Sunday, 30 September 2018

Live music in Santander, September 2018

While I was looking for a new place to live (long story, another time), I did my best to attend most — all but two concerts, to be precise — of this year’s Raqueros del Jazz festival. The programme was excellent. However, I feel that I must say a couple of words about its organisation.

I never bought tickets to Rvbicón events in advance, including all concerts of the last year’s RDJ. On 13 September, when I came to see Amós Lora Quartet, I was told that there were no tickets left. After my enquiry, the lady at the doors helpfully informed me that Carles Benavent concert was also sold out. I found myself on the street pondering what to do next in this new for me situation. The last thing I wanted to do was to walk back home. To my joy, in a minute or so the said lady emerged looking for me. She told me there was a cancellation and she had one ticket available.

Encouraged by this, I thought I should try my luck on Saturday. The only way to get to the concert was to wait from 8 pm onward in a hope of cancellation. I was the first on a “waiting list” — by 9 pm, there were only five “reserved” tickets left, and at 9:15 they were finally on sale. While we (the small group of hopefuls, that is) were waiting, we learned that the tickets for RDJ were on sale one month in advance. Do I have to add that I was not the only customer surprised by that? There never was any info about advance sales. At the same time, there was a constant stream of vaguely familiar-looking people trying to filter inside without tickets, wishing to talk to the boss etc. etc. I am sure that in the end all these Rabbit’s Friends-and-Relations somehow got in, filling this apparently finite space way beyond its capacity.

All the concerts took place in Rvbicón unless indicated otherwise.

  • 2 September: Jam session
      The festival kicked off with a lively jam session featuring Cantabrian jazzmen such as Rafael Santana (piano), Toño Gutiérrez (double bass), Rodri Irizábal (drums), Saúl Crespo (piano) and others.
  • 4 September: Luis Verde Quartet / Vientos Cruzados
      Modern mainstream jazz featuring Luis Verde (alto saxo), Mark Schilders (drums), Moisés Sánchez (piano) and Reinier Elizarde “El Negrón” (double bass).
  • 6 September: Daahoud Salim Quintet
      This international collective formed in Amsterdam features musicians from Spain, Germany and South Corea. Impressive compositions and overall musicianship, but Sun Mi Hong’s drumwork is simply mindblowing. Bruno Calvo (trumpet), Pablo José Martínez Hernández (trombone), Sun Mi Hong (drums), Hendrik Müller (double bass) and Daahoud Salim (piano).
  • 8 September: RAMBA with Andrzej Olejniczak, Calle Carlos Salomón
      I knew the work of Andrzej Olejniczak from his time with String Connection; however, by the time I went to see them (as a trio) in Moscow in 1980s, he already left the band. I didn’t know that now he lives in Basque Country! Also, it was a pleasure to see Tana Santana again as a part of RAMBA.
      Andrzej Olejniczak (sax), Marcos Salcines (piano), Tana Santana (double bass), Carla Sevilla (vocal) and Juanma Urriza (drums).
  • 12 September: Caminero Quartet
      Inspiring and very original music by Pablo Caminero who strums his bass as if it was a flamenco guitar. Highly recommended.
      Pablo Martín Caminero (double bass), Ariel Bringuez (sax), Moisés Sánchez (piano), Michael Olivera (drums).
  • 13 September: Amós Lora Quartet
      I’m happy that in the end I managed to get to this concert. If I had to name just one highlight (of many), it would be the rendition of Paco de Lucía’s Zyryab.
      Amós Lora (guitar), Gito Maletá (piano), Reinier Elizarde (double bass) and Manu Masaedo (percussion).
  • 15 September: Carles Benavent Trio
      I saw Benavent last October as a part of a very different trio and again this January, and he never fails to surprise me.
      Carles Benavent (bass), Roger Mas (piano) and Aleix Tobías (drums).
  • 16 September: Jazztedigo @ Calle del Sol
      This was the last concert of the festival that I saw. Rubén Bubby Ortiz (guitar), Saúl Crespo (violin) and Germán Caprara (drums) played a great selection of jazz and swing standards.
The only concert I saw in September that was not a part of RDJ was this one:
  • 23 September: Mabel Sierra & Soul Band @ La Viga, Carretera de la Arnia, 1, Soto de la Marina
      I just can’t have enough Mabel Sierra! Great program, shame about the venue: far cry from Rvbicón, the customers of La Viga did not seem to respect neither music nor the musicians. Soul Band are: Iván Velasco (guitar), Miguel Sánchez (bass) and Natxo Miralles (drums).