Major Spanish flamenco music and dance artists will take part in the 8th Flamenco Festival five-country tour, which starts Feb. 6 in Los Angeles and ends May 25 in Brussels.

The full bill for this year's festival was unveiled today (Jan. 14) at Madrid museum/cultural centre Casa de America, with more than 30 artists present. The line-up of artists varies from city to city.

The North American leg of Flamenco Festival, whose artists include several gold and platinum-selling singers, takes in New York Feb. 8-24 (Town Hall, New York City Center, Lincoln Center's Dizzy Club, and Skirball Theater), Washington Feb. 9-15 (Lisner Auditorium), Miami Feb. 7-9 (Carnival Center), Los Angeles Feb. 6-7 (UCLA), Boston Feb. 9-10 (Emerson Majestic Theater), and Montreal, Canada Feb. 20 (Maissonnueve Theater).

The European leg of the Festival continues in London March 3-16 (Sadler's Wells), Paris April 9-20 (Theatre National de Chaillot), and Brussels May 16-25 (Palais des Beaux Arts).

Flamenco Festival visited China (Shanghai and Beijing), Hong Kong and Australia in the Fall, and will visit China again later this year. Festival artistic director Miguel Marin says: "since its first visit to New York eight years ago, Festival Flamenco has become the world's biggest flamenco event, and our aim is to open new routes and to introduce new non-Spanish speaking countries to this traditional music and dance."

The artists taking part include DRO/Warner Spain artist Diana Navarra, whose 2005 debut "No Te Olvides De Mi" sold more than 250,000 units and earned her a Latin Grammy nomination. She mixes flamenco and related-style copla with pop and Middle East and Celtic rhythms. Other major flamenco acts playing are EMI Spain artist Estrella Morente (Paris only, April 16), daughter of revered Spanish flamenco singer Enrique Morente, and Warner artist Concha Buika (London only, Mar 14). Other established flamenco singers taking part include Carmen Linares (Universal Spain) and Miguel Poveda (Discmedi).

The festival has the active support of the culture ministry's National Institute of Music and Scenic Arts, whose director general Juan Carlos Marset says: "From my travels, I know that in many parts of the world they want to see and listen to Spanish flamenco -- they don't want to hear about contemporary music, just flamenco."