Hear the lyrics, feel the rhythm
Ole Festival presents new Spanish and Latin American music
9 September, 2017
Maria Arnal and Marsel Bages
Josemi Carmona and Javier Colina
The second edition of Ole Festival in Sofia will present new music from Spain and Latin America, organisers from the Instituto Cervantes-Sofia announced. Performers offering a new take on traditional Spanish and Latin American music will visit the Bulgarian capital for a series of three concerts.
First, on 20 September in Sofia Live Club, the stage will take Paco de Lucia’s saxophone player Jorge Pardo and his quintet with the programme of his new project Djinn. Pardo’s music knows no stylistic bounds. He is known as one of the originators of the Iberian jazz genre with flamenco influences – a trademark of this virtuoso musician. With all of Pardo’s honours and awards, one of his biggest recognitions is the title of Best European Jazz Musician, bestowed upon him by the French Jazz Academy. Both critics and audiences have learned to expect the unexpected from him. In his project, Djinn Metaflamenco, Pardo uses flamenco as foundation, drawing inspiration from the essence of this style, while lending it a modern sound with an overall jazz mood and urban touches. A range of colours and shapes are woven through the music picture painted by Pardo’s creative freedom and bold brushstroke. He makes richly nuanced music, profound and elevated in its substance.
The second concert, scheduled for 18 October, will be given by the breakthrough duet of 2016 – singer Maria Arnal and guitarist Marsel Bages. They will present their debut album 45 Cerebros y 1 Corazon (45 Brains and 1 Heart), which has earned prestigious awards, such as Premi Ciutat de Barcelona de Musica, and has been voted Time Out readers’ favourite work. The talented vocalist and the remarkable guitarist are from Catalonia and continue the line of presenting pop music in the best way, by creating original songs with samples from authentic archive records from across the Iberian Peninsula. The title 45 Cerebros y 1 Corazon comes from an eponymous track on the record, spurred by the news of a mass grave unearthing, dating back to the Spanish Civil War (La Pedraja in Burgos).
On 26 October, flamenco guitarist Josemi Carmona and contrabass player Javier Colina are set to present their project De Cerca. The two brilliant artists set out on a musical journey through the world of jazz and flamenco, all the while having a natural dialogue in different music languages. With deep flamenco overtones and unique jazz sound, Carmona’s guitar and Colina’s bass meet in an exquisite exploration of a vast repertoire. Beloved songs from Latin America coexist with Josemi Carmona’s elegant compositions and some jazz standards. Their performance is both powerful and delicate. The musicians weave stories of sad truths, love and long nights filled with music, flamenco tangos and farruca, as well as Astor Piazzolla pieces. De Cerca is Granada and America, flamenco and jazz. The magnificent Bandolero is the percussionist in this project.
Besides these concerts, the Ole Festival’s programme will also feature Spanish films dedicated to music and dance. On four consecutive Sundays at the House of Cinema, starting on 17 September, and every Tuesday in October at the Instituto Cervantes, viewers will have the chance to see a special selection of titles – Carlos Saura’s Flamenco, Flamenco; La Chana directed by Lucija Stojevic; Sacromonte, los sabios de la tribu (Sacromonte. The Wise of the Tribe) directed by Chus Gutierrez and Chico and Rita directed by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal.