Andrea Motis: Europe’s Jazz Queen

Garry Berman
26 min readJan 11, 2024
Photo credit: Kaothic Alice

There’s little doubt that Andrea Motis herself might take issue with the title of this article. Despite her many successes in the world of jazz from a ridiculously early age, her wide range of musical accomplishments to this point (she’s now only 28), and her travels which have taken her from across Europe to the U.S., Japan, Israel, Mexico, Chile, and many locales in between, she is more down-to-earth and modest than you would think possible. She might also point to other female jazz musicians — including some of her closest friends — to be as worthy of the above royal reference.

Be that as it may, Andrea possesses not only a tremendous talent as a musician, singer, and composer, but also a curiosity and enthusiasm for exploring aspects of jazz — from traditional to contemporary — with a wide range of collaborators from around the world for creative inspiration, all of which bring new colors to her already vivid musical palette.

She rose to fame with the Sant Andreu Jazz Band, directed by Joan Chamorro, who created the SAJB in 2006. Chamorro had been a musician and teacher at the Escola Municipal de Musica, in the quiet Sant Andreu section of Barcelona, when he embarked on his journey to teach classic jazz to the young students in a more creative and robust way than what is common.

Andrea’s father Ramon owned a trumpet, and, she says, “When he was 15 or so he loved to play music with friends.” The trumpet remained in the home, “so that’s how I started. He thought I could try it, and if I didn’t like it, change in the next year. As I had a really good teacher, I ended up enjoying the instrument.

“My first teacher was not Joan Chamorro,” she explains, “who was only giving lessons for the big band and saxophones, but not any other instrument. So, I was taught by another teacher at the school, Toni Gallart, and he was a great teacher for me. At the same time my parents put me in piano lessons, but I didn’t take many because I was busy doing sports and other things, and it became a lot of things to do.”

It’s one thing for a child to enjoy learning an instrument and how to play music, but to enjoy jazz as a genre doesn’t necessarily follow. In Andrea’s case, it was a natural attraction.

“Joan knew me from when we did auditions for concerts, where we would do saxophones and trumpets together. The saxophones would play jazz, and the trumpets would play anything, but I remember — I saw that the saxophones were playing jazz, and I became more fond of what they were playing. Then I wanted to start saxophone as a second instrument in the school. When I started saxophone lessons, Joan was my teacher. He saw that I really had an interest in jazz music and I wanted to study, and I could play both trumpet and saxophone, so he invited me to be part of the Dixieland band. He would do it apart from the official hours of the school, for free. I was 11 when I started with the SAJB.

“Honestly, I think I loved hearing jazz on the trumpet, and I became more in love with the sound when I heard trumpet players playing jazz, especially Bobby Hackett. I loved the way he was playing on the albums Joan shared with me. He was teaching me saxophone, but he was also giving me material to play on trumpet, to transcribe. He made me learn the music from the albums. It was really interesting, to develop the ear for his love for jazz. So I fell in love with jazz realizing I could play notes, but when I heard the recordings, I remember understanding there were more things than only the notes. I could play the melody, but when I heard the recordings of Bobby Hackett, there were more things he was playing — not only the notes. So that became my goal, to be able to being able to express not only the song, but to express something like what he was doing — that’s why he became my idol a little bit, and I fell in love with jazz more with the playing than for the listening.”

A young Bobby Hackett in the 1930s.

“I love playing in a combo, understanding that each one has a part, every part is necessary, and we could make beautiful things all together. At the beginning, I couldn’t understand people who only like listening to jazz because it’s much for fun playing. Nowadays, I probably enjoy listening more than playing,” she says with a laugh.

Andrea, saxophonist Eva Fernandez, and bassist Magali Datzira formed a close friendship at the time, which made the experience of playing in the new SAJB that much more enjoyable.

Andrea with sister Carla, Eva Fernandez, and Magali Datzira. “Woooow…Yes this was before I ever sang — we headed to our first time playing on radio. We played ‘That’s a Plenty.’ I still remember and we were called “Girls Code Jazz Band” as we were dressed in black and white like a barcode for shopping 😅”

“I think the most beautiful thing was that we went through many special moments with the SAJB together,” she recalls. “Rita came some years later, after there had been the three of us, Eva, Magali and I. When I started with the band, Eva was already there. After two years, Magali came, and some years after, Rita appeared.

