The paradise island of Formentera, epicentre of jazz music in the Mediterranean.

First edition of Formentera Jazz Festival will take place on the 5th, 6th and 7th of June.


  • The festival will include a roundtable, children’s activities, and the FJF Jam Session, in addition to great artists such as the renowned Cuban trumpeter Carlos Sarduy, the remarkable voices of Ganavya Doraiswamy and Nêga Lucas, the duo of voice and guitar Mel Seme and voice and sax Alexey Reyes León, along with local musicians XBlues Connotation and Fred Guzzo and Golfo of Guinea.


From 5th to 7th June, the pristine paradise that is Formentera will host the first edition of the Formentera Jazz Festival.


Located in a privileged corner of the Mediterranean, throughout its history, the smallest island of the Pitiusas has always been the subject of many legends, both in novels written by renowned authors (such as Jules Verne, among others) and was visited by major artists during their passage through this corner of the Balearic Islands (Bob Dylan, Gilberto Gil, Pink Floyd and Bob Marley during the 60’s and 70’s). No wonder that this sublime environment was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999!


With the support of the Island Council, and based on the initiative of the musician (ex-member of the legendary Ojos de Brujo) and cultural producer Maxwell Moya, raised in Formentera and now teacher at the Berklee College of Music, the festival was born as a unique musical space in one place and with the elegance and freedom that jazz music embodies.


Plaça de Sant Francesc, Cine de Sant Francesc and the Blue Bar (Platja Migjorn) will be the venues of the festival activities. The festival will include a roundtable, children’s activities, the FJF Jam Session also of great artists among which are the renowned Cuban trumpeter Carlos Sarduy, incredible voices of  Ganavya Doraiswamy and Nêga Lucas, the duo of voice and guitar Mel Seme and voice and sax Alexey Reyes León, local musicians XBlues Connotation and selectors Fred Guzzo and Golfo of Guinea.



The kick-off for the 3 days of concerts and activities for this first edition of the Formentera Jazz Festival will be celebrated with an «Opening Roundtable» to be held Friday 5th at 12pm in the Municipal Cinema of Formentera.

The debate will be presented by the director of the festival, Max Moya Wright; by the Russian-Cuban professional musician and professor of SedaJazz, Alexey León, and by Ulises Pistolo Eliza, creator of Pronóstica.

Among other things, the origin and history of jazz will be discussed, and a collective reflection will be sought to try to agree on the meaning of «improvisation” both in jazz and in contemporary music in general.

Furthermore, the 4th edition of Festival Internacional de Creació Contemporánea de les Illes Balears will be officially presented at this meeting.


formentera-jazz-festival-logo-actividad-infantilTHE KIDS WILL ALSO GO TO FJF

Formentera Jazz Festival has also given thought to the young ones. Max Moya and Mel Semé will be the master of ceremonies for this special activity, where they will teach a music workshop about singing and drumming for children of all ages. From music games, the objective of the workshop will be to promote music among the young of the island and so, develop its creative capacity.

Max Moya, professional percussionist for more than 15 years, has been percussionist for the renowned international band Ojos de Brujo and has collaborated in more than 20 albums. Mel Semé, Cuban singer and multi-instrumentalist, is an artist with more than 20 years of experience as a professional musician.

Moreover, both have taught in numerous workshops, and their experience as professional masters and musicians lead them to prepare the exercises that are chosen for the occasion, which will certainly awake the musical spirit of the little ones at the festival.




formentera-jazz-festival-logo-jamWhat a better occasion, than the closing of the festival, to celebrate a unique meeting such as this Jam Session among local residents on the island and the musicians invited to the FJF.

The FJF Jam Session promises to be a magical action, and how it could not be. It will be a unique combination of Jazz,  the beauty of the beach and the incomparable landmark of Blue Bar.



Considered to be one of the the most important Cuban trumpet players today, CARLOS SARDUY is also a percussionist and composer, and undoubtedly one of the main leaders of the current Cuban jazz scene in Spain.

formentera-jazz-festival-logo-carlos-sarduyAt the age of 16, he won his first award in the jazz competition “Jojazz” and with 19 years released his solo album “Charly en la Habana”, in which he collaborated with Chucho Valdés, Germán Velazco, Amadito Valdés, Teresa García Caturla and Roberto Carcasses among other famous musicians. This album was nominated for the Cubadisco Awards in the Jazz category.

