Gastronomy, one of the great bets for all-year tourism, is the theme of the week, as from Wednesday to Sunday the TaPalma tapas (and cocktails) route returns. This year’s is the seventeenth TaPalma, an event designed to position Mallorca, and Palma most obviously, as the “nerve centre” of Spanish gastronomy.
The route consists of over 30 establishments, some with just tapas or cocktails, others with both. What these places have on offer, it has to be said, is truly mouth-watering. How about, for example, annatto cannoli with caramelised onion purée, smoked bresaola, mushroom flan, fennel, pickled cucumber, a Quely biscuit dough, cornmeal, chicken broth and sherry vinegar?
And to wash it down? Aromatic gin infused with Mallorcan figs, lime juice, ramallet tomato marmalade, soda and a top of thousand-flower honey foam, fig garnish and mint. All the various offerings can be found on the website. Look and salivate!
Enderrock is the title of a monthly music magazine that is published in Barcelona. Given that location, you might guess that the music has a Catalan flavour. And you would be right. Enderrock specialises in Catalan pop and rock.
The magazine has annual awards, one set of which are for the Balearics. The fourth edition of these will feature performances by acts such as Donallop, who were mentioned on this page a few weeks ago - they are a kind of Mallorcan dream-pop duo.
Maria Hein, who’s from Felanitx, will also be performing, and she is one of five acts to have received most nominations in the popular vote category. Another is Anegats, who are veterans of the Majorcan music scene, having been formed in 1994. There will be a lifetime award for veteran singer-songwriter Tomeu Penya.
These may not be like the Los40 Awards at the Velodrome with Ed Sheeran et al, but they are a tribute to what is a flourishing music scene in Majorca and one with no small amount of talent, which was - as with music everywhere - badly hit by the pandemic.
Thursday, 8pm, Teatre Xesc Forteza, Plaça Miquel Maura, Palma.
Balearic Symphony Orchestra
The Balearic Symphony Orchestra continues to broaden its repertoire, and this week teams up with Toni Vaquer, who is best known in Mallorca as a jazz pianist. He is also a composer and an arranger, having worked in Mallorca with, for example, the Glissando Big Band and having received the Duke Ellington Award for Jazz Composition from the Berklee College of Music.
The concert with the orchestra, which he will be conducting, is described as “a symphonic review of Mediterranean folklore from a jazz perspective”. The programme consists of his arrangements of folk songs such as ‘La Dama de Mallorca’ and what is arguably the most famous of all - ‘El Cant de la Sibil·la’, which might be thought of just as a religious song but certainly has a folk tradition going back to mediaeval times.
An intriguing and very different venture for the orchestra.
Mayte Alguacil was born in Madrid and studied flute at the Catalonia School of Music in Barcelona. While at this prestigious school, she started to take an interest in jazz and went on to study jazz singing. She has featured on various albums and released three of her own with her trio.
One that she featured on was entitled the ‘Hoagy Carmichael Song Book’, which gives a hint as to her style, as does ‘Christmas Time’, which was released in 2014 - the first by her and the trio. ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ was one of the tracks.
There is a distinct element of the retro about her signing, and that’s no bad thing, as there are reminders of the likes of Peggy Lee. The songs are in English.
Her concert in Sant Llorenç is part of the Alternatilla Jazz Festival.
Friday, 8.30pm, Espai 36, C. Major 36, Sant Llorenç.
More Jazz for Majorca
A facet of the Alternatilla Jazz Festival is to bring together music from different cultures. The “guest” country for this year’s festival is Cuba, and one of the musicians to have come to Mallorca is trumpeter Jorge Vistel. Among others to have tutored him has been the great American trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis.
He and his saxophonist brother Mikel will be performing together later in the festival. This week, he teams up with Mallorcan musicians for a concert that will explore the musical dynasty of Cuba, with which he grew up, and the jazz avant-garde that he is crossed over to.
Saturday, 8pm, Teatre Xesc Forteza, Plaça Miquel Maura, Palma.
Sa pobla rice fair
The Sa Pobla fair used to just be the autumn fair. It still is the autumn fair, but it is also the Rice Fair, the sixth edition of which is this weekend.
Sa Pobla also has a Potato Fair, as it is better known for its potatoes. But rice has a longer history than potatoes in Sa Pobla, which started to be cultivated in the nineteenth century. Rice, on the other hand, was grown back in the Muslim centuries. After the Catalan conquest, it ceased to be grown as it was thought to be unhealthy because of how it was grown - in water.
A big attempt at reviving rice-growing came at the start of the last century, but this project was abandoned when flooding ruined the crops. There was a very limited rice business for the rest of the century until a genuinely concerted effort was made in the 1990s. Production has been intensive ever since.
As well as the rice, there is an artisans’ market, and classic cars and bikes will be on show.