For years the name of Alba Careta (Avinyó, 1995) resonates as a reflection of a new batch of Catalan jazz. Using his trumpet, he has consolidated a career with three published albums that has earned him the Alícia award from the Catalan Academy of Music for Emerging Artist of this 2023, an award that comes to him in the midst of the promotional concerts for his latest work. , Theia (Microscopi), and with an eye on the projects that will occupy the coming months of this artist trained at the Esmuc in Barcelona and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
How did you feel when you received the Alícia award?
I didn’t expect anything, the nominations for these awards are very open stylistically. It is very good that jazz proposals are valued that are sometimes a little more remote. And that work be valued, because we have been breaking stone for a long time to be where we are.
He also won the prize from the Association of Jazz Musicians of Catalonia.
I never get used to it, they are like little pushes, but I don’t take it as if it will continue to happen. It’s very difficult and I don’t intend to last a long time at this level, it’s very demanding.
How many hours do you rehearse a day?
An hour minimum, from here as long as they may be. But he is like an athlete, to run he needs physical training. I don’t dedicate as many hours to the trumpet as it deserves, having your own project means so much extra-musical work that very often, unfortunately, music is the last thing you worry about. You don’t know what it’s like to lead a project where you pull the car, everything you do to be able to do a concert. The effort is great, but the reward is even greater.
He has now released a third album, Teia.
In Theia there is a lot of fire, it is this resinous pine wood that burns very easily and for a long time. The first two records were a bit of a trial, things that she had done without any desire to make a record. instead with Theia I compose only for the record, and we find these properties of fire, not only of burning things that we don’t like, or the burning of witches who are women who made their way and that people burned, because I also feel quite a bit of a witch doing what I do.
What does it explain?
fortes is the claim that leading is hard enough. You have to make yourself strong in many moments when you don’t want to be. We also have light in Insecurities , which talks about how you can be very insecure at many times, and it’s very good. People who are very sure of one thing make me suspicious. Allowing yourself to doubt I think is much better.
Did you already play when you were little?
I started when I was eight years old, I have always had music at home because my brother is a guitarist, my mother played in the cantaires from town. I remember when I was very little my brother told me “come on, let’s go to sleep” and he would play any song, or make me listen to a lot of jazz. When I was born he was 18 years old and he was into rock, there were always musicians at home. It was all without any intention of making super music, just sharing and having a good time together, because maybe we didn’t play like two brothers who are the same age.
And he liked the trumpet.
I chose the trumpet in the typical round of instruments that is done in the music school, I don’t know why. In fact, she was very shy and the trumpet sounds super loud. I didn’t understand it until a few years, after my father explained to me that my grandfather, whom I didn’t know, was a town bugler. I like to think that the grandfather I have not met is the one who has left me this legacy.
You studied in the Netherlands.
First I went to The Hague to do an Erasmus when I was at Esmuc doing the third course of the higher degree, and I already stayed here to finish it. Then I went to Amsterdam to do my master’s degree.
How old was he?
I was 19-20 years old and I wasn’t bored, although being bored is fine; having nothing to do… The student stage is the only time we can do this.
Or the lockdowns.
This stop was very good, from the revolutionized life that led to having all day to dedicate myself to music. It was here (in the Netherlands) that I started to compose, to make my music for the final project. Also, they didn’t ask me for any written project, but in Barcelona they did, and to do a written project you need a lot of time and very clear ideas.
Could this be done in Catalonia?
It costs a lot, in Catalonia there aren’t enough places for as many musicians as there are. You can get some concerts, but there is no jazz circuit where we all fit.
In the Netherlands it is easier.
Here there are many more subsidies and aid to culture, they can afford to do risky concerts where there may be very few people. But the thing is that people are going to listen to it, they have been used to that for a long time, to the fact that it is very good to go to a concert and be surprised. On the other hand, in Catalonia, if they don’t know you, they won’t come to the concert, they have to know your name. Thanks to the Alícia awards, which make my name more known, people may come to the concert regardless of whether they like your music. It is something with which I do not agree at all, but it is reality; If I want to work I have to do it like this. In any case, going to a concert to be surprised is one of the best things that can happen to you, even if you don’t like it.
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