Jarabe de Palo Cancels Tour After Singer's Cancer Operation

Jarabe de Palo

Beloved Spanish alternative band was set for October dates in U.S.

Spanish alternative rock group Jarabe de Palo has canceled an upcoming tour, which included 18 dates in the United States, after singer Pau Donés' colon cancer operation.

Donés published a YouTube video Tuesday shot at the Barcelona hospital where he was operated on for a malignant tumor after seeing a doctor for what he described as light stomach pains.

The song “Depende,” the enduring group’s biggest hit, accompanies the video, which the singer titled “Stomach Ache” and which shows that Donés has lost neither the sense of humor or sense of humanity that characterizes his songs and live performances.

Jarabe de Palo Kicks Off North American Tour

He is seen walking down the hall in a hospital gown, attached to a rolling pole drip. He gives thanks to the hospital staff, apologizes to his fans for canceling the tour, and assures them he’ll see them next year from the stage. Then a voice on the hospital PA system tells him to get back to his room.

The 48-year-old Catalan artist also uses the video to send a message about cancer prevention.

“Cancer is like a ghost that appears without warning,” says Donés, who told Spanish media that his tumor was removed in time to save him, although he must rest for an extended period of time. “So it’s important to pay attention. With cancer, the saying prevention is the best cure really makes sense,” he says, urging everyone to get cancer screenings.

Formed in 1996, Jarabe de Palo has toured frequently and extensively in the U.S., where the band’s following has been described as “cult-like.”  The upcoming tour was to start in Cambridge, MA on Oct. 6, and hit New York’s Highline Ballroom and the Star Theater in Portland, among other venues.  It also would have included concerts in Barcelona, Madrid and Lima.