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"You've got to have the duende?" asks flamenco star Vicente Amigo in disbelief, before explaining that it cannot simply be possessed. "I open my doors to the duende, but no one can fix up a time for it to come on stage."
The duende Amigo is referring to is the elusive musical muse that can fire up a flamenco performance while defying precise explanation.
"The duende comes when it feels like it," says Amigo. "Never knowing what will happen is what removes the boredom, it's the factor that generates the anxiety and challenge (of performing), and what ultimately makes it all worthwhile."
Thirty-five-year-old Amigo is a Latin Grammy-winning guitarist associated with a younger generation of flamenco artists whose music has been given the convenient label "nuevo flamenco" (new flamenco).
While the fresh sound of …