Dulce Pontes, Massilia Sound System, Txarango and the Dervishes of Damascus - highlights of the 17th Fira Mediterrània line-up
Following the announcement of Peret as guest artist and the premiere of a new show by Comediants, Fira reveals some of its biggest artists
The Portuguese diva Dulce Pontes debuts her new show Puertos de Abrigo in Catalonia
Advance tickets can be purchased from today, 1 July, with a significant discount on the final ticket price
Tickets for the Fira Mediterrània Manresa-Catalonia go on sale from today for some of the highlighted concerts and productions featured in the 17th Fira line-up (9-12 October). In addition to tickets for the opening concert, headed by this year’s guest artist, the great Peret, the programme highlights include internationally acclaimed artists, such as the Portuguese diva Dulce Pontes, the veteran musicians from Marseille Massilia Sound System, and Ensemble Al-Kîndi, accompanied by the whirling dervishes of Damascus. It also features some of the most consolidated acts from the national music scene, such as Txarango and the girl band Macedònia, in addition to as yet undiscovered gems, such as the British DJs Addictive TV, the impressive group from Valencia ASPENCAT and the radical Bages-based band Kòdul. Virtually all the shows are premieres, or include special and unique elements. This is the case of the premiere production of the long-established Comediants, winners, together with Orquestrina Trama, of the Grant for Innovation in Popular Culture by the Jaume Casademont Foundation. Together they jointly debut Monts, a musical fable about the Pyrenees and its traditions, which can be seen at Teatre Conservatori on 12 October at 12 midday.
Shows at Teatre Kursaal
The 17th Fira Mediterrània kicks off with the opening show Peret als barris de Manresa, on 9 October at 9 pm at Teatre Kursaal. This sees an exciting social project brought to the stage, involving an over-60s choir comprising local residents of Manresa and a body percussion and movement workshop with children from the Font dels Capellans community centre. Both these groups will accompany Peret and his musicians in a repertoire of some of the most acclaimed songs in the history of Catalan Rumba.
The following day, on 10 October at 9 pm, Kursaal welcomes Dulce Pontes, who returns to Catalan stages after a four-year break with the premiere of a new show, Puertos de abrigo, which forms the backbone of her next album. This is an amazing opportunity to savour first-hand the spectacular voice of this great Portuguese diva and listen to a selection of traditional pieces that Pontes will perform for the first time ever in public.
Another premium International production to feature in the Fira line-up is Sufi Whirling by the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus and the prestigious ensemble Al-Kindi, who come to Manresa in tribute of 30 years’ touring together. The show consists of a fascinating spectacle that conveys the mystery and intensity of the Sufi whirling ceremony, exactly as it unfolds in the Great Mosque of Damascus. This production showcases the richness and universality of Arab culture, conveying a message of pacific co-existence between communities. This show can be seen at the Kursaal on 11 October at 9 pm.
The preview of the Fira line-up at the Kursaal closes on 12 October at 6pm with a performance by the five-girl band Macedònia, a music phenomenon amongst young audiences, accompanied by Cobla Lluïsos of Taradell. The resulting fusion of pop-rock songs from five girls with instruments such as the Catalan shawm, tenor shawm and flabiol is genuinely special, bringing the sounds of traditional Catalan cobla to new and young audiences.
Preview of Circuit Estepa
Fira is also opening advanced ticket sales for concerts at the Sala Stroika as part of the Circuit Estepa Mediterrània. This year it stops being a part of Fira’s ‘Off’ section and is fully integrated into the event’s official line-up, while keeping its raison d’etre: to act as a gauge and breeding ground for the emerging and underground scene.
On Friday night, on 10 October, Txarango takes the limelight once again after having spent 2013 on tour outside Catalonia, with their live party act and second album recorded. The night is rounded off with the Bages-based group Kòdul and their powerful live show, followed by the no less spectacular show by British DJs Addictive TV. The duo is set to debut their project Orchestra of Samples in Catalonia, comprising video shoots from individual jam sessions of over 100 musicians from around the world in a fascinating fusion of visuals, electronic music and ancestral sounds.
On Saturday 11 October, the Stroika stage welcomes the legendary Massilia Sound System, who go back on tour with their eighth album and mestizo beats to pay tribute to a 30-year track record. Aspencat will bring the night to a close, with their live and potent mix of reggae, ska, drum & bass, and electronic music, fused with elements of traditional music. This is definitely the latest eye-opener from the powerful music scene in Valencia.
As usual, there will be free buses every thirty minutes on both nights of Stroika, from the bus stop Mercat Puigmercadal.
Tickets go on sale today and can be purchased from the Kursaal ticket office, by phone (+34 938 723 636) or from the Fira Mediterrània website (www.firamediterrania.cat). Tickets for the Sala Stroika concerts are on sale at Sibelius, Solans, Cal Manel, Ítaca and the website www.stroika.cat. Early buyers can take advantage of a weighty discount and the opportunity of getting the Toc de la Mediterrània (which includes a ticket to go and see Peret, Dervishes of Damascus and the show by Comediants and Orquestrina Trama) with a 30% discount.
This event has been made possible through a joint collaboration between different public and private organisations: Manresa Casa de la Música, Manresa City Council, Font dels Capellans Neighbourhood Association, Jaume Casademont Foundation and the promoters Syntorama and PromoArts.