While traditionally a guitar-based genre, there is a new branch on the flamenco family tree.

Nuevo flamenco is a progressive variation of traditional music that stretches stylistic boundaries and incorporates a variety of instruments including flutes, strings, percussion instruments, pianos and more. While deeply rooted in the vibrant and emotionally-charged flamenco traditions, flamenco nuevo filters the music of the past through the lens of today. Flamenco nuevo pianist Rosario Montoya, who performs in Mountain View on July 15 and San Jose on July 16, is a master of the modern flamenco style.

A musical sensation in her native Spain, Montoya has a keen and thorough understanding of traditional flamenco styles as well as a clear vision of flamenco’s evolving place in world music. A passionate and dedicated virtuoso of the keys, Montoya plays with a fiery grace that transfixes audiences and transports them into a realm of musical timelessness where complex rhythms, dynamic melodies and raw emotion reside.

Known as La Reina Gitana (the Gypsy Queen), Montoya is the first woman of gypsy heritage to be granted the title of professor of piano and piano instruction on a national level. An astonishingly talented, technically proficient and expressive artist, Montoya’s compositions both contribute to the vast well of traditional flamenco music and help to further its reach; introducing the 18th century style to a worldwide audience.

Touring in support of her latest album, 88 Keys of Passion, Montoya is welcomed to the area by the Flamenco Society of San Jose, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and teaching the Spanish flamenco arts including dance, song and guitar. She performs with her group from Jerez, Spain that includes dancer Rocio Romero and percussionist Pakito “El Aspirina.”

Rosario Montoya performs on Friday, July 15 at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts and on Saturday, July 16 at the Historic Hoover Theatre in San Jose.

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