Mas i Mas Festival
By Thomas Macaulay
Hot August days can lead to quiet summer nights in Barcelona. Since 2003, Mas i Mas Festival has taken responsibility for keeping the cultural nightlife alive as locals flee the rising temperatures. The festival has expanded from jazz to cover flamenco, soul, funk, classical, bolero and more at 220 concerts across six locations.
The program drifts from modern rhythms such as seductive Ethio-jazz from Israeli-born singer-songwriter Ester Rada (July 30th) to timeless standards from octogenarian jazz legends Ellis Marsalis (July 28th) and Lee Konitz (July 29th). Domestic sounds bookmark the schedule. The festival opens with Maria del Mar Bonet (July 28th) performing at Palau de la Música. The Balearic singer brings her repertoire of songs from the Nova Cançó music genre, which arose to defy Franco’s repressive policies against the Catalan language.
The closing concert, meanwhile, features the return of flamenco guitarrist Manolo Sanlúcar (September 1st), one of Spain’s most celebrated modern composers. (Note: our print edition indicated a closing concert lineup of Rafael Riqueni, Israel Galván and Lole Montoya; that concert was subsequently canceled.)