“10 bajo cero”
Harmonica Zúmel Blues Band became, leaded by Vicente “Harmonica” Zúmel, the pioneering blues band in our country. His huge knowledge of blues in every aspect allowed them to specialize in the most representative blues style, that is, the Chicago blues, which was paid homage in every gig from beginning to end.
The band performed practically around the whole Spain (Andalucia, Aragón, Valencia, Castilla, Baleares Islands, Madrid, Cantabria, Catalonia, etc.) not to mention, the Jazz and Blues International Grand Festivals such as the ones in Barcelona -where they played in 1985/1987-, Terrassa -1986/87/88/89/90-, Manresa -1986-, Mallorca -1987, Figueres Blues Festival -1986/87/90-, Madrid Blues Festival -1991-, Cerdanyola Blues Festival -1991-, Hospitalet Summer Blues Festival -1991- where they shared stage with the father of British blues, John Mayall, Reus Blues Festival -1991-, International Jazz Festival from the Sevilla province -1993-, Roses Blues Festival -1999- and so on.
In 1985, after winning a band’s contest organized by Catalunya Radio, recorded a videoclip with the song ‘Fes m’ho nena’ that today has become a collector’s very appreciated piece and, in 1989, they published their first record, the LP “Stratto blues” (PDI), an excellent album whose first edition was sold out in three months, which was something very unusual in Spain for a blues band.
His wide experience let them back on stage greatest bluesmen, such as Memphis Slim, Champion Jack Dupree, Johnnie Mars, (with whom they appeared on TV), Louisiana Red (Hospitalet Summer Blues Festival 1989, Guecho Blues Festival 1991 and Valls Blues Festival 1992), or share the stage with Johnny Copeland, Phillip Walker. Otis Grand & The Dance Kings, Lonnie Brooks, Eddie C. Campbell, James ‘Son’ Thomas, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Buster Benton Band, Magic Slim & The Teardrops, Legendary Blues Band… etc. Vicente Zumel also invited or was invited to play other bluesmen such as Billy Branch, Johm Primer, Luther Allison, Jimy Dawkins, Hezekiah Early, Carl Weathersby, Maurice John Vaughn, Dave Specter, Lynwood Slim, Hubert Sumlin… etc.
In 1987 they were chosen by the Memphis Blues Foundation (USA) as one of the best non-American white blues band.
In 1990, they travelled to France (Normandy) to represent Spain at the European Blues Festival, together with bands from France, The Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Germany.
A particular conception of Vicente Zúmel different own bands was to give place on them to many different musicians. This made as a result that The Harmonica Zumel Blues Band gradually became a real ‘blues school’ for Spanish musicians. As Ricky Gils says in his book “Bola y Cadena” (“Ball and Chain”) (Milenio Editions, 2003): “Above all Zumel was a catalytic person, a man who was able to join the most different musicians around the same passion: the blues”
HARMONICA ZÚMEL BLUES BAND was is the outcome from the merger of several mythic blues bands from Barcelona, all them leaded by Vicente Zumel (the forerunner Ancora Blues Band in 1971, Harmonica Zumel & His Blues Boys, Little Red Blues Explosion, Worried Life Blues Band, Drivin’ Chicago Blues, Blues Explosion Blues, Beer and Wine, Chicago Blues Tributo…) All those bands had well known musicians on the Barcelona musical background and thanks to those bands, learned and were trained for blues names like August Tharrats, Big Mama, Amadeo Casas or Alex A. Also mention other musicians who along the years collaborated with Zumel’s blues projects, as bands original members, or standing in on different gigs, or simply coming and jamming with Zumel’s bands during the seventies, eighties and nineties. Some were well known musicians of Barcelona scene and others were not very popular, but let me mention names like Chento G. Briganti, Profesor Merchan, Joan Ventosa, Montserrat Serrano, José Manuel Arcos, Francisco Ramirez, José Antonio Tur, Juanito Linares, Enric ‘Nota’ Parés, Jordi Ortiz, Xavier ‘Bubu’ Prats, Emili Baleriola, Joan Rovira, Ricky ‘Brighton’ Gil, Sergio Giunta, Keko Pujol, Toni Olivé, Julián García, Pere Sabaté, Carles Nadal, Gonçal García, Ricky Sabatés, Moisés Sorolla, Toni ‘Nervio Roto’, Javi Volumen, Carlos Segarra, Lotti Lewis, Ron Burke, Steve De Swardt, Greg Proulx, Joan Pau Cumellas, Marc Ruiz, Leo Carreras, Lluis Coloma, Ito, Julio Lobos, Julian Vaughan, David Solé, Maurici Morera, Toni Solá, Ricard Gili, Carles Salas, Lucky Guri, Quico Samsó, Manel Valls, Vicente Martínez, Miriam Aparicio, David Aparicio, the unfortunately passed away Josep Palomas and Jeffrey Ward, or the excellent singer and guitar player Joan Vinyals and all the musicians who along those years played and went with Vicente Zumel on the road to perform and enjoy playing blues all together. For all of them, my sincere gratefulness.
