Manel Fortia is an expressive and melodic bassist based between Barcelona and New York with a long career as a performer and improviser in jazz that has led him to play with some Grammy Awarded and Nominated musicians such as Dave Liebman, Chris Cheek, Arturo O’Farrill, Chano Dominguez, Eliot Zigmund, Bill McHenry… among many others, and played in some of the most important International Jazz Festivals. He has also led his own projects and has been recognized with multiple awards. His approach of extended techniques at doublebass and his creative experimentation combined with a huge melodic sense and deep sound has converted him in one of the most unique and original bassist of the new generation.
Manel Fortia is an expressive and melodic Catalan Bassist based between Barcelona and New York with a long career as an interpreter, improviser and composer in jazz and modern music that has led him to play with great national and international figures such as Dave Liebman, Chris Cheek, Bill McHenry, Eliot Zigmund, Ari Hoenig, Arturo O’Farrill, Chano Dominguez, Stephane Belmondo, Antonio Serrano, Emilio Solla, Marc Miralta, Antonio Lizana… among many others. He has also led his own projects like, for example, the acclaimed duo with the prestigious young pianist Marco Mezquida. His approach of extended techniques at doublebass and his creative experimentation combined with a huge melodic sense and deep sound has converted him in one of the most unique and original bassist of the new generation.
He has played in many prestigious International Jazz Festivals such as Barcelona Jazz Festival, Madrid Jazz Festival, Vitoria Jazz Festival, Terrassa Jazz Festival, ViJazz (Vilafranca del Penedes), Temudas Festival (Las Palmas), PortaJazz Festival (Portugal), Percussos Da Musica (Portugal), Valado des Frades Jazz Festival (Portugal), Roccella Jazz Festival (Italy), Sud Tirol Jazz Festival (Italy), Lecco Jazz Festival (Italy), Arcange Music Festival (Rusia), NYC Mediterranean Jazz Festival (USA)… as well as in emblematic Jazz Clubs as Jamboree Jazz Club (Barcelona), Cafe Central (Madrid), Bogui Jazz (Madrid), Bilbaina Jazz Club (Bilbao), Jimmy Glass (Valencia), Rubicon (Santander), Filhoa (Coruña), Jazzazza (Murcia), Hot Five (Porto), Bimhuis (Amsterdam), Cafe Alto (Amsterdam), Cornelia Street Cafe (New York), Zinc Bar (New York), Bar Next Door (New York), Rockwood Music Hall (New York), Terraza 7 (Queens)…
He has recorded more than 40 albums as leader and sideman, including ‘My Old Flame’ with Marco Mezquida, ‘Bulería Brooklyniana’ with Marques/ Fortia/ Pannier, ‘Beige’ with Sergi Sirvent Smooth Trio and ‘Les Crisalides’ with Sabina Witt.
On the early days of his professional career he won the prestigious Sona 9 contest youth award with the band Pulpopop (2010). In the same period he also was the winner of the 2010 and 2011 Jazz Fringe Contest otorged by the Jazz Festival of Girona with GRA ‘the trio’ and Psicolab 5tet. Then he won the Jazz Fusion 2013 contest of the Mans Paideia Foundation in A Coruña with TAK!. However, he also was awarded in the editions 2012 and 2014 of the Castelló Jazz Contest with GRA ‘the trio’, TAK! and Vernau Mier 5tet, among other recognitions.
Awarded with a scholarship by the prestigious Superior School of Music of Catalonia (ESMUC), where he graduated and had the opportunity to study with great masters such as Mario Rossy, Horacio Fumero, Andrew Ackerman, Agustí Fernandez, Lluís Vidal… and many others. Previously, he studied at Taller de Musics with the Grammy Awarded bassist Javier Colina, a master teacher and mentor.
photos: Joan Abella