These days, one of the most emblematic and charismatic music competitions in the city is being held in Nou Barris. This is the nineteenth edition of the Barcelona Blues Festival which, as usual, takes place in the courtyard of the district headquarters organized by the association Capibola Blues. As happened last year they have had to limit the capacity to 250 people per session in order to maintain a safe distance. This circumstance has forced them to renounce the gratuity of other years and have to charge a ticket (at a reduced price, only 10 euros) to help finance it. Of course, the level has not dropped and they are waiting for us exciting performances by great artists, always at 8.30 pm.
A tribute and an experiment
Today will take place tribute to Amadeu Casas, the great guitarist who left us at the end of 2020. To pay tribute to him, some of the best local musicians have come together to offer a very special repertoire dedicated to this unforgettable artist. The training will be composed of a group of blues masters among which are the names of Ivan Kovacevic, Martí Elías, Big Dani Pérez, Blas Picón, Chino Swingslide and the brothers Santos and Victor Puertas. An authentic dream team to remember this bluesman who regularly worked with Blues Messengers, Tandoori Lenoir, Big Mama, August Tharrats, Dani Nel·lo or Txell Sust and which is already part of the history of the genre in our country.
The party will continue next Wednesday, the 7th, with one of the aforementioned artists, the saxophonist and singer Big Dani Pérez, who will share the stage with the Albert Bello Quintet. They propose a very curious experiment: imagine what would have happened if the gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, creator of jazz manouche, and African-American saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, initiator of the so-called Honk sound, they would have had the opportunity to share the stage. Albert Bello (specialist in the first) and Big Dani Pérez (admirer of the second), two prestigious Catalan musicians who propose us a trip through a repertoire that will combine both styles. A luxury quintet in an unusual concert for a risky musical encounter full of incentives.
Soul and the saxophone party
The next day, Thursday the 8th, it will be the turn of a very particular soul singer, Miss Koko-Jean, the admired and cheeky vocalist of The Excitements. He has an exceptional voice, a style as tough as it is soulful and moves with ease both between the sadness of blues and the joy of funky. In 2014 he created The Tonics, a band with which he had a great impact and, after his overwhelming start, they took a break. Now they have decided to return to present their first EP, Hairwhip, in which they compile some of the successes of the band in their last concerts with a fresh, exciting and explosive live show and a lot of rhythm & blues and rock.
Another of the greats of this style is Dani Nel·lo that, on Friday the 9th he will perform with his latest formation, Savage Saxophonists 2, continuation of this adventure where vindicates the role of the sax in popular music in its most visceral and subversive facet. Now he takes his proposal beyond the tribute to explore the essence of this instrument and develop his own voice. He is accompanied by the same sextet of musicians with which he has been since the beginning of the project, a band that brings together some of the best rhythm and blues, jazz and rock & roll musicians on the state scene. His repertoire includes offers twelve works in the tradition of this genre and that the artist considers as the contemporary link in a chain of musicians that have been appearing since the 1950s.
Rock and a Blues Band
The Contra Blues (Saturday, 10) is a rock & roll group that will focus on their latest work, Jab, where they give us a raw, direct, hot and, at times, wild sound. The disc includes twelve compositions with which the group is shown at its greatest maturity and recovers its most deeply rooted influences. His inspiration comes from masters like Magic Sam or Bo Didley combined with the aroma of legendary bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Sonics or The Allman Brothers and nods to more recent artists like Chris Isaak or Ben Harper.
To end, all the spectacularity of the Barcelona Big Blues Band (Sunday, 11), under the direction of double bass player Ivan Kovacevic, made up of a group of great musicians who create an energetic sound as wild as it is sophisticated. The result is a torrent of sound in the tradition of bands like T-Bone Walker or Johnny Otis. But there is still more because they will have the presence of the Canadian saxophonist and singer Spencer Evoy, leader of the band MFC Chicken. This musician has managed to introduce the sound of the tenor sax into rock and roll in a very personal way with performances in which he interprets his own repertoire to which he adds his characteristic scenic energy. The combination of their talents will provoke a hypnotic mix that will make the audience enjoy as much as they do on stage. A week with the best blues in the world, from the most classic to the most innovative, without the need to move from the city.
XIX Barcelona Blues Festival
Where? Courtyard of the Nou Barris district headquarters (Plaza Mayor de Nou Barris, 1).
When? until Sunday, July 11.
Price: 10 euros.
More information: Barcelona Blues Festival.