Sounds and wine

Now in its 11th year, the Sons del Món Wine & Music festival has made a name for itself as one of the biggest summer festivals on the Costa Brava. The famous UK pianist and composer Michael Nyman will open the festivities on Friday July 6 with a solo piano concert at the imposing plaça de la Basílica de Castelló d’Empúries. Joan Daudà and Sau30 will perform on the same weekend, and the festival will end with top international talent, in the form of US singer Gloria Gaynor celebrating the 40th anniversary of her classic hit I will survive in a concert at the Ciutadella de Roses on August 4. As the festival winds down, we will see Els Catarres, Animal, Antonio Orozco and Sergio Dalma. Between these two blocks of concerts in Castellón and Roses, there will be lots of fun at Empuriabrava beach: the historic Inner Circle reggae band will perform on July 12 and Macaco will perform the next day, as part of the Carme celebrations.

This festival also pioneers the connection between music and wine, organised by Promo Arts Music, which offers a series of small-format concerts at different wineries around the Empordà: on July 20, Manu Guix will perform at the Bodegas d’en Guilla and Judit Neddermann, at the Celler Vinya dels Aspres. On July 21, Maria del Mar Bonet will be at the Celler Martín Faixó with her protest songs. On the same day, Paula Valls will be at Celler Espelt. Tickets are priced €18 to €25, and include a glass of wine.

In addition, at all of the concerts in Castellón and Roses the audience will have the chance to taste different wines from the DO Empordà, carefully selected by sommelier Laura Masramon to create well-thought out connections with the music of each artist: red wines for Michael Nyman and Sau30, a rosé for Joan Dausà, and different whites for all the concerts that will take place in the Ciutadella de Roses. These will be special summer nights to indulge the senses.

July 6 to August 4
Portal Blau

Essence of the Mediterranean


The Portal blau festival at L’Escala on the Costa Brava will this summer celebrate its 11th year promoting its unique Mediterranean identity. The festival’s music programme is notable for the four concerts taking place on Mar d’en Manassa beach, with Petitet and his Symphonic Rumba (July 26); Maria Arnal and Marcel Bagés (July 27); the singer Estrella Morente (July 28) and Mishima (July 29). Two concerts have also been programmed to team up music and wine, with Do Re Wine in the Alfolí de la Sal venue: Icelandic singer-songwriter Halldor Mar (July 20) and Quico Pi de la Serra (July 21). The new commitment of the festival to attract new audiences will include three shows in public spaces as well as talks.

July 13 to 29
Pau casals del Vendrell

Pau Casals and WWI


The programme of the Pau Casals International Festival, which will be held in El Vendrell from July 13 to 24, includes great names in classical music. All eight artists from both the national and international scene bear some relationship to the Great War, as this year commemorates the centenary of the armistice.

The inaugural concert on July 14 will be performed by an ensemble formed by Bruno Philippe (violoncello), Jerome Ducros (piano), Bertrand Lade (clarinet) and the English soprano Nazan Fikret. Under the title Beethoven and the great German Romantic School, the musicians will play pieces by the great composer, as well as Schubert, Schumann and Brahms.

Also featured on the bill, English violinist Steven Isserlis will join the Symphonic Orchestra Camera Musicae, directed by Toni Grau, with pianist Connie Shih, on July 16 and 18, respectively. In the final recital, piano and cello will be united to play a concert titled The Cello in time of war, with pieces by composers such as Bach, Schumann and Debussy.

The violinist Amandine Beyer returns to the festival on July 17, with pieces by composers such as Couperin and Marais, and accompanied by his Gli Incogniti ensemble. Organist Gerhard Weinberger will conduct Bach’s Grandesa i serenitat at a concert in a different location from the other concerts, the parish church (July 19). The following day, pianist Javier Perianes will offer a concert with the works of Debussy and his favourite, de Falla.

The festival will also organise two sessions of open-air audiovisual screenings with unpublished images compiled by the Pau Casals Foundation.

