The Sounds of Chicago’s Flamenco: An interview with Chiara Mangiameli of Idilio

Chiara Mangiameli

Flamenco is a cultural phenomenon with its roots in the migration and experiences of peoples. On this program of Chicago is the World, we interview Chiara Mangiameli and learn more about the artist, her group Idilio and the beauty that is known as Flamenco.

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Chiara Mangiameli:
A graduate of The Theater School at De Paul University, Chiara Mangiameli is an accomplished performer, flamenco singer and dancer. She is co-founder of the contemporary flamenco trio Idilio which recently released its self-titled debut album, a collaborator with Clinard Dance Theatre and the world music ensemble Las Guitarras De España.
Furthermore, Chiara has performed with the Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater in Warsaw, Poland alongside guitarist and singer José Cortés “Panzekito.”

She has studied flamenco singing and dance in Seville Spain with the likes of Carmen Gamero, Emilio Cabello Real, and Yolanda Heredia among others, as well as with Michelle Nascimento “La Caoba,” her first teacher.
In 2008 she was awarded one of twenty five positions in Jacobs Pillow first ever flamenco workshop, studying intensely under Soledad Barrio and members of Noche Flamenca.

In addition to teaching classes at Flamenco Arts Center, Chiara has been invited to teach workshops and give educational presentations at institutions such as State Street Dance Studio in Geneva IL, Indiana Ballet Theater, and the University Of Illinois at Chicago.

Idilio was formed in 2008 by singer/dancer Chiara Mangiameli, guitarist Diego Alonso, and percussionist Kassandra Kocoshis in the heart of Chicago. The group performs contemporary flamenco music composed by its members as well as innovative interpretations of traditional flamenco songs. Influenced greatly by their upbringing and education, Idilio writes and arranges flamenco music with subtle jazz, pop, and rock influences appealing to musicians and non-musicians alike.  Soon after their debut performances in 2008, the band began developing a growing and loyal fan base and started performing in venues around Chicago and the mid-west. By the middle of 2009 they recorded their debut album entitled “Idilio.”

The groups live performances and CD exhibit energetic and sensual flamenco melodies with powerful dynamics and exciting rhythmic interplay.  Idilio’s repertoire includes contemporary pieces such as Margherita (a flamenco interpretation of a popular Italian song), Onde del Pacifico (a flamenco-jazz-pop piece co-composed by Carlo Basile and Chiara Mangiameli), jazz standards “a la flamenco,” as well as traditional flamenco pieces such as an emotional “malagueña y abandolaos” and a high-energy “tangos” with Arabic percussion.


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