When he was 20 years old, he came to Europe and became part of the World Music jazz scene playing with “Ojos de Brujo”, Nitin Sawhney, Esperanza Spalding, Bebo Valdés, Yasmin Levy, Elefteria Arvanitaki, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Julio Barreto, Duquende, Mariza, Rosario, Ainoa Arteta, Orishas. Becoming a regular collaborator of the musical producer Javier Limón.  He won a Latin GRAMMY in 2007 with the band “Ojos de Brujo”, and he was also nominated in 2011. In 2010 he participated in Chucho Valdés & Concha Buika’s album “El último trago”, which also won a Latin GRAMMY.

Carlos Sarduy has played several of the most important stages and festivals of Europe, Asia and America, such as the London Jazz Festival, Barbican Centre of London, North Sea Jazz Festival, Puri Jazz Festival, Festival Roskilde, Madrid Jazz Festival, Barcelona Jazz Festival, Anciénne Belgique in Brussels, Womadadelaide, Pirineos Sur, Roun House, Midem, Opera House of Sidney, Montreaux Jazz Festival, Oslo World Music Festival, Bérgamo Jazz Festival…




formentera-jazz-festival-logo-ganavya-doraiswamyMixing the purest traditions of India, Contemporary Jazz and experimental music, the singer, instrumentalist and New York composer GANAVYA DORAISWAMY is the ambassador of a new concept based on fusion, creating an original and surprising sound universe by resurrecting ancestral sounds from her roots.

She spent seven years of his childhood in southern India, her country of origin, with the purpose of learning Carnatic, classical music from that part of the country, under the tutelage of Karaikkal R. Jaishankar, before returning to the US. She grew up learning Abhangs ─ devotional poems written by Hindu saints Maharashtrian from the XIII century ─ with Ganapathy Tukaram Maharaj and Paba Satarkār Maharaj, renowned artists in the world of satsangh or spirituals. At twelve, she began to travel with Tukaram Maharaj and participated on tour in USA with over a hundred performances.

Ganavya studied experimental music at the Berklee College of Music. She realized that her singing was always evoking the sounds of India; Ganavya took his jazz education into tamil tradition creating that voice able to captivate the public in each of their performances.

During her studies, Ganavya formed a beautiful friendship with the artist Encanti (graduate teacher in Electronic Music Production and Ableton artist), and, finally, toured with the group, Zebbler Encanti Experience. This meeting with electronic music led her to represent Berklee College of Music in the International Festival of Advanced Music, Sonar.

Her interest in experimenting with her voice and the traditional instruments and sounds contained in her DNA, as well as contemporary electronic sounds, led her to be part of Zaumd, an experimental trio created by the bassist Priscilla Vela.

Ganavya has also played and sung in cinematographic productions directed by the composer Dr. Laura Karpman, and since then she has appeared in documentaries, films and TV programmes.

She is passionate about the music of Old India, and plays instruments like the veenai , the harmonium, or the jalatharangam (jal: water, tharang: waves) a melodic percussion instrument consisting essentially of ceramic bowls using water to tune the exact tone of the cup.





formentera-jazz-festival-logo-alexey-leon+mel-semeUnder the name LEÓN & SEMÉ, the voice and guitar of MEL SEMÉ comes together with the voice and  saxophone by ALEXEY REYES LEÓN with the sole objective of making audiences vibrate with their sublime sounds and tropical Groove, and their performance at the festival will no doubt be an unprecedented event.

This duo offers an intense journey exploring various musical styles, in which they blend 3 concepts:  improvisation, interaction and originality.

Based on respect for the tradition and the language of contemporary jazz, Alexey León and Mel Semé play original music and music arrangements from Cuba and Mediterranean Music.