July 26 to August 13
El Grec

The music of El Grec

c. t

As well as plenty of dance and theatre (see page 38), this edition of the El Grec festival in Barcelona has programmed some 25 concerts over the summer. Things started off with a performance by eccentric singer-songwriter Albert Pla in Miedo (pictured), at the Mercat de les Flors venue at the beginning of July.

However, upcoming highlights include Enric Montefusco, as well as Lídia Pujol (July 17), who will sing about the Catalan-Hindu philosopher, thinker, and priest Raimon Panikkar, on the centenary year of his birth.

Until July 31
Arts D’Estiu

A summer of stars in Pineda


The risky idea accepted by the Cultural and Recreational Centre of Pineda de Mar in June 2011 – to hold an arts festival in an economic crisis – has been a reality for some years now, thanks to the work of more than 50 volunteers from this local NGO. “This is the eighth year and we hope it’s even better than before, with high-quality, varied artistic performers to satisfy a plural and increasingly demanding public,” say the organisers of the Arts d’Estiu festival. This year’s line-up includes top international artists Salvador Sobral, Juanes and Anastacia, Catalan acts Buhos and Els Catarres, and Spaniards Pastora Soler, Pasión Vega and David Guapo.

July 21 to August 31

An adventure in sound

guillem vidal

Our aim is not to be just a list of artists, but an adventure in sound,” explained Jordi Herreruela, the director of Cruïlla, when presenting this year’s festival a few weeks ago. The adventure will take place at the Parc del Fòrum as usual. Among the 41 participating artists are Jack White, the 21st century’s most genuine standard-bearer of rock, The Roots, a hip-hop institution that has reinvented itself as the resident band on Jimmy Fallon’s TV show, Prophets of Rage, a politically committed rock supergroup, with three-quarters of Rage Against the Machine and musicians from Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, N.E.R.D., a project headed by Pharrell Williams, who penned the mega-tune Happy, the former member of Talking Heads David Byrne, as well as Gilberto Gil celebrating the 40th anniversary of his Refavela album.

Sensitive to local music as always, the festival has also invited La Pegatina, Joan Dausà, Ramon Mirabet, The New Raemon, Joana Serrat, Els Catarres, Elefantes, Blaumut, Mi Capitán and Núria Graham, and will even host new performances by La Fura dels Baus and L’Aquelarre de Cervera.

July 12, 13 and 14
Amb so de cobla

Traditional cobla music takes over Palamós


For the second year in a row, the seaside town of Palamós in Baix Empordà welcomes the Amb So de Cobla festival, starting on July 13, and running until October 20. Every two weeks, the festival will welcome performers of cobla music, which traditionally accompanies sardana dancers. This year will be special as July 22 is an important date, with the town celebrating the 50th Àplec de la Sardana, with cobla performers from the Jovenívola de Sabadell, Reus Jove, Mediterrània and the Cobla de Baix Empordà taking part to mark the day.

On August 10, the highlight is a concert by the Basque musician Kepa Junkera, joined by La Cobla Sant Jordi Ciutat de Barcelona. Other participating groups include the Cobla Sound Fanfare, Cobla dels Sons Essencials, Els Montgrins, La Principal de La Bisbal and the Colla Dolç Infern de Lleida.

Amb so de cobla
July 13 - October 20
Aplec dels Ports

Celebrating 40 years of Aplec dels Ports

Aplec dels Ports are days of celebration held annually in the towns of this historical region of Valencia. The festival was held for the first time in Todolella in 1978, some 40 years ago.

The gathering combines leisure activities (concerts and theatre shows) with others focused on promoting the local language and culture. Some of the artists performing this year are Pepet and Marieta, Roba Estesa, Ebri Knight (pictured), Zoo, Guillem Albà and Epicentre.

40 Aplec dels Ports
July 26 to 29
Festival Internacional de Música de S’Agaró

With the smell of the sea

As in previous years, S’Agaró’s church will host summer classical music concerts. Participating artists include the Cuenca brothers (pictured), with a transcription of the Concert d’Aranjuez for guitar and piano; the Polish pianist Joanna Trezciak, who builds a musical dialectal bridge between Beethoven and Chopin; and, among many others, the prestigious cellist Eva Rebacz, with works by Vivaldi and Piazzolla.

