Joan Manuel Serrat. His musical legacy will never go away

His tour began last April in New York, he went through Miami, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and after Mexico he will also visit Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay and, of course, all of Spain.

The tour and his presence on stage ends on December 22 and 23 at the Palau Sant Jordi, in Barcelona, ​​where he says goodbye to his audience definitively.

Only the stages, as confirmed on May 5 at a concert in the Dominican Republic: “I leave the stage, but I don’t stop living, I don’t stop loving; I love life, I love music, I love light; have no doubt that we will meet again in the streets”.

Total, the singer-songwriter will do around 60 concerts on a tour with which he wants to personally say goodbye to his fanss, of the public with whom he shared his life, his successes, the songs that they sang with him for more than half a century and that will remain impregnated through time.

Since his irruption in the world of music (1965), the interpreter of “Penélope” has not stopped writing songs, recording albums and tour the world, from symphony orchestras to the intimacy of piano, guitar and voice, with the company of the inseparable Ricard Miralles, alternating his status as a singer-songwriter with the effective musicalization of poems by authors such as Antonio Machado, Miguel Hernández and Mario Benedetti .

During an interview with the Argentine journalist Gerardo Rozín, in December 2021, he talked about the real reason for the dismissal: “It is a decision made by a feeling more than a decision, Perhaps the reason is what has marked these years of covid that kept us away from the stages, especially in Spain, where I had to spend the entire pandemic; It has been two long, terrible years, of losses and obviously with a lot of time for reflection, ”said the singer.

“Everything is very fragile and before people, time or the pandemic take me away, I am leaving; I move away from the stage but not from writing, making music or being alive; retiring at 79 is not bad, it’s a good age and I think it’s a good choice,” she added.

A life of music and poetry

Joan Manuel Serrat was one of the initiators of the Nova Cançó Catalana, generation of rebellious singer-songwriters who defended the use of Catalan during General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship and who composed their lyrics in a poetic and intimate style.

Serrat was born on December 27, 1943 in Poble Sec, Barcelona, ​​into a working-class family from the Spanish postwar period. His father, José Serrat, a Catalan worker and anarchist, and Ángeles Teresa, a housewife originally from Zaragoza. The mixture of languages ​​and customs marked his identity.

The first steps in the music of the writer and poet were with three colleagues from the universitywith whom he formed a musical group, although his friends convinced him to sing alone, as they noticed a great talent, so following their advice he made his debut in 1964 on Radio Barcelona, ​​on the Radio-Scope program, where he also got his first label, a small Catalan company, Edigsa.

Serrat joined the Nova Cançó Catalana movement, and was part of Els Setze Jutges, a group that sought to recover the Catalan language and culture. A year after his radio debut, he had his first live concert at the Centro Cultural L’Avenç, in May 1965.

Since then, their songs began to be heard, and by 1967 the Serrat phenomenon, singing in Catalan, reached the rest of Spain. And that was when he recorded his first album in Spanish.

In 1968 he was invited to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest, with the song “La, la, lá”, a nod to the dictatorship of those rebellious generations, but Serrat himself announced that he would not make the presentation if he was not allowed to sing in Catalan, which earned him a prolonged veto on national television. Her position at the festival was filled by the young Massiel who won the award with the same theme as Serrat.

The quality of his compositions (which would later alternate between Catalan and Spanish) prevailed over political pressure, managing to turn countless songs into emblematic songs for an entire generation, by that time, without a doubt, his career was growing, to the point that albums as “Mediterranean” (1971) led him to be present in half of Europe and throughout South America.

Exiled in Mexico

The singer-songwriter and poet raised his voice with the anti-Franco struggle, and in 1975 during a concert tour he condemned the serious measures of the dictator Francisco Franco.

It occurred after the punishment and death sentence ordered for 11 members of the Revolutionary Anti-Fascist and Patriotic Front and ETA, accused of murdering several police officers, six of whom were exempt from punishment and five were executed. The singer made certain statements that caused him problems in Spain, a search and arrest warrant was issued against him. He chose Mexico as his place of exile.

For a year, Joan Manuel Serrat toured the country aboard a bus with his groupor, where he gave nearly a hundred concerts.

In 2014, at the commemoration in Mexico City for the 75th anniversary of the Spanish Republican Exile, the singer recounted his experience as an exile in our country.

“Nor is it true that we have a homeland on each side, we have both in each place, besides you can have them perfectly normally, I know because I have them; I didn’t arrive on any ship, I arrived in ’69, and in ’75 I had to stay because of some declarations that forced me to stay because a process was opened against me. I stayed here in Mexico and I also found my home here, ”said the singer during that talk.

Latin Grammy of Honor

In 2014 he was recognized for the musical legacy he has left behind; at the ceremony Rubén Blades, Miguel Bosé, Juanes, Vicentico, Lila Downs, Joaquín Sabina and Calle 13 performed some Serrat classics.

great production

Serrat has 30 studio albums, six live albums, compilations and seven tribute albums, in which other musicians and performers show their admiration for his work.

The good bye

In addition to today’s concert at the Metropolitan Auditorium, on the 12th he will be in Guadalajara, on the 14th in Monterrey, and on the 18th and 19th at the National Auditorium. tickets at