The Mallorcan singer Maria del Mar Bonet is reunited with the Ensemble de Musique Traditionnelle de Tunis on the occasion of her 50 years as a performer. The concert will take place on 24 July at the Roman amphitheatre in Eljem, Tunisia, as part of the Festival International de Musique Symphonique.
19 December 1966, first concert given by a very young –she was not yet 20– Maria del Mar Bonet at the Ovella Negra in Carrer de les Sitges in Barcelona. She made her debut as a member of Els Setze Jutges. 50 years later she can look back on a long career setting to music great Catalan poets and referents of popular culture from the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia. She has become on of the finest voices of Mediterranean culture and one of its outstanding artists.
With the support of the Institut Ramon Llull, on 24 July Maria del Mar Bonet will step up onto the stage at the Roman amphitheatre in Eljem, Tunisia, with the Ensemble de Musique Traditionnelle de Tunis. She began to work with the orchestra in the early 80s and they will be reunited decades later to celebrate her 50 years of music.
The 32nd Eljem Festival International de Musique Symphonique will take place in July and August. Musicians and orchestras from all over the world will be there. For her concert, Maria del Mar Bonet has invited the Tunisian violinist Fethi Zghonda and his group to accompany her. Zghonda is one of the leading figures on the Tunisian music scene as composer, conductor and violinist.
Last December the singer announced a series of events to celebrate her 50 years as a performer. They include concerts through 2017 and the launch of a new album ‘Ultramar’ (Picap, 2017), which has marked a change in her source of inspiration: she has exchanged the waters of the Mediterranean for those of the Caribbean and has immersed herself in Cuban music. And so we can listen to melodies of the Caribbean that come from her association with Cuban musicians of the standing of José María Vitier, Pancho Amat, Jorge Reyes or José Luís Cortés, ‘El Tosco’.
Maria del Mar Bonet (Mallorca, 1947) began her career as part of the iconic Nova Cançó and the group Els Setze Jutges. Over the last five decades music has not just taken her all over Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Valencia and Spain; she has performed in Europe, North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt), North and South America, Japan and Syria. She has also worked with many artists and orchestras of the countries she has visited, though she has always clung to her roots, the sounds and rhythms of the Mediterranean cultures.
The awards she has received speak for her prolific artistic career, from the Gold Medal of the Balearic Islands (2017) to the Catalan government St George Cross (1984), by way of the Cubadisco International Prize, Cuba (2011) for best foreign record for ‘Bellver’, or the Académie Charles Cros for best foreign record issued in France (1984).
On 24 November, Maria del Mar Bonet will be singing again at the Cairo Opera House in Egypt, where she performed in 2009
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