For eight years the Mas i Mas Festival has been adding rhythm to the warmest days of the year. This edition’s festival, which kicks off on 29 July with a performance by the Malian diva Rokia Traoré, has programmed over 160 concerts to suit all tastes with world music, flamenco, classical and electronica.
Among all that will be going on, one concert stands out, the Plaça Reial tribute to the city’s most iconic jazz club, the Jamboree, which is 50 this year. Musicians like Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald and Ornette Coleman have been here, so jazz will be the star of this free concert on Monday 30 August, starting at 6 pm.
The Big Acoustic Band, the best national jazz outfit, and WTF All Stars, the musicians that liven up the WTF Jam Sessions every Monday at the club, will have the job of bringing the Jamboree out into the light in Plaça Reial.
Appearing at the Mas i Mas Festival besides Rokia Traoré will be Flavio Rodríguez, Lucrecia and Sole Giménez, accompanied by the saxophonist Perico Sambeat. This last recital will close the festival on 1 September at the Palau de la Música.
The inclusion of the Palau de la Música as a festival stage is one of the new features of the eighth Mas i Mas Festival. There the chamber music room will hold three latin and jazz concerts a day.
In all the festival will have seven stages around the city. La Pedrera once again provides the stage for classical music, with three concerts a day, while flamenco will be based at the Tarantos, with six sessions a day, and electronica at the Moog. The Auditori will open the festival and there will also be concerts at Luz de Gas and the Jamboree.
All those people who say nothing happens in Barcelona in August have got it all wrong!
Plan Magistral, their first album, recalls the best in Anglo-Saxon pop rock as well as the indie music scene. As they work on new songs, Víctor Garcia Barriocanal, the lead singer, and Rocky Otto, the keyboard player, tell us how they’ll be including new sounds, such as flamenco, jazz, blues and classical music, as the Barcelona band’s five members take their inspiration from a large and varied range of influences.
Having gone through a “traumatic experience” with a big label, Sweater’s members are keen defenders of self-management and opted for the do-it-yourself approach with their first album, which they produced themselves. It’s a formula they’re sure to follow in the future.
Impeccable sound and detailed, well-crafted lyrics make up the credentials of a group who attach as much importance to their music as they do to their words.
They started off singing in English, but now they sing in Spanish to be “true” to themselves and their audiences, and don’t rule out writing songs in Catalan. And that is because, they tell us, they do what and how they want.