Fira Mediterrània of Manresa, on a creative plain with 20 countries

The Algerian Kamel el Harrachi
The voice of Palestinian protest, Rim Banna.

So far the Fira has over 700 professionals registered for this event

October 15th is the deadline for registering and being added to the catalogue’s professionals list

The Fira Mediterrània of Manresa, which is taking place between the 4th and 7th November, is becoming more global with the participation of creators from twenty different countries and a fringe festival called “l’Estepa”. With the Gelabert-Azzopardi leadership, and the recreation of Belmonte as an opening show, the “roots factory" Fira has included concerts featuring the voice of Palestinian protest, Rim Banna; the veteran Berber Hasna El Becharia who has been equalled to male musicians because of her gumbri (the guitar of the desert) playing; the Algerian Kamel el Harrachi with a collection of music which is extremely popular among the people of the Maghreb; the lively creation from the south of Italy, Mimmo Epifani and his Barbers; the puzzling Marseillais men Moussu T; or the Amsterdam Klezmer Band, from Holland, a synthesis of Balkan and Klezmer music.

Manresa also follows the creations produced by Catalan regions attentively, with the Algherese voice of Franca Masu, the 25 years of the Majorcan kings of traditional Majorcan dance Tramudansa, the twenty years of the Valencian group Urbàlia Rurana, the tribute played to Gato Pérez by Sabor de Gracia, the release of Miquel Gil's new CD, and the reinterpretation of folk music by the genius Raül Fernàndez of "Refree" modulated by the voice of Maria Rodés and her bloody songs. Other names bearing the Catalan seal include Obrint Pas, La Carrau, the El Petit de Cal Eril’s flirtation with the Belgian Barbara Van Hoestenberghe, the dialogue between the tradition of Jaume Arnella and the newness of Carles Belda, and Joan Albert Amargós and Lluís Vidal’s compositions revisited by Cobla Sant Jordi.

The Fira balances music with the performing arts. Therefore, its programme features the Turkish Dervish dancer Ziva Azazi, who will play with fire and giants, blending the whirls of Eastern dances with those of Catalan imagery; Somorrostro will evoke emotion with its elegant and simple flamenco show, while Cañizares and Juan Carlos Lérida will insist on the typical characteristics of this genre; Nats Nus Dansa; the Italian clown Paolo Nanni with his 18 years of performing La Carta; Guillem Albà surviving the Always Marxing Drinking Band sound machine; the Teatre Micalet company, directed by Pep Tosar; the impossible worlds of the magician Sergi Buka; or Marduix’s farewell show after its 35 years of performance.

All this brought together in an edition which is taking part for the first time ever in a European project, the “Common Routes of Euro-Mediterranean Music”, which has led to three Catalan artists (Marc Egea, Paloma Povedano and Aleix Tobias) performing in various international concerts. All of the stands in the Contractual Marketplace and the Firapasseig trade area have been booked out one month before the start date of this Mediterranean event which combines strong professional interest with popularity among the most diverse crowds.

article submitted by:Laia Valls, Fira Mediterrània de Manresa (Catalonia / Spain)