Festival Internacional de Música de S’Agaró
July 21 to September 22

Hoping for Valtonyc...

The 1 d’Octubre square (formerly the park of Baix-a-mar) in Vilanova i la Geltrú, will host the 111th edition of the festival El Tingladu, organised by Can Pistraus. As always, most of the bands come from the Catalan Countries, but this year also has artists from abroad and around Spain, such as Andalusian rappers SFDK and the Madrid-based band Jardín de la Croix.

The bill includes Valtonyc, who is unlikely to perform since he fled the country to avoid prison. Definitely attendng will be Txarango, Xavi Sarrià, Joan Miquel Oliver, Gertrudis, La Iaia, Judit Neddermann (pictured), Sidral Brass Band, Caritat Humana, Pupil·les and Miquel del Roig, among others.

El Tingladu
July 19-22
Festival d’Estiu de la Garrotxa

A summer festival for a good cause

The Planestiueja’t festival in Planes d’Hostoles, in Garrotxa, will bring performances of artists of the likes of El Pot Petit, Sara Terraza, Manu Guix, Pep Sala (50% Sau), Pedro Guerra, Andrea Motis Quinteti, and the always entertaining Tomeu Penya. The festival will raise funds for child cancer research, specifically for the Fundació Albert Bosch, which is aiming to restore the children’s oncology unit in the Hospital de la Vall d’Hebron. The mayor of Planes d’Hostoles, Eduard Llorà, defined the festival at its presentation as “eclectic, with something for everyone”, including guided tours, gastronomy, and concerts in the evenings.

Planestiueja’t. Festival d’Estiu de la Garrotxa
July 7-August 25
Acampada Jove

Partying, struggle and liberty!

Montblanc is once again to become the capital of partying, struggle and liberty with the 23rd Acampada Jove, the political musical festival organised by the ERC party’s youth division. La Raíz, Els Catarres, Roba Estesa, Senyor Oca, Gemma Humet, Koers, Talco, Smoking Souls, Ebri Knight, Buhos, Sense Sal, Txarango, Germà Negre, Xavi Sarrià and Cor de la Fera, Auxili and Doctor Prats are in the lineup from July 19 to 21 in the capital of the Conca de Barberà, where the festival made its home 10 years ago. As a political as well as a cultural event, there are also workshops, talks and debates.

July 19-21
Fem vida al parc

Music and leisure in Girona’s city parks

Fem Vida al Parc is a Girona project aimed at promoting the use of public spaces in the city over the summer by offering a programme packed with open-air leisure activities. Until September 23, some 10 of the city’s local public parks will host more than 40 cultural, sporting and leisure events, for all the family and for all tastes.

There will be cinema screenings, yoga workshops and even games of pétanque. Concerts will feature artists and bands such as Kabel Quartet, Combo Papayero, Pau Vallvé (pictured), Sidus Ensemble and Matthew McDaid & The Last Minute Soldiers.

Fem vida al parc
Until September 23
Jardins de Terramar

Sounds and tastes of the Mediterranean

This summer festival held every year in the seaside resort of Sitges is a great opportunity to see top quality and diverse musical shows, while at the same time enjoying great culinary treats in a beautiful Mediterranean environment. This year’s festival features such artists as Luz Casal (pictured), Rosario, Joan Manuel Serrat, Sergio Dalma, Gloria Gaynor and Diego El Cigala.

Festival Jardins de Terramar
July 20 - August 5

Wine and women’s voices

Now in its 6th year, VinyaSons Ametller Origen, will offer a gastronomic experience paired with the best wines and caves from wineries in Penedès, Alella, Empordà and Bages. Audiences will be able to enjoy the magic of live music in a special programme, which this year is dedicated to the female voice, with artists such as Judit Neddermann, Gemma Humet, Paula Valls and Núria Graham (pictured). In addition, the festival is promoting new talents, such as Magalí Sare, from the Quartet Mèlt.

June 29 - August 10
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