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Jazz by The Sea: A Unique Experience of Jazz in the Ultramar de l’Escala

un restaurant a la vora d'un penya-segat amb vistes a l'oceà al capvespre amb vistes a l'oceà i als edificis, Enguerrand Quarton, a la nit, un pastel, escola de barbizon

A Jazz at Sea Experience

If you have never been lucky enough to enjoy a jazz concert at the Village Vanguard or Dizzy’s in New York, this summer you can try a similar experience, and with the added “bonus” of the sea, at l’Ultramar de l’Escala . Jazz by The Sea has been held there for four years, a cycle of concerts that runs from spring to early autumn, and which includes an excellent jazz program chosen with great care and a good eye, proximity to the musicians – the place can hold around fifty people – and, last but not least, the fact of being able to immerse yourself in the music with the sound of the waves in the background.

Gerard Argemí: The Brain Behind the Wonderful Idea

The brain behind this wonderful idea is Gerard Argemí, promoter, restaurateur, musician -saxophonist-, dj., and a jazz enthusiast. He started at a young age punching vinyl at the Merveyé, an experience that allowed him to connect with musicians from the international jazz scene such as Brad Medlhau and other names of the jazz elite, and later he has been building quality projects that combine restoration and the music, like the nights at Mas Sorrer.

L’Ultramar: A Unique Space to Enjoy Jazz

Eight years ago he opened l’Ultramar, a restaurant and music club located in a privileged environment in the town of Emporda, on the tip between the main beach and the Pont d’en Perris beach, with a terrace where we can listen to jazz from the bo overlooking the sea: “Overseas I want to pay homage to the jazz club culture as I understand it. It’s music to listen to in a small club rather than in an auditorium… Jazz demands that there be closeness between the artist and the spectator. Here the musicians feel very good, a special magic is generated.”

Jazz by The Sea: A Quality Program

This year is the fourth cycle of Jazz by the Sea, and artists such as Pybus Groove – some of the historical figures in Barcelona’s black music – have performed there, the quartet of the young talent from Tarragona Joan Fort, with Horacio Fumero and Timothy Banchet, the multi- Cuban instrumentalist Roberto Fonseca, Kuma and Adrian Cunningham.

A Summer Season Full of Jazz

This Friday, June 14, the formidable double bassist and composer Giulia Valle opens the summer season, presenting Eden Club, her ninth album, surrounded by a luxury Ensemble, with Martí Serra (tenor and soprano sax), Franky Ramos (alto sax and flute), Riccardo Pittau (trumpet), Vicent Pérez (trombone), Tom Amat (piano and keyboards) and Dani Domínguez (drums).

A Project With Great Potential

The presence of Valle – one of the essential names of European New Jazz – in the Ultramar is an example of the line of work carried out by Argemí: he wants to place l’Escala” on the European jazz map” by bringing great musicians of first level and , over time, to grow the project – although for this it will need the support of the administration or sponsors: “In this country there is a certain reluctance to support cultural initiatives that come from the private sector. I think it’s a mistake. We are trying to energize the country’s cultural offer and decentralize it. The criterion should be rewarded, not the origin of the initiative”, he explains.

Other Luxury Guests

In addition to Valle, other luxury musicians will be passing through the Ultramar in the coming months: on July 19 we will be able to hear Eddie Henderson, one of the most original trumpeters in today’s jazz, who will perform with the Steve Favis Quintet; on August 27 and 28, Endea Owens, bassist and composer from Detroit who is considered one of the emerging names in jazz today, mentored by artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Rodney Whitaker and Ron Carter, will perform there. On September 20, Gorka Benítez, one of the reference saxophonists in Spain and Europe, will present a new repertoire with a string orchestra and his usual trio (with David Xirgu and Dani Pérez). Antonio Lizana will close the season, offering an original combination of flamenco and jazz, with a very personal voice that reconciles the two worlds in perfect harmony.

A Unique Experience

The Ultramar concerts are enjoyed after a good dinner and start around a quarter to eleven. To attend, you can consult the website.

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