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LIBÉRICA, new project by Manel Fortià (feat. Antonio Lizana) presents ARRELS (Segell Microscopi, December 2021)

Arrels takes an approach to traditional Catalan music from a new fresh and regenerating perspective, where flamenco, jazz and Catalan folklore go together.

Arrels (Segell Microscopi, 2021) is the first album of Libérica, this new project led by the Catalan double bass player Manel Fortià, who after a season living in New York and having played with great jazz icons such as Dave Liebman, Eliot Zigmund, Ari Hoenig, Chris Cheek … decides to return to his homeland and delve into the traditional Catalan repertoire having in mind the musical effervescence of the jazz mecca, where its multiculturalism has always been creating new musical styles as the result of the fusion between themselves. With this philosophy, Libérica seeks common ground between traditional Catalan songs and flamenco, using jazz as a connection nexus. It is necessary to renew and update the folklore because it enlarge his life. That is why the Fira Mediterrania of Manresa opted for this project last October, programming it as one of the festival’s highlights.

It is an album that revisits great standards of traditional Catalan songbook such as “La Dama d’Aragó”, “El Cant Dels Ocells” or “Els Tres Tambors” in the key of flamenco and jazz. There is a beautiful mix of the original catalan lyrics and some traditional flamenco “cantes” that speaks about same themes using different words. The voices of the Catalan singer Pere Martínez and the Cádiz-born Antonio Lizana represent these two coexisting worlds within the Iberian Peninsula that join in Libérica in a organic and free way thanks to jazz, which has become an integrating music and a universal language during these last decades.

The Libérica group, apart from having the stellar collaboration of the Cádiz-born saxophonist and cantaor Antonio Lizana, an exceptional musician with a long international career who has established himself as a benchmark in his style, it also has two of the new values ​​of flamenco-jazz made in Catalonia such as the singer Pere Martinez and the pianist Max Villavecchia from the revelation group “Los Aurora”. In addition, it has the international collaboration of one of the rising stars in European modern jazz, the French drummer Raphael Pannier (Miguel Zenón, Aaron Goldberg…), who lives between Paris and New York.

“In a society where we are increasingly faced with more norms that trap and control us, music is one of the few spaces where we can still be free. This is one of the reasons why Libérica was born, to help us connect with our roots from the air and make us travel through them” (M. Fortià).


released February 12, 2021

Manel Fortià: bass and arrangements
Pere Martinez: voice
Max Villavechia: piano
Raphael Pannier: drums
feat. Antonio Lizana: sax and voice

Marc Piña: sound enginer at El Local Studios
Gerard Porqueres: mix and master at Heartworks Studios


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Manel Fortià Barcelona, Spain

BCN/NYC upright bassist and composer. His melodic sense, rhythmic precision and creativity have made him one of the most unique and original musicians of the new generation, and have allowed him to perform with jazz luminaries such as Dave Liebman, Chris Cheek, Eliot Zigmund, Arturo O’Farrill, Chano Dominguez,… at some of the most prestigious Jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. ... more

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