By 2009, the SAJB and grown from a Dixieland group to a full-sized big band. Andrea sits at center of the first row.

“So Eva and I were the oldest two, and Magali and Rita a little younger. And of course Eva and I have a really close relationship — we were the teenagers, and when you’re a teenager your friends become so important. We had other friends at the school, but in the SAJB friendships became very special for all of us, because it was something we were committed to do together, and you’re sharing one of your passions or same hobbies together. And that makes it more special because in school you just have to go there, but with music it’s somewhat more emotional. We had more in common than with some of our school friends.

“We went through so many things with teenager friendships, Eva had a boyfriend in the band, I had a boyfriend at some point in the band…Magali and Rita also had enormous talent. I have always been a fan of Magali because her interpreting is very authentic, and she’s a very authentic person, I love her so much, too. I think of them like sisters, because you can imagine we knew each other when we were very little, we would sleep at each other’s house, have parties…I met Magali when she was only eleven, I think. That’s the feeling when we play together, someone you’ve known from childhood, someone you’ve spent afternoons with…”

One remarkable aspect of the early musical relationship between Chamorro and Andrea is how he began to trust and respect her musical judgement and opinions usually reserved for much more experienced musicians. He saw something in her that told him she had an advanced understanding of jazz. This is evident, perhaps in subtle ways, at various moments in Ramon Tort’s 2012 documentary Kids and Music, for which Tort filmed the band in rehearsals and concerts throughout 2011 and 2012.

With her jazz mentor, SAJB founder Joan Chamorro, in 2012.

Chamorro says of that time, “I think during the time [Andrea and I] shared group leadership, we did pretty well. She always had the power to decide the steps to follow, in a progressive way, until at a certain point she became the absolute leader of her career. Whenever I made decisions, I did so with her best interests in mind. And even though I could possibly be wrong on some occasions, the result is a wonderful present, both musically and personally.”

“In the beginning,” she agrees, “we had a pretty mature relationship within jazz. I always felt he really believed in my singing and playing, so that was very good, because we were also collaborating in the same band apart from the SAJB; he counted on me for other professional gigs, and he put together the quintet [with guitarist Josep Traver, pianist Ignasi Terraza, and drummer Esteve Pi] that we were leading together, so I never felt ‘minor’ for being young.”

She explains how the quintet began:

“I was the first singer in the SAJB. Joan was playing saxophone, and I think I was the only trumpet-playing singer. The quintet began because Joan wanted to make a CD under his name, and he wanted to count on a trumpet player and singer who could sing the old, classic jazz. He didn’t know of any in Barcelona, so he told me, ‘I know you’re not a professional yet, and not at the point where you can improvise or have a lot of experience, but what I need you can do, like singing, interpreting the melodies, and you can try some solos to improvise’, because I really couldn’t, especially for a recording. It was very casual, nothing too pretentious. But it went well, and when we presented the album, many people were interested, so we continued doing this project [with the quintet].”

Being treated as a virtual equal among seasoned musicians proved a bit daunting for her at first. “In the beginning, I remember feeling a lot of pressure because they all were really experienced musicians and teachers, and then I couldn’t really improvise yet. I was in the first stages of learning jazz, so it was really unequal in the beginning. But I guess I was learning fast and I was respectful, too, I was listening, and I put a lot of my time in it. I tried my best, and I think Joan saw it. We treated each other with respect.”

[Josep Traver offers his memories of Andrea and the quintet in this piece from 2022: Josep Traver: Guitarist of all Trades | by Garry Berman | Medium]

She suspects that her rising star and eventual co-leader status within the quintet outside of the SAJB may not have sat well with some of her younger fellow musicians at first. “Of course there were people who were not so fond of it. But hopefully we managed it okay,” she says.

