Jazz in Madrid and Barcelona

As regular readers of my blog know, when I go traveling, one of the things I enjoy is seeing live jazz. And on my trips to Madrid and Barcelona, I sought out jazz venues in each city. In both cases, I was handsomely rewarded with great performances at famous venues in each city.

Check these out:

The Flamenco Jazz Company - Cafe Central - Madrid, Sept 2013

The Flamenco Jazz Company – Cafe Central – Madrid, Sept 2013

Madrid – Cafe Centralhttp://www.cafecentralmadrid.com/

At Madrid’s Cafe Central the jazz I saw was heavily flavored with Spanish style. The Flamenco Jazz Company was playing the night I went, and their jazz is a fusion of both flamenco style singing, Spanish guitar and drums/percussion melded with jazz. The combination was exciting.

Cafe Central is a unique venue since it’s got lovely Art Deco architectural touches around the small space. The venue is intimate, so make sure you get there before the show starts to be able to see the stage.

Also, as opposed to the well deserved party-all-night reputation Spain has, at Cafe Central the music is on from 9-11pm so if you want to see the show, you must be there for those two hours. The two hour show will cost you about $12 euro per person.

Barcelona – Jamboree – http://www.masimas.com/en/jamboree

If the name of this venue sounds familiar to hard-core jazz fans, it’s because this place has been around for decades. Ella Fitzgerald played Jamboree, along with other jazz notables.

The Jamboree venue is in a vaulted basement, with surprisingly good acoustics. I sat to the side of the stage, as opposed to most of the guests who sit in front of the stage. I had a fantastic view of the band up close and personal. I was literally 10 feet from the drum kit, and I got to sit next to the singer before she went on.

I had the pleasure of seeing Carla Cook, a jazz singer with a great voice and energy. I felt a little bit like I was “cheating” to see her in Barcelona, because she is currently from Brooklyn, but we New Yorkers get around! She did a few original songs, and then paid homage to Duke Ellington several times in her quick set.

Jamboree sets only last one very brief hour, which flies by quickly. The night I was there, shows were 8-9pm and 10-11pm, at a ticket price of $12 euro at the box office ($10 euro if you get advance tix online.)

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2 Responses

  1. It’s great you got to enjoy jazz in two Spanish cities.

    • The jazz in Madrid was more uniquely Spanish, and for that reason I found it more interesting because I’d never heard flamenco-jazz fusion before.

      I actually bought the CD the Flamenco Jazz Factory was selling at the gig, and all the members of the band signed it for me! 🙂

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