Jordi Rallo. New musician portrait by Toni Ricart

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This morning I’ve driven to Camallera, a small village in beautiful Empordà (Girona) to portray Jordi Rallo, a great percussion player.
Jordi studied indian tabla with Uttam-das in Rishikesh (Índia) and darbouka in the Conservatoire de Musique Traditionelle in Tunis and he won a wide knowledge scholarship in the Kalakchetra school of Fine Arts in Madras, India.

He has played with Maria del Mar Bonet, Milton Nascimento, Nacho Duato Company, Shiam Sunder, Javier Mas, Paul Horn, Conrad Setó, Enrique Morente, Carles Benavent, Chicuelo, Luigi Cabanach, Neila Benbey, Toti Soler and many others.

Shooting Trio Cepheus in Barcelona by Toni Ricart

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Trio Cepheus was born in 2017 when each of the members received a "Young Promises" grant from the Ferrer-Salat Music Foundation to carry out higher music studies at the Superior Conservatory of Music of the Liceu in Barcelona. Previously, they have all studied music at the IEA Oriol Martorell, where they met for the first time. They have received masterclasses from people from all over the world such as Stephanie Baer (New York University).
Recently, they have won the 1st prize at the XIII chamber music competition "Higini Anglès de la Diputació de Tarragona", in Reus. Currently studying with Paul Cortese.

Cepheus Trio musicians are:
Camila Maza Sierra, violin
Àlex Olmedo Duynslaeger, cello
Nil Solé Bachs, piano

New musician portrait: Toni Saigi Chupi by Toni Ricart

This morning I shot the portrait of my friend Chupi at BSO, his impressive studio in Barcelona.

Chupi, with his personal style of Hammond organ, is a pioneer of Funk music in Catalonia and a very charismatic artist on the stage. It has become popular in Spain and Latin America for its collaboration during the last years with the Pop group 'Jarabe de Palo'. He is also an award-winning composer of advertising spots (Cannes, San Sebastian) and music for cinema (Festival de Valladolid 2001). He was chosen by his peers (The Association of Musicians of Jazz and Creative Music) in 2000 as the best Catalan keyboardist.

Photo session with Atenea Quartet by Toni Ricart

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The young members of the Atenea Quartet, rewarded musicians and outstanding students of Higher Music Studies, began their collaboration in 2017 with the tutelage of the Quartet Casals. In the spring of 2018, they win a quartet place participating in the prestigious festival of Musical Jeunesses in Weikersheim (September 2018, Germany), where they have received classes from Heime Müller, Donald and Viviane Weilerstein and the Quartet Casals.

Atenea Quartet members are:
Andrea Santiago, violin
Gil Sisquella, violin
Bernat Santacana, viola
Alex Olmedo, cello

Andrea Santiago. New portrait by Toni Ricart

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Almost finishing my musicians project and preparing the book.

I shot Andrea’s portrait, during the Atenea Quartet photo session.

Andrea Santiago began violin studies at the age of 8 with Maria Gonzalez. At the age of 11, she entered the IEA Oriol Martorell School in Barcelona with Professor Heriberto Fonseca obtaining the highest qualification. Currently studying higher music studies with Vera Martínez Mehner at ESMUC.

She has received classes by Daniel Cubero, Helena Satué, Gwendoline Masin, Eva Graubin, Virginie Robilliard, Agustín Leonara, Iason Keramidis, Sergey Teslya, Ingolf Turban, Daniel Sepec, Heime Müller and Latica Honda Rosenberg.

She has played with orchestras such as: JOCG under the baton of Michal Nesterowicz and Jaime Martin, IRO (International Regions Symphony Orchestra) conductor Sebastian Tewinkel, JONC Alevins (as a concertino from the years 2015 to 2016) with Juanjo Mena and Manel Valdivieso as directors , the JONC with Pablo González as conductor, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Esmuc (2016-2017) conducted by Edmond Colomer and Francesc Prat, Camerata Casals (Quartet Casals) and the OCP (Chamber Orchestra of the Penedés) as a concertino.

She was invited to play in a Berliner Philharmoniker's project, conducted by Sir Simmon Rattle, on May 21, 2018.

She has made recitals with musicians like Fedor Veselov, Irina Veselova and concert with Diana Baker and Svetana Tovstukha.

She has been a member of several chamber groups. With the Trio Wieniawsky, she has received classes from Joan Antoni Pich, Daniel Ligorio and Katia Michel. With the "Lux Quartet" she won the Q4STAGE 2016 Award. She is currently part of the Atenea Quartet, which receives the tutelage of the Casals Quartet at ESMUC, being selected to participate in the Musical Jeunesses festival in Weikersheim with Heime Müller , Donald and Viviane Weilerstein and Quartet Casals.

New musician portrait: Xavier Capellas by Toni Ricart

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I shot Xavier Capellas portrait this morning, at his beautiful home near Barcelona. Xavier is a well known composer who studied Film Scoring at the Berklee College of Music and Composition for the Music Industry at the University of Southern California.
As a film composer he has worked with Montxo Armendáriz, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Sergio Cabrera, Laura Mañá, Mariano Barroso, Manuel Huerga ...
For TV he has composed music for production companies such as Bambú, Minoria Absoluta, Brutal Media and for directors such as Sílvia Munt and Jesús Font.
In advertising he has composed and produced music for agencies and production companies such as Vinizius Young & Rubicam, Aftershare.TV, RCR Films, Bassat Ogilvy and Monday Music Producers.

another cellist: the one and only Martín Meléndez! by Toni Ricart

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This morning I had the honor of portraying Martín Meléndez, one of my favorite jazz cellists.

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From Cuban parents he was born in Moscow in September 1982. From an early age he began his music studies in the specialty of cello in Havana, Cuba, at the Conservatorio Amadeo Roldan and later at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). Used to improvise, his musical tastes takes inspiration from Jazz, Cuban Music, Funk, and later Flamenco, developing his own and fascinating style, taking the violoncello towards a new language.

He currently lives in Barcelona where he is a member of the Aupa Quartet, the Carlos Saura’s company Flamenco Hoy and also has participated for 7 years in the show Opera y Flamenco (Rafael Amargo). He has collaborated in recordings and shared stage with artists such as: Pablo Milanés, Chano Dominguez, Macaco, Dorantes, Renuad Garcia-Fons, Yusa, Descemer Bueno, Antonio Rey, Kiko Veneno, Ernesto Aurignac, Reynald Colom, Kinan Azmeh among others, playing in many parts of the world, Canada, Australia, Chile, Turkey, Russia, China, Argentina, Germany, to name a few.

new musician portrait: Magalí Datzira by Toni Ricart

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I shot Magalí’s portrait this morning at her Barcelona apartment, while outside in the street a heavy rain was falling.
Magalí is a wonderful jazz singer and double bass player.
That’s what jazz musician and conductor Joan Chamorro says about her:
It is impossible to remain indifferent whilst listening to Magalí singing. Her voice is special, uniquely beautiful, and combines sweetness and character in a balanced way, instinctively, I would say. [...] She has a very particular way of approaching tempo and melodies, reading them in a special way and confronting a score as if compass bars did not exist”