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Peret to be guest artist at the 17th Fira Mediterrània Manresa-Catalonia

The father of Catalan rumba heads a social and participatory project, culminating in the launch concert of the Manresa-based event Peret will kick off his initiative working with groups of over-65s and children from neighbourhoods in Manresa
2014/06/03 12:30:00 Europe/Madrid
  • The father of Catalan rumba heads a social and participatory project, culminating in the launch concert of the Manresa-based event
  • Peret will kick off his initiative working with groups of over-65s and children from neighbourhoods in Manresa

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  • The guest artist will also give a public interview, with the journalist Jordi Turtós, to talk about his artistic career

The Fira Mediterrània Manresa-Catalonia wants to highlight the social impact and transformational potential of culture, with Pere Pubill Calaf at the helm, better known as ‘Peret’. Considered the main benchmark, creator and promoter of Catalan Rumba, Peret is set to be the guest artist at the 17th Fira Mediterrània. Based on the idea of linking artistic creation with the community and new audiences, he will lead a social project with groups of over-65s and children from neighbourhoods in Manresa. It is one of the Fira’s main commitments in 2014, culminating in the event’s opening show.

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Peret in the neighbourhoods of Manresa

The project entitled Peret als barris de Manresa (Peret in the neighbourhoods of Manresa) –the same name as the Fira’s opening concert- is based on the theme of artistic learning and creation. With a clear commitment to strengthening intergenerational connection, the main acts include an over-65s choir and a body percussion group of children aged six to twelve, members of the La Font dels Capellans neighbourhood youth club in Manresa.

The project comprises two initiatives that will run in parallel, connected through the Font dels Capellans Neighbourhood Association together with support from Manresa City Council. Firstly an over-65s choir workshop will take place, which will see the preparation of different songs from Peret’s repertoire, adapted to be performed onstage alongside the artist. This initiative, organised by Manresa City Council, will be overseen by the musician Pep Torras, director of the choir workshop. Secondly, a body percussion workshop with children will take place, based on the same repertoire of Catalan rumba, involving different elements of dance and movement. This initiative will be headed by the musician Kike Cuadros, former member of the Israeli band Mayumaná.

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The musician Nacho Lesko, producer of artists including Manolo García (former member of El Último de la Fila) and Peret himself, is to be the artistic coordinator, who will oversee the bringing together of different elements and groups performing onstage. In addition to the afore-mentioned groups, a selection of special guests will also perform at the Fira’s launch event, to be revealed nearer the time. The concert will see performances by a range of acts, giving special emphasis to the over-65s choir and the children’s group at the end of the concert. The repertoire will have an acoustic feel, highlighting the essence of rumba, based on Peret’s entire music career. Peret als barris de Manresa’ will take place on 9 October, at the Teatre Kursaal in Manresa, at 9pm. It is a coproduction by Fira Mediterrània, Manresa City Council and Font dels Capellans Neighbourhood Association.

Bringing culture to new audiences

That the 17th Fira Mediterrània’s launch event includes a social project responds to the Fira’s commitment to demonstrate the transformational power of culture. The Fira aims to convey an open and pluralised vision of popular culture: from videogames and street art to traditional culture, featuring a range of artistic disciplines that bring culture to new groups and audiences. Fira Mediterrànea is broadening its social foundations, opening up new horizons for the cultural industry, focusing on participation, heritage, new formats, teaching and social action.

Peret als barris de Manresa wants to make culture accessible to the entire spectrum of the population, promoting community participation to encourage learning and artistic creation as tools of personal fulfilment and social dynamisation. At the same time, it will make cooperation possible between different generational groups, as a benchmark of social cohesion and motivation. Finally, it will showcase Catalan rumba in a hands-on way as a form of popular music that is accessible to everyone.

Other initiatives by Peret at Fira Mediterrànea

As guest artist, Peret’s taking part in the Fira Mediterrània’s programme will also involve a public appearance. On Friday 10 October at 7pm, the maestro of rumba will open up to the public in an interview with the journalist Jordi Turtós, during which he will talk about his long artistic career and also the history of the genre: from its beginnings in the mid-fifties until the present, and how elements such as las palmas and el ventilador -the unmistakeable sound of Peret- have given Catalan rumba its identity.

The rhythm of rumba since the age of twelve

Mataró-born artist Pere Pubill Calaf, far better known as ‘Peret’, is without doubt the King of Catalan Rumba, at the forefront of the genre’s dissemination, commercial reach and international projection.

His impressive artistic track record got off to an early start when the artist was just twelve, featuring hits that have withstood time, and in mint condition, such as ‘El Muerto Vivo’, ‘El Borriquito’, ‘Gitana Hechicera’ and ‘Una Làgrima’.

The artist’s identity and repertoire make him one of the most important icons of popular music in our country, who has set the standard for Catalan rumba.