Vicente “Harmonica” Zúmel (harmonica and vocals) He has become the forerunner on the introduction of blues in Spain. Devoted to this work since he was 18, he founded his first blues band, The Ancora Blues Band, in 1972, together with guitar player Ricky Sabatés. In 1980 he began to collaborate as specialized critic and photographer with local and foreing magazines -the unfortunately today disappeared Sólo Blues, Quartica Jazz, Ruta 66, Rocks Musiczine from Spain, Living Blues from Chicago (1983 and 1984), Blues Forum from Germany, Il Blues from Italy, Blues Matters from United Kingdom…etc.- Vicente Zumel has interviewed and played with great blues names and he still has a close friendly relationship with some of them (see the Pictures Gallery Page). His blues radio show ‘La Hora del Blues’ has been on air for over 20 years, and it is broadcasted in Barcelona. The show can now be hear on Internet live simulcast at http://www.geocities.com/radiopica/emision.m3u (more details at the home page) If you like blues do not hesitate to tune to Zumel whenever you feel like to, since the latest international blues CD’s are played on “La Hora del Blues”, not to mention rarities, new releases, juicy CD’s raffles and other surprises.
Zúmel has also collaborated in the organisation of international Blues Festivals – Figueres, Hospitalet, Valls- He has been blues adviser at the Roses Blues Gospel and Jazz Festival (Girona). and now he collaborates with Santa Blues Festival in Tenerife.
Vicente Zumel also belonged to the Center of Black Music Research in Chicago, one of the blues archives all over the world in afro-american culture.
Zúmel has beed President for four years and founder of the “Sociedad de Blues de Barcelona” (Barcelona Blues Society) which has been created to promote blues in Barcelona and surrounding area. Among other activities, the Society published a quartely blues magazine in Spanish, do a series international and national shows in Autum bringing American and European blues artists like Louisiana Red, Little Willie Littlefield, Al Copley, Angela Brown, Rob Rio, B.B. and The Blues Shacks, Paul Lamb and The King Snakes, Axel Zwigenberger, Paul Oscher, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones or Dave Riley & Bob Corritore among others, has created a blues documentart center, organizes weekly bues jam sessions or diferent combos for festivals and events.
He’s also a staff member of Austrain magazine, Blues Art Studio www.bluesartstudio.comand thedigital spanish magazine www.distritojazz.com Vicente Zumel is also member of the Webcaster Alliance www.webcasteralliance.com/modules/advisoryboard< a trade organization dedicated to providing information, education, support and services to every aspect of the streaming media community.
Here are a list of the latest Zumel’s gigs performed before December 31st 1999. On that date Vicente Zumel decided to retire himself from the ‘live’ music where he had been since 1971 when he first was on stage with The Ancora Blues Band at the disappeared ‘Salon Iris’ in Barcelona as opening band for Los Canarios. Vicente Zumel, more than thirty years with the blues on his back, that is to say, a whole life devoted to blues.
SALA SAVANNAH. Barcelona.
CARPA D’ARTIES. Lérida.
LA COVA DEL DRAC. Barcelona.
LLANTIOL BLUES BAR. Barcelona.
TECLA SALA. Hospitalet de Llobregat.
CAFE DE BELGRADO. Sant Cugat del Vallès.
FIESTAS DE SANTA TECLA. Tarragona.
FIESTAS DE MORA LA NOVA. Tarragona.
FIESTAS DE SANT CARLES DE LA RAPITA. Tarragona.
FIESTAS DE GRACIA. Barcelona
BASIC BAR. Sabadell.
BLUES BAR. Cerdanyola del Vallès.
FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE JAZZ DE LA PROVINCIA DE SEVILLA. Gigs in:
Coria del Río
FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE BLUES DE CORDOBA. Córdoba
SALA MACKINTOSH. Terrassa
OTTO ZUTZ. Barcelona
FIESTAS DE MATARO. Barcelona
FIESTAS DE PARETS DEL VALLES. Barcelona
LA TIERRA. Barcelona
CENTRO CULTURAL. Sant Feliu de Codines
DAS ANDERE. Mataró
EL CARGOL PELUT. Parets del Vallés
DISCOTECA AVALON. Viladecans
EL ÚLTIMO TREN. Cerdanyola
NOVA JAZZ CAVA. Terrassa
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