Sant Andreu Jazz Band: Listen, repeat, imitate, sing and enjoy

The Sant Andreu Jazz Band from Barcelona, ​​Spain is in town to ring in the 10th anniversary of Windmills. Founder Joan Chamorro tells how his group started

The Sant Andreu Jazz Band from Barcelona, ​​Spain is in town to ring in the 10th anniversary of Windmills. Founder Joan Chamorro tells how his group started

Think sister act and Joy minus the drama of musical high school, and you have the Sant Andreu Jazz Band from Barcelona. Joan Chamorro, a music teacher in Barcelona, ​​started the group with the aim of introducing young musicians to the wonders of classical jazz. It was 16 years ago. Today, the Sant Andreu Jazz Band, made up of 22 members, is touring the world and has even been the subject of a documentary film!

In India for the first time to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Windmills Craftworks, Joan regrets that the whole group could not make the trip – some members are only seven years old and the preparations for a trip to a foreign country would have been a logistical nightmare. “This is our first trip to India and we are delighted. Although only 11 of us came, we really hope that the voices of Èlia Bastida, Alba Armengou, Koldo Munné, Alba Esteban and Joan Marti will shine,” says Joan.

Joan Chamorro

Joan Chamorro | Photo credit: special arrangement

With members ranging in age from seven to 21, the group uses an unusual approach to learning music – members coach each other, honing their mastery of the genre. “My methodology is based on trying to improve and find the most natural way to learn this language of music. Listen, repeat, imitate, sing and enjoy what we do every day,” says Joan, adding that while individual work is important, collective work is also necessary. “The motivation to play in a group, to see how your classmates improvise and have fun with it, is part of the learning process. Make music and share it with the musicians you play with and with the audience.

Joan, who started the band to get kids interested in jazz, says he was 18 when he first discovered the genre. “I was studying music, but I didn’t like the way it was taught. So when I started my own band, we started with jazz right from the start. My passion for jazz and teaching has grown over the past 40 years. It has become my way of life and it makes me very happy,” confides this 59-year-old man, who plays saxophone, clarinet and double bass, after learning the latter as an autodidact.

Besides classics by Nina Simone and Julie London, the Sant Andreu Jazz Band also features swing, bebop, soul and Latin music in its repertoire. “The music is powerful,” says Joan, recounting how the mother of a child with ADD was waiting to meet him after their concert. “She told me that her son had trouble sitting still or concentrating for more than a few minutes. However, this child remained spellbound by our young performers on stage for over an hour. It was nothing short of miraculous for her and a moving moment for both of us.

The Jazz Band of Sant Andreu

The Jazz Band of Sant Andreu | Photo credit: special arrangement

Talk about A film about children and music (2011) by director Ramón Tort, Joan says that “it reflected the reality of that moment” and that the two musicians who appear in the film – The Armengou sisters – are still in the band. “I learned to teach better and manage things more wisely; our median age is now 14. We all learn over time and get better at managing the musical and non-musical aspects of life. This is an important feature of this project.

The Sant Andreu Jazz group will play at Windmills on September 23, 24 and 25 from 9:30 p.m. For tickets priced at ₹1,000 (₹500 redeemable for F&B) and ₹2,000 (₹1,000 redeemable for F&B), go to https://windmills-india.com/#music

Joan Chamorro

Joan Chamorro | Photo credit: special arrangement

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