Havaneres in Calella de Palafrugell, Costa Brava
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Since June, Costa Brava moves to the rhythm of havaneres (or habaneras). These are colonial shanties that remind some kind a mix of melancholic Portugues Fado, Cuban Salsa or Son and Catalan Rumba. They´re unique on its own and are the most emblematic and representative songs from the popular festivals. Some of the habaneras have become real anthems of the popular and traditional culture in Catalonia, in the sense that they’re the songs that people sings when they meet for a celebration. Therefore, whether it comes from Cuba, Spain or Catalunya itself, Habaneras’ first interpreters and authors were those sailors who cross the Atlantic to commercialize the products between Spain and Central America.
The first singings were completely improvised by the people living by the sea, after a long hard working day, or on days with an awful weather, sheltering in taverns where they sang chants mixing what they learned from popular heritage. These songs have put down deep roots in almost all coastal towns of Costa Brava as well as inland of Catalonia, and therefore we can find that they are written in Catalan or Spanish indifferently, being from the last century or from contemporary composers. This musical style arrived to Catalonia through the sailors and navals between the 18th century and specially the 19th century, in those trips to Cuba for importation and exportation.
Outdoor concerts are held in many towns featuring groups who perform songs that were brought back from the Caribbean Sea. The most eagerly awaited performance is, without a doubt, the Singing of Havaneres in Calella de Palafrugell. This concert, held on the first Saturday of July since 1966, is one of the major tourist events at Costa Brava. Crowds flock to the town for the concert and in the Cala de Portbò (where the stage is set up) you can´t see the sea filled with boats with people wanting to enjoy the show from the water as well.
You couldn´t ask for a better setting! With its picturesque white houses, Calella de Palafrugell retains all the charm of an old fishing village. If you decide to come, make sure you get here early to avoid parking problems and to get a good vantage point for the concert. It will also give you a chance to have a good look around the Havanera Market, set up in Plaça de l´Església (Church Square).
Don´t forget to try some cremat (rum flambéed with coffee), the ideal drink to accompany popular havaneres such as "La bella Lola· (Beautiful Lola) or "El meu avi· (My Grandfather), 2 classics that always get the crowd going. If you´ve decided to spend few days at Costa Brava you can always stay in our Luxury Apartments by BE APARTMENT in different towns of the region, the best luxury apartments in Spain.