About me

«Manel Fortià has an impressive yet eclectic resumé ranging from mainstream modern jazz to a folk-inspired blend of free flamenco. No matter the context, it is his large and deep sound that immediately hooks the listener.»

New York Jazz Record (US)

«Fortià is a masterful composer of great breadth and imagination.»

Jazziz Magazine (US)
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Barcelona/NYC based upright bassist Manel Fortià lives a very prolific moment. His melodic sense, rhythmic precision and creativity have made him one of the most unique and original musicians of the new generation, and have allowed him to perform with jazz luminaries such as Dave Liebman, Chris Cheek, Eliot Zigmund, Bill McHenry, Ari Hoenig, Arturo O’Farrill, Chano Dominguez, Stephane Belmondo, Scott Hamilton, Dena Derose… at some of the most prestigious Jazz festivals and clubs worldwide with different projects of his own.

His recent albums as a leader include: “Despertar” (2022, Microscopi) playing fresh own compositions inspired in New York alongside his new European Trio featuring Spanish pianist Marco Mezquida and French drummer Raphaël Pannier. “Arrels” (2021, Microscopi), the debut recording of his new free-flamenco-jazz Libérica project, featuring the multi-awarded singer and saxophonist Antonio Lizana. It was on the top 10 of Best Jazz Albums of 2021 by the prestigious Enderrock magazine. His original folk-jazz duo album “Fang i Núvols” (2020, Microscopi) with the talented Catalan singer Magalí Sare was also critically acclaimed.  In addition he has appeared in more than 50 albums as a co-leader and as a sideman, including “Estándares” with Grammy Awarded pianist Chano Dominguez & Antonio Lizana, “My Old Flame” in duet with Marco Mezquida and “Bulería Brooklyniana” with Marquès/Fortià/Pannier trio. 

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Barcelona/NYC based upright bassist Manel Fortià lives a very prolific moment. His melodic sense, rhythmic precision and creativity have made him one of the most unique and original musicians of the new generation, who has become a versatile sideman in high demand and who also leads his own projects.

His recent albums as a leader include: “Despertar” (2022, Microscopi) playing fresh own compositions inspired in New York alongside his new European Trio featuring Spanish pianist Marco Mezquida and French drummer Raphaël Pannier. “Arrels” (2021, Microscopi), the debut recording of his new free-flamenco-jazz Libérica project, featuring the multi-awarded singer and saxophonist Antonio Lizana. It was on the top 10 of Best Jazz Albums of 2021 by the prestigious Enderrock magazine. His original folk-jazz duo album “Fang i Núvols” (2020, Microscopi) with the talented Catalan singer Magalí Sare was also critically acclaimed. 

Throughout his career, Manel Fortià has performed with jazz luminaries such as Dave Liebman, Chris Cheek, Eliot Zigmund, Bill McHenry, Ari Hoenig, Arturo O’Farrill, Chano Dominguez, Stephane Belmondo, Scott Hamilton, Dena Derose, among many others, at some of the most prestigious international festivals such as Vitoria Jazz Festival (Spain), Antibes Jazz Festival (France), SudTirol Jazz Festival (Italy), NYC Mediterranean Jazz Festival (USA), Jazz in Sardegna (Italy), Breda Jazz Festival (Netherlands), PortaJazz Festival (Portugal), and Voll-Damm Barcelona Jazz Festival (Spain)… as well as in famed jazz clubs like Blue Note (New York), Jazz Gallery (New York), Bimhuis (Amsterdam), Pizza Express (London), An Die Musik (Baltimore), Hot Five (Porto), and Cafe Central (Madrid).

In addition he has appeared in more than 50 albums as a co-leader and as a sideman, including “Estándares” with Grammy Awarded pianist Chano Dominguez & Antonio Lizana, “My Old Flame” in duet with Marco Mezquida and “Bulería Brooklyniana” with Marquès/Fortià/Pannier trio. 

Manel Fortià has been recognized with multiple awards such as the “Jazzer 2020” from the Jazzing Festival of Barcelona. He has also been a finalist at “Terra i Cultura 2019” with Magalí Sare, and a three-time finalist at Castelló Jazz Contest (2012-2014). He won the Jazz Fusion Contest (2013) with Tak!  In addition, he combines a performing career with his teaching role at the prestigious ESEM – Taller de Músics in Barcelona and in the Jazz Department of Girona Conservatorium.

He also has been involved with social justice music projects happening in the U.S. including Freedom First (Justice for Keith Lamar), which fights for human rights and equality, leaded by the musician-activist Albert Marquès featuring Arturo O’Farrill, Salim Washington, Caroline Davis among many others.

photos: Joan Abella