The Rambla is dolling itself up for its annual festival from 1 to 10 October. Coinciding with the Mare de Déu del Roser festivities there will be all kinds of events taking place on this iconic avenue.
Since 1962, the Friends of the Rambla Association has been awarding honours to people and associations that have shown their love for the Rambla and paid special attention to the avenue in their personal, professional or association-based lives. Hotel 1898, located in La Rambla 109, is an active member of this association.
This year’s winners include Federico Mayor Zaragoza, one of the leading supporters of the Rambla’s bid to become a World Heritage Site, the Jamboree, for its contribution towards raising the level of the city’s jazz scene and boosting the cultural activities going on around the avenue, and Maria Dolors Álvarez, for the 26 years she has given to the Friends of the Rambla Association.
Next Sunday 10 of October, on the final day of the festival, any women among you named Roser are in luck because there will be a special performance of the “Mètode Grönholm” at the Poliorama theatre, where they and their companions will enjoy a 20% discount.
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!
Music, children’s shows, literary circles, workshops, wine tasting sessions: all this and much more can be found in Plaça Reial, thanks to Plaça Reial ens mou, an initiative that aims to broaden the range of cultural and leisure activities on offer in this iconic Barcelona square.
Roberto Tierz, who is the president of the Plaça Reial Friends and Traders Association, says the idea is for “the people of Barcelona to rediscover the Plaça Reial and enjoy the square“.
December saw “Raval Kids” and they have also started the Sunday mornings for children, with puppet shows, magic, storytelling and circus acts at the sala Tarantos. Since February they have been offering 30 minutes of jazz, to suit everybody, on Sunday mornings in sala Jamboree. What’s more, when the good weather arrives, there will be some open air activities, like musical aperitifs, to encourage music on the terraces.
La Reial ens mou also wants to make the most of the square’s gastronomic side and has therefore organised tea, coffee and wine tasting, led by tasters and wine experts, in the square’s bars and restaurants.
In short, the big aim is “the ‘reconquest’ of the square, for people to return to a square that has a great deal to offer and is a great unknown in the city“.
If you would like to know all the activities and events that the Plaça Reial Friends and Traders Association will organize with the new initiative, please visit the La Reial website.
A characteristic feature of this festival, which came about as the winter version of Primavera Sound, has been to invite back bands who were a success at the May festival.
They’ve always said that the natural environment of any musician is a concert hall. Maybe that’s the reason why this year’s Primavera Club, the fourth, has opted to spread itself round the city’s main concert venues.
Apolo, Apolo , Bikini, Sidecar, Jamboree, Monasterio and La Nau are also Primavera Club venues where, between 9 and 13 December, about sixty groups will be appearing. You needn’t worry about its stages being spread out like this as lots of bands will be playing several times at different venues, so you won’t miss the ones you are interested in.
So, this year, there will be a chance to see again The Pastels, The Ladybug Transistor and Sr. Chinarro, among others. Jeffrey Lewis is just one of the artists on the bill who’ll be going down well right from the start. This comic illustrator, along with a band who have disappeared from the map, Moldy Peaches, is one of the most faithful representatives of the New York anti-folk scene.
The list of groups we can recommend is long: Port O’Brien, The Black Heart Procession, Cass McCombs, etc. But, above all, don’t miss the groups from over here.
Of course, besides neofolk guru Banhart, we can meet some old acquaintances at Primavera Club with new music projects. Such is the case with Alan Sparhawk, one half of the Low duo, who is playing here with the Retribution Gospel Choir, who have more guitars and make more noise than Low.
Another well-established musician is Kid Congo Powers, who has belonged to bands like The Gun Club, The Cramps, The Bad Seeds and Die Haut. He is coming to Primavera Club with a new band, The Pink Monkey Birds.
The Barcelona International Jazz Festival will be paying homage to the album ‘Kind of Blue’, by the trumpet player and composer ‘Miles Davis’, considered the most important work in this musical style.
Released 50 years ago, the album is one of the great musical works of all time and is still a touchstone in Jazz today.
Also taking part in the festival will be Wayne Shorter, a member of the Miles Davis quintet during the 1960s, and Marcus Miller, who co-composed the legendary Tutu’ album with Miles, as well as great female singers like Cassandra Wilson and Concha Buika.
This time the festival, which will taking place from 18 October to 6 December, will be flooding the city with a record number of concerts – over 70 – and a stellar one to finish with at one of the most legendary halls in North American jazz, the New York Jazz Standard.
The concerts will be performed at fifteen different venues, including the Auditori, Luz de Gas, Jamboree, Palau de la Música and Harlem Jazz Club.