It’s no secret that Barcelona is a great place for music lovers, and while electronic music – with the likes of festivals such as Sónar – usually makes the headlines, the city is also home to a lively jazz scene. The Barcelona Jazz festival attracts some of the biggest names from the jazz world; here are six up-and-coming musicians to watch out for next time you’re in the Catalan capital.
A passionate musician but also composer and producer, Octavio Bugni recently released his first solo album entitled Cruzar Mundos. Born in Argentina but now living in Barcelona, the album reflects his personal journey through music. Inspired from a young age by the likes of Stephane Grappelli, Nat King Cole and Oscar Peterson, Bugni’s first album includes his own compositions, as well as versions of classic tracks by Jimmy Rowles, McCoy Tyner and Tom Jobim.
A classically trained violinist who later adopted the saxophone as his main instrument, Albert Cirera spends his time between Barcelona and the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Absorbing the soul and sound of both cities, Cirera has collaborated on a number of projects including his own quartet, Albert Cirera & Tres Tombors and others such as Duot – which in 2011 received the AMJM award for best new jazz band in Catalonia. His music is heavily inspired by the world of classical jazz but tips over into other more experimental sounds.
This Barcelona-based drummer, who hails from Argentina, has recently released his second album as lead musician entitled Quasar, following his debut album Gran Coral. Carlos Falanga has collaborated with a number of other musicians on the Barcelona jazz scene and has toured across Europe over the course of his 15 year career.
Perhaps best known for his piano solos – which have brought him to perform at some of Barcelona’s most well-regarded music venues, such as the Palau de la Música Catalana – Marco Mezquida is also a composer and music teacher. Three times voted Musician of the Year by the Jazz Music Association of Catalonia, he has been involved with over 30 recorded albums as well as his own solo piano album. He regularly performs as part of the Marco Mezquida Trio.
Musician and composer Jaume Llombart is one of the rising stars of the Barcelona jazz scene and was trained at the Catalan College of Music (ESMUC). Today he performs regularly across Catalonia alongside his Jaume Llombart Sextet, with whom he released his first album Live at Robadors23 back in 2001. In 2015 Llombart released his second album – and first solo album, entitled simply Solo – with the Barcelona-based independent jazz record label Underpool Records.
A self-taught musician, Martín Leiton is well known on the music scene of Barcelona and is involved with a number of local projects, including the Martin Leiton Big Band and the Martin Leiton Trio. He plays piano but also bass guitar, and has also composed a number of his own songs. He has released two albums as band leader: Medium in 2011 and Poetry of Sound in 2015. His music borrows from the world of jazz but also Latin-American music and African American music as well as Spanish flamenco.