Aretha Franklin is the focus of this year’s Black Music Festival (BMF), as the musical event held every year in Girona, and now other key venues, devotes its 18th edition to the ’Queen of Soul’, who died aged 76 last August. Taking place from March 1 to 17, the festival will put on the Girona Aretha Franklin Tribute Concert on Saturday March 3 at the Auditori venue, featuring the Black Music Big Band.
This edition of the festival also introduces new venues beyond its usual home base of Girona, with performances scheduled for nearby Salt, Bescanó, Fornells de la Selva, Torroella de Montgrí, as well as Mataró, Reus, Barcelona and even Perpignan.
In fact the BMF festival actually opened in the Catalan capital on February 27, with a presentation in the Luz de Gas venue, featuring Spanish singer/songwriter Zelada. However, the festival proper gets underway in Girona’s La Mirona venue on March 1, with electropop outfit, La Casa Azul, along with Falciots Ninja.
Over the following week and a half, the festival will welcome a long and varied line-up of international and domestic acts, including Rise Up Sound System and Crew, Deluxe, Morgan, Big Black Rhino, Postmodern Jukebox, James White Experience, Nakany Kanté Trio, Tribade, Daura Mangara & Belén Natalí, J.P. Bimeni & The Black Belts, Blanquito Zurdito, Vintage Trouble, Paula Valls, Mr. Sipp, Silverflame, Ramon Mirabet, and Kuryous Lynk. On March 17, the BCN Soul Choir are charged with bringing this year’s event to a close, in La Sitja venue, in Fornells de la Selva.
Yet, apart from the main line-up of concerts at the festival, there will also be complementary activities, such as the first Hip Hop al Parc event, in Girona’s Parc Central, as well as the open-air event, the Black Music Picnic, in the Parc del Migdia in the afternoon of March 16, with performances by Orelles de Xocolata, the Black Music Big Band and the Gramophone Allstars Big Band, along with hip-hop workshops, a DJ battle, and performances by Brodas Bros Junior y Black Music for the little ones.
Best of black
A showcase for some of the best domestic and international blues, jazz, soul, funk, R&B, hip hop, and other musical styles, Girona’s Black Music Festival began in 2002 as the Salt Blues Festival. Since then, the annual event has become a major fixture in the area’s annual festival calendar, and has grown in recent years to include other towns and cities in Catalonia.