Maria Del Mar Bonet
Now Available Collita Pròpia 2CDset with Bonus 13 Track DVD (see below for details)
María del Mar Bonet was born in the island of Mallorca (Balearic Islands) where she learned traditional Balearic songs as a small child. She moved to Barcelona around 1967 and began to sing with “Els Setze Jutges,” an important group of Catalan singer-songwriters, with whom she made her first stage appearances. That same year she made her first recording with four traditional songs from the island of Menorca (Balearic Islands).
The following year, the censors from the Franco regime forbade her to sing one of her most popular songs, “Què volen aquesta gent” (What do these people expect?). She began her first performances abroad in the early 1970s in France, Denmark and England.
She has visited numerous countries during the course of her career. In 1971, one of her records with the songs “L’aguila negra” (The Black Eagle) and “No voldria res més ara” (Now I Couldn’t Wish For Anything More), won the Spanish Gold Album award.
A few years later, María del Mar Bonet began a series of concerts at the Plaça del Rei in Barcelona that have been taking place every summer until the present and have become an excellent opportunity for her to meet up again with her Barcelona audience.
In 1981 she recorded “Jardí tancat” (Walled Garden) in Paris with arrangements by Jacques Denjean, in cooperation with Celtic musician Alan Stivell. The texts for this record were based on poems by Majorcan writers of the turn of the century.
In 1984 the French Government gave her the Charles Cross Academy Award for the best foreign record released in France. That same year she was awarded the Cross of Saint George, the highest distinction of the Generalitat de Catalunya (the Catalan Government).
In 1985, as a result of her interest and research into North African music, she recorded “Anells d’aigua” (Rings of Water) with the Ensemble de Musique Traditionelle of Tunisia, and then toured with this group throughout France and Spain.
A year later she toured Spain with the internationally famous Brazilian musician Milton Nascimento offering an international blend of Mediterranean music and South American rhythms.
In the fields of research into new artistic forms, -María del Mar Bonet presented “Arenal” in 1988 with the Spanish choreographer and dancer Nacho Duato, combining song and dance, and obtaining an excellent audience response in every country in which they performed. Nacho Duato has choreographed other works by María del Mar Bonet such as “Jardí tancat” (Walled Garden) -1st prize for choreography, Cologne, Germany- and the pas de deux “Cor Perdut”(Lost Heart).
That same year María del Mar Bonet opened the door onto what was for her an unknown genre and presented the show “Ben a prop” (Close Up) at the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona. She performed American standards and themes by Gershwin, the Rolling Stones and Toti Soler, with pianist Manel Camp, During 1992 she sang the welcome song at the International Perelada Music Festival, a contemporary musical work composed and performed by guitarist Feliu Gasull, the Teatre Lliure Chamber Orchestra and the Ars Nova Choir from Budapest. She also received the National prize 1992 awarded by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government) for popularizing Catalan folk music.
María del Mar also presented her new show “The Greece of Theodorakis” at the Plaça del Rei in Barcelona, after which she recorded “Ellas, María del Mar Bonet canta a Theodorakis” (Ellas, María del Mar Bonet Sings to Theodorakis). Early in 1994 she performed the role created by the composer Rafael Subirachs based on the poetic works of Joan Vinyoli, “Cants d’Abelone”. That year she worked with the award-winning Turkish movie director and composer Omar Zülfü Livaneli. María del Mar Bonet also presented her show “Merhaba”, about Livaeli’s work at the Summer Festival at the Plaça Real of Barcelona.
In 1995 she presented in Madrid and Barcelona her record, “Salmaia”, a selection of themes from different Mediterranean countries and regions (Turkey, Sicily, Greece, Naples, Ibiza) with the collaboration of the “Ensemble de Musique Traditionelle de Tunís” under the conduction of Fethi Zghonda.
In 1996, invited by the International Conference “Habitat” organized by the UNESCO, María del Mar Bonet performed in Istanbul. That summer she performed for the first time in Canada, in Montreal and Quebec.
In 1997 María del Mar Bonet celebrated 30 years of her musical work. For this reason, she played a very special concert at the Palau de Sant Jordi of Barcelona with an audience of over 14.000 people. The concert was broadcast live by television and she sang with international guests like Lluís Llach and Joan Manuel Serrat (Catalonia - Spain), Nena Venetsanou (Greece), Catherine Allard (Belgium), Fethi Zgonda (Tunisia). As a result of this concert, María del Mar Bonet presented a double album recorded live titled “El cor del temps” (The heart of the time). In September, invited again by UNESCO, she performed in Thessaloníki, which was the European Cultural Capital host city in 1997.
1998 was the year of the concerts abroad and collaborations with other well-known Spanish artists as Amancio Prada, Loquillo, Jordi Sabatés and Rosa Vergés. María del Mar Bonet put a lot of effort in her participation on the Jackson Browne tribute album, “Sing my songs.” She revealed the artistic excellence she has achieved over time. An outstanding piece of work that emphasizes her two most precious gifts: supreme vocal performance and beautiful melodies. It was recorded live in July 2001 in the heart of the Gothic district of Barcelona both as a celebration of her career and as a musical reinvention of herself. The album won the 2002 Spanish World Music Awards.