Grapa Black Music Festival 2023
On August 4 and 5, Avilés will once again vibrate with the best black music on the current scene. The festival returns to its original location in the Plaza de Santiago López, the Antigua Pescadería, to fill the entire city with Blues, Soul, Funk, Reggae, R&B, Rock or Afrobeat.
In this year’s edition, the British The New Mastersounds, with the voice of Lamar Williams Jr., and the blues star Tommy Castro & The Painkillers will be the headliners of a fabulous line-up that is completed with such relevant artists as Bette Smith, Rick Estrin and The Nightcats, Acantha Lang, who will offer her first concert in our country, and the Spanish Anna Dukke. The Catalans Shake! They will set the pace and set the scene for the vermouth session on Saturday. The festival will also have food and drink stalls and a market.
You can download this year’s festival magazine here.
Thursday August 3
Presentation of the book AFROHUELLAS + Sesion DJ
Presentation of AFROHUELLAS, the first publication on the musical work recorded and published by Africans and Afro-descendants in Spain in the last 60 years. More than 200 artistic projects are gathered here, referring to more than 700 music publications. The author of the book, Daniel Escudero Canas, is also the founder and presenter of the radio program Mestizando, on Radio Vallekas 1998/2009.
- Día: Thursday August 3
- Lugar: Plaza de España 4 (Prestoso)
- Horario: 19:00
- Precio: free
Soul Friends + DJs Fran Corao y Chofo
Soul Friends emerges in 2023 when Brendan Malone, a native of the US and passionate about guitar and singing, decides to give a new life to the melodies he used to play during his adolescence. In his endeavor, Brendan meets Raúl Roca, an experienced bass player from Madrid who quickly identifies with the project and joins to help shape it. Later on, the tria is completed with the addition of Rubén Rionda, a young and talented drummer.
- Día: Thursday August 3
- Lugar: Calle Carreño Miranda 9 (Semilla Negra)
- Horario: 20:00
- Precio: free
Friday August 4
Quique Gómez & Curro Serrano
Quique Gómez and Curro Serrano will be in charge of opening the festival on Friday, August 4. They are two of the most important and recognized blues musicians in the country. Both have shared the stage with the most important artists of the genre such as John Primer, Bob Stroger or Buddy Miles.
Together they will take us by the hand through the United States of the first half of the s. XX through his music and his stories. An excellent opportunity to enjoy the sounds that formed the seed from which almost all the music of the last century emerged.
Rick Estrin and The Nightcats
For many, Rick Estrin and Charlie Musselwhite are the two best white harmonica players today. After the dissolution of Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Estrin decided to pick up the baton and continue spreading the parameters of the blues from the mastery of a guy who has worked with such important people as Sam Lay, Eddie Taulor or Johnny Young. Since then they have won many awards, have toured the world and, above all, have moved, entertained and excited thousands of people with their magnificent live performances, heirs to the great shows of the genre from the sixties and seventies.
The New Mastersounds & Lamar Williams Jr.
The New Mastersounds are one of the oldest and best jazz-soul-funk fusion bands. Those from Leeds are part of that new batch of soul and funk musicians who have dedicated themselves to revitalizing, giving luster and splendor to a genre that had its moment of glory in the sixties and seventies of the last century.
Since their first album in 2001, this spectacular combo of pure rhythm has developed a brilliant career during which they have released 16 albums, have toured constantly around the world, and have collaborated with names such as Corinne Bailey Rae, James Taylor or Portishead, becoming one of the most internationally renowned funk groups today.
They are accompanied by the magnificent singer Lamar Williams Jr, son of the famous bassist of The Allman Brothers. A real luxury that we can enjoy at La Grapa Black Music Festival.
Bette Smith fills the stage with her soul rock, with her funk and her rootsy rhythm & blues and all of that will merge into the show she has prepared for Avilés. It will be the last one given by the artist in Spain on the occasion of her summer tour.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Bette Smith reconnected with her musical roots in Memphis and Mississippi, where she steeped herself in gospel and soul to inject the rock & roll of her hometown. With this mix she released “Jetlagger” in 2017, the album with which she convinced the most demanding critics. The prestigious Mojo magazine said: “An incredible debut from the next soul sensation.” But where Bette Smith thrives is on stage. Wild, intense, visceral, her stage power has drawn comparisons to the strength of Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith, the classic elegance of Joe Williams, the dynamism of Koko Taylor and the energy of Janis Joplin, all wrapped in the magic of Billie Holiday.
Timeless music (soul, rhythm & blues) with the Mississippi designation of origin. This woman is going to make us enjoy in a big way.
- Día: Friday August 4
- Lugar: Plaza de Santiago López (Antigua Pescadería)
- Horario: 1:45
- Precio: free
Sábado 5 de agosto
The original Barcelona Soul and Rock’n’Roll band Shake will be in charge of animating the morning session on Saturday.
Anna Dukke is a gospel, rhythm and blues and rockabilly singer with a voice as powerful as it is hypnotic. She is of La Mancha origin and raised in the lonely mountains of the Sierra Morena. She moves through the musical genres that appeared in the first decades of the 20th century in the United States, such as Gospel, Deltablues, R & B and, above all, Rockabilly. Her influences are very marked by artists such as Wanda Jackson, Patsy Cline, Etta James, Robert Johnson, Gene Vincent or Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Anna Duke’s personal, powerful and heartbreaking voice will make us travel with each of her songs from the 30’s to the golden 60’s, taking us to the roots of American music.
This year we have the honor of having the first Acantha Lang concert in our country in Avilés. This North American artist has soul and blues running through her veins. Inspired by the legendary voices of Aretha Franklin, Mavis Staples or Nina Simone, Acantha captivates with her recognizable way of singing.
She grew up in the rich musical landscape of New Orleans, though it was in New York that she found her own voice. It was there that she bought her first blues record and immediately felt a connection. “I felt at home,” she says. The energy that Acantha Lang unleashes on stage is an amalgamation of Tina Turner, James Brown and Janes Joplin, an explosive mix that shakes every spectator who attends her shows from top to bottom.
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers
The guitarist and singer Tommy Castro together with his inseparable Painkillers visit the city to offer us their most genuine Chicago blues, soul and rock and roll. The Californian is one of the most awarded bluesmen of recent years. Since his solo debut in 1994, he has released 16 albums, the last seven for Alligator Records and with the last one, “A Bluesman Came To Town”, he won the award for best album, best band of the year and best performer in 2022 at the prestigious Blues Music Awards, the Blues Oscars. In his more than 30-year career, he has collaborated with names like John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana, Greg Allman, Willie Nelson, Jeff Beck, Taj Mahal, Los Lobos and many more.
With The Painkillers he has managed to form a perfect union. Billboard says the band plays “irresistible contemporary blues-rock with grit and soul.” They have not stopped touring for 8 years, since the highway has always been Castro’s home. He has offered thousands of concerts and has participated in festivals all over the world. Famed guitarist Joe Bonamassa says, “Tommy has always been first among blues guitarists. He always puts on a great show.”