This report s a contribution from Michael Luchtan, an American living in the Catalan region of Spain.
April 23rd is a big day in Barcelona, as we celebrate St. Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia, with a national holidays of books and roses. It’s a red-letter day for booksellers throughout the region, with streets filled with people buying books and flowers for their loved ones. But for the bluegrass community, April 23, 2023 will be remembered as bittersweet. This was the last bluegrass jam held at La Sonora, a little music club on a side street in Gràcia where we have been meeting every two weeks for six years.
Word had spread that this would be the last jam at La Sonora, and musicians from throughout the years showed up for a great final session, including globe-trotting clarinetists, Catalan folk music stars, and older musicians from the states who had retired to Barcelona.
At the end of the night, when guitarist Jorge made a call for our traditional last song, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, the room spun with memories as everyone stood up and sung along a cappella for the final chorus.
Many musicians, passing through Barcelona, have come to join us in our jam circle at this little club. We share the news so that you can raise a glass at your next jam for La Sonora, and Marta Grifell, proprietor, who let us into her club for so many years. Marta has supported the jam during our highs and lows, from when it has been so full of musicians that there was no room for regular patrons, to when, during the darkest days of COVID-19, there were only two musicians jamming and no public.
We don’t have a place for our next jam yet, but if we don’t have a place secured by the next regularly scheduled jam, which has been on the second and fourth Sunday of each month for six years, you will find us in the street or at a park. Keep a watch on our Barcelona Bluegrass Jam Facebook page to stay updated.