The duo includes original composition in its repertoire, as well as traditional Boleros, Trova Cubana and contemporary song.






formentera-jazz-festival-logo-nega-lucasNêga Lucas, Brazilian singer originally from Minas Gerais, has the influences that have permeated her career imprinted in her music, starting in Brazil, singing funk, samba and Afro-Brazilian music, from Latin American music, up to the strong presence of jazz and merges it with the rhythmic-variety of songs. With her powerful and evocative voice, and a stunning and provocative stage presence, Nêga plays with singing, improvising, electrifying and mixes elements of her music with incredible originality.

Nêga Lucas has recorded two albums and has a career which has spanned two continents. She defined musical path by traveling from her homeland, Minas Gerais, up to Barcelona, where she was able to work with musicians from all over the world, and where she could find ways to discover exotic places like India and Morocco. Nêga mixes samba, her first musical reference, with Latin music, Afro-Brazilian and jazz, transforming her work into a hybrid full of colors, like a chameleon.






formentera-jazz-festival-xblues-connotationXblues Connotation. Formed in Formentera in 1993, when twins Bruce (drums) and Tony (cornet and violin) Gartell began playing with Formentera’s bassist Vicent Rosello, giving regular summer concerts in Plaça de Sant Francesc since 1994; they are now a local institution.

Among the usual band members are Enrique González (guitar), José Guzmán (trombone) and Santi Ramírez (trumpet).

They have worked with artists such as Joachim Kuhn, Jorge Pardo, Nils Landgren, and Carlos Sarduy.


+  INFO, PHOTOS,VÍDEOS & LINKS XBlues Connotation  




formentera-jazz-festival-logo-dj-golfo-de-guineaGolfo de Guinea is a world-music leader settled in Barcelona. His music is centered on Africa, but expands to Latin America and Brazil, showcasing a wide range of black music.

Golfo de Guinea DJ Selector is the well-known name for who has spent the last past years in Equatorial Guinea. Although, having participated in various artistic projects (theatre, music, poetry and radio), is in tropical Africa where he plunges into different styles from the black continent (soukous, ebolassa, Makossa, afrobeat, highlife, afrofunk and so on). On this trip, he is not going alone and assembles a band of reggae alongside the Congolese Dechaux Mwamba and the Beloved Nguema of Equatorial Guinea and consequently Encora to Bessoso, master of the Equatorial Guinean music.

Back in Barcelona in 2009, he had a heart-warming reunion with his old LPs of soul, funk and Latin, adding LPs from Africa collected in the nearly three years of absence. And, of course,  he started to DJ with them. Monothematic or “cross” sessions that can move from highlife to cumbia and from this to reggae without losing the main line.

When seems to have already left live music, creates «Recolectors Soundsystem» with the musician, DJ and producer Wagner Pa (Brazelona sessions, Brazuca Matraca) in a combination of DJ music and instruments with voices in vivo. The session is led by Golfo de Guinea and sung by Wagner Pa.

Regularly combining recorded music with live musicians, he has been able to make musical magic with Carlos Sarduy, Max Moya, Wagner Pa, Alejo Calderón, Jonas Santana and many international artists. It might take you by the sounds of a jazzier world, or bring you into a wild night filled with the rhythm of afrobeat, salsa, boogaloo, cumbia, afrofunk and soul.






image19Since he became a DJ in 1986, Fred Guzzo has defined his own style within the universe of black grooves. In a journey that goes from jazz to funk and boogaloo, or jumps from house to reggae. He was one of the first active members of Acid Jazz festivals organized in France and Switzerland.

In 2000, he settled in Barcelona and created Café Royale, where he was DJ’ing and scheduling live music for over 13 years. Café Royale was named best bar / club in Europe for two years by the New York edition of Cosmopolitan magazine, becoming a meeting point for artists passing through town as Danny Krivit, Thievery Corporation, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Kerri Chandler and Guru.

He created the label 2siders with Fred SPider, based on their respective influences of jazz and black music, in general. He was the resident and developer at Red Club, Barceloneta and now he is also the resident DJ at the famous beach bar in Arenys de Mar, Lasal.

However, Fred Guzzo, has launched his most personal project, GUZZO, the specialized black music club which is also a restaurant as well as an art gallery and a street art exhibition space where B-Toy, Ernest Zacharevic or Ripo have already exhibited.






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Press: Pat Quinteiro |