For that first album, Chamorro wrote at the time: “Andrea Motis, a saxophone student of mine since she was 11 years old. A student and, without being aware of it, a teacher. Infinite capacity for work, boundless enthusiasm, always willing to learn and always wanting to play. Trumpeter of first instrument, but very good soprano and alto saxophonist. And, in the fact that we can hear the most in this album, singer.

“Her big heart and humility, together with her capacity for work and the innate talent she has, plus the duende that we all see in her, can make her a great artist, which she is not far from achieving. This album is a small sample of that.”

The quintet in 2015 (l. to r.): Andrea, Josep Traver, Joan Chamorro, Esteve Pi, Ignasi Terraza.

Andrea continues, “Afterwards, there were more people singing in the SAJB, and that’s why I think, honestly, that’s the reason why Joan began the series of Presenta… albums. Of course there were people who wanted to have the same opportunity and wanted to have the experience of recording something. And it was useful for me because I learned a lot by doing the CD, and he wanted to give the opportunity to the other people. So, he came up with this idea, and he continues doing it.” So far, Chamorro has produced 18 Joan Chamorro presenta… albums, with more to come.

The young Andrea had even begun suggesting that Chamorro consider inviting a few choice American jazz musicians to play with the SAJB as guests. “Yes, that was the case with Joel Frahm, for example. He did an album with [singer] Cyrille Aimée and Roy Hargrove, Live at Smalls. I was listening to it a lot, and before Roy Hargrove passed away. I knew he was not good for the SAJB because he was not healthy. But I hadn’t heard of Joel Frahm, until I discovered him through this album, and I really became a big fan of his phrasing and his amazing tonality and ideas on the saxophone. I thought I’d really love to collaborate with him and suggested it to Joan. I think Joan knew about the band and was very happy to collaborate, and asked Joel to play with us.

Andrea and Joel Frahm playing “Cherokee” in 2015.

“And I also invited him to play on my Emotional Dance album. As for inviting the rest — Alan Vache, I can’t remember, but when I was first learning jazz, one of the most beautiful albums Joan shared with me was the Allan Vache Quartet…and I remember particularly loving ‘Egyptian Fantasy’ and ‘Minor Swing’.”

Vache fills in the small gap in Andrea’s memory: “My first introduction to the SAJB was an email I received from Andrea Motis,” he says. “She told me that she had been listening to my recordings since she was a little girl and greatly admired my playing. She sent me a video of the group playing ‘Louisiana Fairytale’ that I have recorded with my Big 4 group back in the ’90s. They had taken my improvised solo and scored it out for four saxophones. I was really honored and impressed that they did that.”

“Later on,” Andrea adds, “Allan invited me to play on the cruise ship with his [trumpeter] brother Warren.”

Throughout the life of the SAJB, Joan Chamorro has often created projects using smaller combos of selected musicians from within the band. One of the most popular has been La Magia de la Veu (The Magic of the Voice), which has had three versions so far, each emphasizing the singing talents of the SAJB musicians. He created the first in 2013 for an album Joan Chamorro presenta La Magia de la Veu, to honor the songs of four legendary jazz singers (Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, and Dinah Washington), and showcased the vocal and musical talents of Andrea, Eva, Magali, and newcomer Rita Payés.

Rita was barely 14 when she joined the SAJB and joined the recording sessions for La Magia de la Veu after they had already begun. As was the case with Andrea, many observers were impressed with Rita’s talents and jazz know-how at such a young age.

“Yes, it was something everyone could feel,” Andrea says. “Also, she started singing at the beginning when she entered the SAJB, and she always had this catchy voice and very nice interpretation, a mature way of interpreting at an early age. And at the trombone she was working hard, and one could feel it. I think everyone appreciated that she was very talented.”

The natural chemistry and top-level talents among the foursome created an undeniable magic when they performed onstage. Some fans to this day (especially this writer) refer to them as “The Fab Four” of the SAJB.

Andrea, Rita, Magali, and Eva performing at the Jamboree.

Another memorable event SAJB fans still view often on YouTube is Andrea’s first gig with saxophone legend Scott Hamilton, at Barcelona’s Jamboree club in May of 2013.

“It was an opportunity for me to play with such a good interpreter and to see that you can use few notes and phrasing and still do the biggest solo. I learned that from Scott because he always does a great solo, and he doesn’t need to do the complicated stuff. That’s why I get so inspired with him.”

