Música Mercè: festival and diversity
The La Mercè Music Festival will be reflecting, more than ever, on Barcelona’s diversity and cultural vitality; the various accents and rhythms running through it and its artistic interest, attentive to new voices and trends, while staying true to the city’s identity.
Música Mercè will be giving us entertainment and protest, dance music and experimental music, established artists and emerging talent. Offerings from our shores (Barcelona, Catalonia, Valencia) and beyond, from Chile to Israel, Angola, Colombia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and, of course, Ukraine, which is visiting La Mercè to give us a taste of their music in the flesh.
Women will be in the majority on the programme, for the first time, which is opening new time slots and venues all around the city. Selma Bruna, Meritxell Nedermann, Lia Kali, Ile, Sabina Witt, Tarta Relena and Pongo are just a few of the notable names on the bill, together with the Valencians Carles Dénia and Albert Sanz, Perrate, Lalo López Limited Orchestra, Spice Berberechos and Hip Horns Brass Collective & Escandaloso Xposito.
The Teatre Grec will be playing host to combat hip hop from Ile (Puerto Rico) and to afrobeat and kuduro from Pongo (Angola); to folk and roots music from the Ukrainian group DakhaBrakha, to electronica from Marina Herlop, and to contemporary folk from Tarta Relena, Cocanha and Los Sara Fontán and to tropicalism, soul-funk and indie from the Brazilian collective Bala Desejo.
Els Jardins del Doctor Pla i Armengol, in Guinardó, will be the venue for groups created at the Conservatori del Liceu, the ESMUC, the Taller de Músics and the Big Band Jam Session Escola de Música, young and refreshing sounds; as well as neosoul from Bikôkô, intimate pop from Adriano Gal ante, electronica from the Ukrainian Maryana Klochko, songs from the Argentinian singer-songwriter Juan Quintero, modern jazz from Albert Sanz Grup (where, for the first time in his career, the famous Valencia pianist will also be singing) and electronica poetry from Sabina Witt.
Nou Barris District headquarters will be playing host to the city’s big symphonic groups, the Barcelona Municipal Music Band, the OBC – Barcelona Symphony and Catalan National Orchestra and the Gran Teatre del Liceu Symphony Orchestra and Choir, to a large orchestra, that of the social-integration project VOZES, which, together with the young saxophonist and singer Eva Fernández, will be offering a jazz concert. Lucía Pulido will also be giving a performance there, with her offering of traditional Latin-American music, jazz and cumbia, while the Cuban Roly Berrío will be rounding off the programme in Nou Barris with Latin sounds and music.
La Ciutadella will be giving Passeig dels Til·lers over to a diverse programme, with the DJ set Daria Kolomiec (Ukraine), the explosive Els Senyora, electro pop and Persian music from Liraz (Israel – Iran), flamenco-jazz from Spice Berberechos (with Carles Dénia and Mélodie Gimard) and jazz, funk and hip hop from Hip Horns Brass Collective & Escandaloso Xpósito.
Avinguda de la Catedral, on the other hand, will be the venue for special productions including Rumba All Star, a community, multicultural and integrating, egalitarian and diverse festival, paying tribute to the Catalan rumba with several generations of rumberes; and a concert bringing together two of the cantaores or flamenco singers with the biggest profiles at present, Barcelona-based Anna Colom and the Andalusian Ángeles Toledano, who will be presenting their latest recordings. Avinguda de la Catedral will also be treating us to contemporary flamenco, from Perrate (Utrera), and disco-funk from Lalo López Limited Orchestra.
Aperitifs, radios and beach
The Escenari Medierrràniament on Bogatell beach will be offering a top-notch night, featuring the city’s groups and artists. Electrorap from BOYE will be opening a programme for dancing and enjoying music right by the sea, as well as pop from Ginestà and Vicco. Bogatell beach will be playing host, on the other hand, as part of the Els 40 concert, to urban rock from Sexenni, folk and rock from Suu, pop rock from Dani Fernández and pop and folk from Els Catarres.
There will also be that most genuinely sea-faring genre, the habanera, will be resonating throughout Plaça de Sant Jaume, with styles from both sides of the Atlantic: the Modo Libre from Cuba, a collective who have been renovating habaneras with influences from other styles, and Els pescadors de l’Escala from the Costa Brava, the oldest group of habanera and tavern-song singers on our shores.
This year will see radios change location: the artists most listened to in Rac 105, Cadena 100 and Europa FM will be performing in Carrer de Menéndez y Pelayo, in Les Corts: Cadena 100 will be bringing The Sants, Buhos and Abraham Mateo (pairing with Chanel), rumba, festival rock and pop; Rac 105, pop from Edu Esteve, urban rhythms from Triquell, trap from Lildami, urban pop from The Tyets and pop, cumbia and electroswing from Doctor Prats; according to Europa FM, it will be packing Carrer de Les Corts with a DJ and pop from Julen, Mosaic and Portobello.
All that, and a few surprises to boot, in the La Mercè’s music programme.