Often, when people think of rumba they think of those sandy beaches and rum soaked bars of Cuba. But did you know there is a type of rumba born and bred in Gràcia? The rumba catalana was born and cultivates amongst the Catalan gyspy community who have been living in Gràcia for centuries and are Catalan speaking. From the 1950s onwards they took rhythms already found in Flamenco and mixed them with Cuban elements heard from the Cuban sailors who sailed into port and rock and roll to form their own take on the Rumba genre. Quickly it became popular all over Spain and the musicians and groups such as El Pescaílla (born to a gypsy family in Gràcia) were big names in the music industry. Over the years Rumba Catalana has influenced musicians such as the Gipsy Kings, Los Manolos and Manu Chao, each generation giving their own interpretations and adding their own influences. Rumba Catalana remains an extremely popular genre today and if you walk down Carrer de Fraternitat (where el Pescaílla was born) or Ramon y Cajal you may just get to hear the sounds of a Spanish guitar, drums and a powerful voice that make up the intoxicating sound of the Rumba Catalana flowing from the same gypsy community who created it all those years ago.
Barcelona, Spain, Catalonia, Gràcia, travel, tourism, music, Rumba, traditions