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Jazzing it up in Madrid

Written by Emily Elwes

If you are a live music lover than listening to live jazz in Madrid is an amazing experience. As one of the best cities in Europe to experience live music the city has marked its place in the music industry as one that is all supporting of every aspect of music including the musicians, the fans, the venues and the background players. Madrid tourist accommodation can barely keep up with the demand for music tourism as people enjoy all the sounds that the city has to offer.

live jazz madrid jazz festivals Cafe PopulartSpanish Jazz History

The early jazz roots in Spain grew up around in interest in New Orleans and Dixieland Jazz during the 1920s. However with the rise of Francisco Franco’s totalitarian state, the country was forced to look inward during a repressive regime. With the transition to democracy that started with Franco’s death in 1975 the country was able to begin looking outward again. The largest move forward in jazz history during the 40s 50s and 60s passed largely unnoticed in Spain. Yet with newfound purpose the music industry during the 1980s discovered jazz, integrated it into society and started to produce their own sound mixed with Spanish folk and Andalusian and Galician mixes. Madrid now has one of the most vibrant jazz scenes in the world.

Jazz Festivals

One of the best ways to enjoy jazz in Madrid is to attend one of the jazz festivals in the city. The Madrid International Jazz Festival is probably one of the best well-known, well attended by fans and international stars alike. The opening performer this year will be Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu at the Teatro Fernan Gomez on November 6th. The show creates an inviting and close atmosphere by combining Latin rhythms and vigorous improves of eleven compositions. The festival runs until 2 December include such greats as The Cowboy Junkies, Stacy Kent, Tommy Emmanuel, El Negri, Ray Lema and many more. Another intimate festival includes the Cycle of Norwegian Contemporary Jazz in Madrid, a compilation of music between North and South, May 21 to June 13, 2014.

Live Jazz in Madrid

There are plenty of life music venues in Madrid especially of the jazz variety. Café Populart, one of the oldest and most successful located in the heart of Huertas, is intimate and provides some of the best examples of classical jazz. If you want a more cozy atmosphere Café Central provides one of the smaller venues for live jazz but is consistently packed and will require a 1 to 2 hour wait in line as it is first come first serve. Yet with over 20 years on the jazz scene in Madrid it is a classic must see. If you want a more integrated experience El Junco Jazz Club provides a wide range of jazz homage to the American South enabling many to get up and dance in a more casual atmosphere.

Live music fanatics can enjoy live jazz in Madrid with many venues to choose from and varying sub-styles to enjoy. Take a stroll from your holiday apartment rental to the music strip and spend the night soaking in the smooth jazz sounds.

About the author

Emily Elwes

Emily is a freelance content editor & manager living & working in Barcelona. She's passionate about food, drink, language and collaborative consumption.

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