Almond blossom | Youtube: Cheng Ly

Almond Blossom Fair

This coming Sunday is the Son Servera almond blossom fair. It has been held since 2010 and is on the estate of Ca s’Hereu, which is now an agrotourism finca but with a history that dates back to the thirteenth century. It was one of two estates in what was once called Binicanella. Both belonged to branches of the Servera family, the name having originally been Cervera, which came from Jaume Cervera, who had been with the thirteenth century conquest of Mallorca. Until the 1970s, Ca s’Hereu was a working farm. Almond trees were among what was cultivated.

Although the fair’s title is almond blossom, there are almonds themselves as well as various edible products made from almonds.

Sunday, 9.30am to 2.30pm, Cases de Ca s’Hereu, Son Servera.

Palma Jazz Festival - opening night

The third Palma Jazz Festival starts on Friday and runs until Sunday week. There are concerts every evening plus complementary events in the city’s parks, streets and squares.
Things will kick off on Friday in Plaça Espanya, with the six-piece Swing Engine - Cesc Badia (trumpet), Gerard Serrano (trombone), Carlos Ruiz (clarinet), Joan Torrentó Vilarnau (banjo), Johannes North (sousaphone), and Pablo Ruiz (washboard). The instrumentation offers a clear flavour of what they’re about - good-time trad jazz with influences from the likes of Louis Armstrong.

The venue for all but one of the concerts is the Xesc Forteza Theatre. Israeli saxophonist Eli Degibri will be accompanied by Alon Near (double bass), Tom Oren (piano) and Eviatar Slivnik (drums). Degibri varies between performing with the quartet and with his big band, he having at one point worked with the Mingus Big Band that specialises in the compositions of Charlie Mingus.

A graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which is headquartered in Washington, one of Degibri’s first breaks came when he was invited to join Herbie Hancock’s sextet in 1999, aged 21. The institute has since been renamed after Herbie Hancock.

Friday, 6pm, Plaça Espanya, Palma / 8pm, Teatre Xesc Forteza, Plaça Miquel Maura 1, Palma.

Techno addict who’d never been to a party

For the past twenty or so years, Fatima Hajji has been progressing in becoming one of the biggest names in Spanish techno music both in Spain and abroad. From Salamanca, which is where she debuted as a DJ in 1999, she is now based in Madrid, having forged her career in what - when she was starting out - was very much a male-dominated scene.
She tells the story of a teacher at school who believed she had talent to be a DJ. This teacher signed her up for a DJ contest. None of her family were aware of what she says had become an addiction with techno. Friends of her older brothers saw her name on flyers and couldn’t believe it. “I was sixteen and had never been to a party.”
She has released various EPs, is currently finishing off her debut album and is one of the latest artists to perform at the Son Amar Danzu sessions.

Saturday, 10pm, Son Amar, Ctra. Palma-Soller km10.8, Palmanyola.

From Galicia to New York, Rio and back

María Toro from La Coruña in Galicia started playing the flute when she was aged eight. She was immediately hooked, and Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson inspired her along her early path - if not by attempting to adopt his postures.

At the age of fifteen, she discovered the jazz of Jorge Pardo, legendary Spanish jazz saxophonist and flautist. Further inspired, she studied at Madrid’s School of Creative Music before moving to New York, where she performed at iconic venues such as Blue Note and rubbed shoulders with many a great from the jazz world. Rio de Janeiro was another stop, as was Switzerland in 2014, which was where she recorded her first album.

There are now three albums, the latest entitled ‘Fume’ with her fellow quartet members, David Sancho, Toño Miguel and Andrés Litwin, with whom she first teamed up during jam sessions in Madrid in 2017.

Sunday, 7pm, Teatre Xesc Forteza, Plaça Miquel Maura 1, Palma.

Rozalén - national award winner

Rozalén, full name Maria de los Ángeles Rozalén Ortuño, was the winner of the 2020 Goya Award for her song, ‘Que no, que no’, from the film ‘La Boda de Rosa’. From Albacete in Castile-La Mancha, she started singing when she was 14, and in 2013 (by now 26) she was signed to Sony and released her first album; it went platinum.

Three other albums have since followed, and last year she received the National Prize for Current Music from Spain’s culture ministry.

Pop, rock, folk, she accompanies herself on guitar (plus her band) and is one of Spain’s major contemporary talents.

Friday, 9pm, Palma Auditorium, Paseo Marítimo 18, Palma.