WTF! at Jamboree is an incredible weekly jam session in Barcelona, Spain.
Plaça Reial 17, 08002 Barcelona , Tel. 93 319 17 89, Fax. 93 315 02 21
Back in 2012, Krissy and I embarked on our first European adventure in celebration of ten years of marital bliss. The first leg of our ten-day trip was a three-day stay in Barcelona and we were hooked. Of course, the incredible food, weather, and scenery were all great, but it was the music of Barcelona that really closed the deal.
Our short stay in this wonderful city was sandwiched between two of the most memorable concerts of our life. We’ll never forget the intimate Jack White show at Razzmatazz, featuring the amazing all-girl band he toured with during the Blunderbuss tour. And even better was the incredible jam session we stumbled upon WTF! at Jamboree. The weekly jazz, funk, hip-hop, R&B, everything jam session features a rotation of international guest musicians that will satisfy even the choosiest music lover.
Our first WTF! at Jamboree experience:
(From Sept. 7, 2012) It just so happens that the Jamboree nightclub, known for it’s Monday night jazz jam sessions was directly next door, so we headed over. The weekly event is called What The Fuck!, incorporating musicians and vocalists from different musical and cultural backgrounds from around the world, for a one-night-only collaboration of musical creativity. We were directed down a flight of stairs, opening to a crypt-like space with about fifteen rows of seating, found a spot and were completely blown away for the next few hours.
Isn’t it amazing that a room full of people from such far-blown originations can come together with the universal language of music? Starting with the 30-something looking resident musicians (a pianist, a bass-faced cello, guitar, sax, and what looked like 17-year old drummer) playing classic jazz tunes, the night evolved into a full-out jam session with at least 3 pianists, 3 drummers, 4 saxes, 2 trumpets, 3 bassists, 2 guitarists, a guy rocking some electronic musical toys, a beat-boxer, 2 Spanish rappers, and a punk rock, head-banging bebopper from Australia, culminating in a crescendo of up to 13 musicians on the tiny stage simultaneously, totally getting down with their bad selves… Needless to say, it was a beautiful experience. If you find yourself in Barcelona, do not miss this weekly, circa 2001.(End)
Back again and as amazing as ever
So when finding ourselves back in Barcelona, a definite priority was making sure WTF! at Jamboree was still alive and kicking. Could the awesome jam session still be in existence? From my own experience running a monthly event for five years, a weekly for fifteen years is an incredible achievement. But to our excitement WTF! is still at it, performing at 8pm and 10pm every Monday night. We strolled in around 10:30, hoping our first visit was no fluke.
At just forty feet wide and one hundred feet long, with an arched ceiling that’s barely twelve high, the room has nearly perfect acoustics, a testament to the venue’s success for over half a century. Thankfully, we were not left disappointed. The founder and maestro, Aurelio Santos is a master craftsman, rotating musicians, changing the tempo, and cueing lights with subtle vocal and body cues, all while outperforming his talented cast with beatboxing prowess. This time around, a violinist joined the rotating crew of percussionists, pianists, guitars, bass, and trumpeters. The cherry on top was an amazing performance by a Polish vocalist we’ll never forget. Even better, this time around we were able to record more than thoughts: