moving performance created by Peña — an evening of pure passion for Valentine’s Day.

“This modest virtuoso … can hold an audience spellbound on his own,” says The New York Times. “But he surrounds himself with artists of similar caliber and lets them shine.”

“Flamenco Vivo” interweaves the complexities of flamenco’s rapid-fire guitar and impassioned song and dance. The production also offers a deep look into a captivating Spanish art form with roots in the 16th century and influenced by the music of Roma (Gypsies), Jewish, Moorish and Andalusians.

The performance will mark the first time Peña has performed in Boulder and will coincide with the College of Music’s first international classical guitar competition Feb. 14-16.

“It’s very exciting that Paco Peña is coming to the Artist Series,” says CU College of Music guitar instructor Nicolo Spera.

WHAT: Paco Peña’s “Flamenco Vivo” sponsored by the Daily Camera, Hotel Boulderado, Hurdle’s Jewelry and KUVO

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14

WHERE: Macky Auditorium, University of Colorado Boulder campus

ETC.: There will be a pre-concert conversation at 6:45 p.m. with guitarist, composer and College of Music graduate student Steve Mullins in Macky Room 102

TICKETS: $14 and up; go to or call 303-492-8008

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