48th Voll-Damm Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona: José Mercé

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48th Voll-Damm Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona: José Mercé
José Mercé

The 'cantaor' from Jeréz de la Frontera José Mercé presents his latest album, 'Doy la cara' (2016), in the Palau de la Música Catalana as part of the De Cajón! within the Barcelona International Jazz Festival.

Mercé – who took his artistic name from the Basílica de la Merced, where he was an altar boy – is part of the longest story of gypsy cantaors. He's the nephew of Manuel Soto Monje and cousin of Vicente 'Sordera' Soto. When he was just 13 years old he went to Madrid to record his first album with only two of the world's best flamenco guitarists, Manolo Sanlúcar and Paco de Lucía.

Mercé's voice is a high standard in classic flamenco style, although he's also fused it with other styles, including pop, whether on his own or when collaborating with other singers such as Alejandro Sanz or Andrés Calamaro. However, he also considers that there are some mixes that just don't work and can distort the essence of flamenco. His latest album is a good selection of intimate and heartfelt songs, as well as flamenco that's more open to other influences. The title (which means 'Face the consequences'), says Mercé, is appropriate for a context where it seems like no one takes responsibility for problems and scandals.

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