BARCELONA — The 51st edition of the Voll Damm Barcelona Jazz Festival will play out over five months and include concerts by Herbie Hancock, Ludovico Einaudi, Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, Andrea Motis, Angélique Kidjo, Afro-Cuban All Stars, Kyle Eastwood, Joe Lovano, Mark Guiliana, Cimafunk and Djavan.
The festival kicks off Sept. 28 with the annual Jazz and Food street festival, and wraps up on Feb. 28, 2020 with a concert by Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The annual fall season highlight encompassing concerts at Barcelona’s major venues, clubs, master classes and family events, attracted a record-breaking audience of 144,000 people last year. The festival, supported by name patron Barcelona’s Voll Damm beer and other sponsors, as well as the local government and Ministry of Culture, has a budget of €1.3 million (over $1.4 million), according to Tito Ramoneda, president of festival promoter The Project, who added that a portion of this year’s ticket sales will benefit Save the Children.
Joan Anton Cararach, the festival’s artistic director, describes this year’s program as one that maps interconnected genres with the inclusion of artists from New Orleans, Cuba, Brazil and Africa, as well as showcasing international emerging artists and referencing the history of jazz. Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter both first played at the festival in 1967 as members of the Miles Davis Quintet. The program also includes a 50th-anniversary performance of Duke Ellington’s Concert of Sacred Music by Barcelona big band La Locomotora Negra with the Sant Jordi choir. Gospel group The Campbell Brothers will perform A Sacred Steel Love Supreme.
Einaudi, whose Nov. 7 concert at the L’Auditori theater is already sold out, will play music from his exquisite album series Seven Days Walking. Kidjo will perform tracks from her latest album, an African homage to Celia Cruz. Kyle Eastwood and his band can be expected to perform tracks from his upcoming album of film scores, and current Cuban sensation Cimafunk will make his Barcelona debut.
Jazz is a point of pride in Barcelona, and the local scene will be represented by, among others, Andrea Motis, the young trumpet and saxophone player and vocalist — signed to Impulse — who is set to perform no less than five times at the festival.
The Barcelona Jazz Festival also includes De Cajon, a program of diverse flamenco concerts, which this year includes shows by famed guitarist Tomatito with singer José Mercé, the celebrated singer Estrella Morente — who will perform copla songs — Spanish classical guitarists Dúo del Mar and the all-female band Las Migas.