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41st edition of the Voll-Damm Jazz FestivalRunning until December 6th, this is one of Barcelona's biggest music festivals and brings together artists from around the world to celebrate jazz in all its forms
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Concha Buika and Chucho ValdésPerforming on November 5th, Mallorcan jazz singer Concha Buika pays homage to Chavela Vargas in her latest album 'El último trago', recorded in Havana with the Chucho Valdés quartet and which reinterprets the famous compositions of VargasConcha Buika; November 5th, 9.30pm; Palau de la Música Catalana; €25 to €54
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Kings of ConvenienceNorwegian band that has won plaudits for its gentle folk and pop sounds, and been compared to Belle and Sebastian as well as Simon and Garfunkel. Kings of Convenience; November 6th, 9pm; Palau de la Música Catalana; €18 to €42
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Brad Mehldau TrioPianist Mehldau leads this threesome that has already established quite a reputation for itself with its Palau de la Música performances. Brad Mehldau Trio; November 10th, 9pm; Palau de la Música Catalana; €22 to €48
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Imelda MayDubliner Imelda May cut her musical teeth performing in pubs around her native city and arrives in Barcelona having already caused quite a stir on the world jazz scene despite the fact that she has just the one album to her name, so far.Imelda May; November 21st, 9pm; Luz de Gas; €24
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NoaRegular Barcelona visitor, the Israeli singer Noa returns to Catalunya following her recent controversy-creating performance on September 11th to sing at two out-of-town venues as part of the Voll-Damm Jazz Festival. Noa; November 26th, 9pm; Teatre-Auditori Sant Cugat; €38; November 27th, 10pm; Atrium, Viladecans; €30-€35
The theme of this year’s International Jazz Festival is Kind of Blue, the iconic Miles Davis album that appeared 50 years ago. Legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb and his So What band, featuring Wallace Roney on trumpet and Buster Williams on bass, pay tribute to the classic recording at the Palau de la Música on November 7th. Jimmy Cobb is the only remaining survivor of the original recording and this concert promises to be very special indeed. Other tributes include the excellent pianist from Cádiz, Chano Dominguez, paying flamenco-style homage to Kind of Blue; for the afro-Cuban version see multi-instrumentalist Omar Sosa with guest trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez. Accomplished bassist Marcus Miller will revisit the 1986 album Tutu, which Davis wrote and produced, as well as playing most of the instruments.
To kick the whole thing off in style, the official inauguration of the festival will feature Wayne Shorter and his all-star quartet on October 28th in the Auditori. Leader of Seventies’ band Weather Report and an international jazz star in his own right (he composed tunes such as ‘Footprints’ and ‘Witch Hunt’), Shorter recently celebrated his 76th birthday and claims that at his age he likes to go towards the unknown—“to hell with the rules!” This is serious jazz for real jazz heads, and promises to be a rich musical experience and an invigorating start to the festival.
Other highlights include Béla Fleck, one of the best banjo players around, returning three years after his last appearance when he played a breathtaking duo concert with Chick Corea. Brad Mehldau also returns. He used to live in Barcelona and play the jazz scene here before moving to New York and international stardom. His performances are always exceptional. Another great pianist who is no stranger to Barcelona is five-time Grammy award winner Chucho Valdés, son of the late Bebo Valdés.
If singing is more your cup of jazz, enjoy the vocal talents of Cassandra Wilson, Sole Gimenéz or up-and-coming Dublin singer, Imelda May. Whatever your preference, you’re bound to find music this year that you love. Nice!
41 Voll-Damm Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona
October 18th to December 6th
NB. The first event takes place on October 18th at 12pm in Parc Central de Poblenou, with a free concert by the Big Band de l'Esmuc; the next event is the official inauguration concert by Wayne Shorter