Jazz, Tango or Flamenco? Barcelona’s live music scene
Sitting in the dark bar at a little table in the corner I let the music cary me away. I dream of faraway places, New Orleans, Melbourne, Paris. The sounds of the piano and the guitar, the notes of the saxophone, I listen to them and feel the music as it relaxes my body and mind. When I slowly sip my wine I realise there are few better ways to step away from reality for a moment, than listening to some well played live music.
Barcelona is host to some great venues for live music, from big concert halls to dark little bars hidden away in the city’s alleyways. In these venues you can find a great variety of different styles of music. Whether you like Jazz, Flamenco or Tango, there surely is a place where you can find just what you like.
Since it’s impossible to list all the amazing bars in Barcelona, we’ve picked five of our favourites:
1) Robadors 23
This tiny bar is located in the heart of the Raval neighbourhood. An area where you can find lots of hidden gems in the windy alleyways. This bar is definitely a favourite for locals and expats alike. They have an extensive program of live music, covering mostly jazz and flamenco but occasionally also other styles of music. Some evenings there are also jam sessions being held. From Wednesday to Sunday you can fulfil your live music desires here. Get there early as it gets really crowded. Some nights entrance is free, other nights it costs 3 euro.
The address is Carrer Robador, 23. Hence the name of the bar. For the program you can check their website: https://23robadors.wordpress.com
2) Gipsy Lou
In a different part of the Raval neighbourhood you can find quirky little bar Gipsy Lou. What was once a shady area is now getting quite trendy and hip. This bar attracts an interesting mix of people and is a venue for many different styles of music. They also serve food so don’t worry if you haven’t eaten yet, there is plenty to choose from. Though the night can start quite calm, it can get pretty busy but there are plastic stools and the staff is very helpful in finding you a place to sit. The entrance to the concerts is mostly free.
The address is Carrer de Ferlandina, 55.
Jamboree is located in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, right on Plaça Reial. This jazz cellar is quite an institution in Barcelona and has been open for more than half a century. It has hosted famous jazz musicians from around the world and also many local musicians have played here and started their careers on Jamboree’s stage over the years. If you are looking for quality live jazz, this is a great place to visit. You can visit a different concert almost every day, tickets are mostly around 15 euro. Our favourite would be a visit on Monday night when the “WTF Jam Session” takes place. It’s a classic amongst locals in Barcelona and only costs you 5 euro. Highly recommended.
You can find Jamboree on Plaça Reial,17. Check their program on their website: http://www.masimas.com/en/jamboree
4) The Philharmonic
If you are looking for a more English style bar, you might want to check out The Philharmonic. This pub restaurant hosts live jazz on Fridays and Saturdays. With its wooden interior it’s a cosy place to spend an evening and you can combine a dinner with the concert. Music starts at around 10.30PM and the tickets are around 10 euro, which includes a drink.
The Philharmonic is located on Carrer de Mallorca, 204.
5) Bar Pastis
Ok, we have to admit, we love the Raval neighbourhood for live music and good bars. This, once again, tiny bar is a diamond in the rough. It was established in 1947 by a French lady and looks like it hasn’t changed much since. With it’s bohemian French atmosphere it’s the prefect place to sip on a pastis and dream away while listening to live tango or folklore music. An absolute must if you like the feeling of stepping back in time.
Bar Pastis is hidden away in Carrer de Santa Mònica, 4. You can check their website for more information: http://www.barpastis.com
And last of all, don’t be afraid to explore. When you are walking around the city at night and you hear the sounds of music streaming out of a bar and people applauding, chances are you have found yourself a cool gig to enjoy. Barcelona is full of music!