Hamilton joined the quintet for the gig (and for the SAJB’s famous outdoor concert at the Plaza Reial later that week), at the invitation of Esteve Pi. At 2023 Jazzing, Hamilton recalled, “All I knew was there was like a 16-year-old girl everyone was talking about. My friends were working with her, and none of them were available for gigs anymore because they were busy doing gigs with Andrea!”

Speaking of saxophonists, those who have enjoyed Andrea’s own skills on sax often wonder if she has left it behind for the most part, or still includes it in her performances and recordings.

“Yeah!” she says. “I don’t have much time to study it, and I don’t play it so much in my shows, but for example, the other day we were playing at the Palau de Musica, and I played my soprano sax again, so from time to time I still play it. Soprano feels more natural to me, it’s more similar to the trumpet because it’s in the same key, so to me it’s easier. I play soprano more at the moment than alto.”

Four SAJB soprano saxes in June, 2012 ( r.):Alba Esteban, Eva, Andrea, and Joan Marti.

Soprano has also been Eva’s longtime favorite sax, which she plays almost exclusively these days. “She started with it because she was so small so they gave her soprano, and I think it’s her favorite. She has a special relationship with soprano sax, and she makes it sound very cool.”

The subject turns to Andrea’s rare visits to the United States, one of which has been documented in Ramon Tort’s film The Silent Trumpet, on the recording of the Emotional Dance album in March of 2016, at Carriage Studios in Connecticut.

One scene shows us Andrea’s reaction to the swirling activity and lights of New York’s Times Square. Was she not impressed?

“No! It might seem rude, especially for American people. I grew up in a city, and I’m used to cities, but it’s not my favorite thing to see all the advertisements — I honestly appreciate nature more!”

A brief trailer for “The Silent Trumpet.”

Softening her response with considerable praise for the Big Apple, she adds, “New York is exciting, yes, of course it’s an amazing city. I really like it. I wouldn’t live there but I would like to spend more time there, because there are so many great things there, especially for jazz music. Sometimes I say to Chris [her partner, Austrian violinist Christoph Mallinger] that I would be so excited to live or to be together in New York for a couple of months or so, when we have savings, because it’s difficult to work there and to make money there, and it’s very expensive to live there. But it would be so cool to see so many other musicians, with so much intense music going on at the top level. So, I would love to do it, but with children, I don’t think we would be able.”

Her last visit to the U.S., in July of 2019, included a gig in New Jersey with Warren Vache at pianist Earl Saul’s house, which Sauls has partially converted into a jazz club.

“I played in New Jersey with Warren and an amazing drummer [Tim Pleasant] and bass player [Sauls].” Steve Ash played piano. “I remember it was the hottest day of my life, I think! Everyone was sweating.”

The next evening, she played a gig with the quintet at Dizzy’s Club in Manhattan.

“I also had the opportunity on the same trip to record one song in New Jersey too, in a really cool studio, which was a really small church converted into a studio, where I recorded with Yo-Yo Ma. We also recorded in 2019, a traditional Catalan song that Pablo Casals made very famous.

“It was really cool to be in New York and have this amazing work to do. We were also in California, where I did teaching for the Stanford Jazz Workshop, which I loved. I remember this trip to the United States with much love.”

At this point in the conversation, Christoph stopped in briefly on his way to make dinner for the family, but took a moment to recall how they met.

“We first met playing a session when she was 13 and I was 23. When Andrea was 15 or 16, I invited Joan Chamorro and her to Vienna, back in the days when I had a group, Sugar Daises Hot Club. They joined us for a concert tour. We played Salzburg and Vienna, some others, but that was the first official concert. And then she came back many times! And now, two kids — imagine!”

Andrea adds, “The first video of us playing together was at the Jamboree, before we were together [as a couple.]”

The conversation moved along in the timeline to the SAJB’s 15th anniversary celebration in November of 2021, for which Chamorro organized a special presentation of five concerts with current and former SAJB musicians, all of whom had been part of the band at some point since its inception in 2006.

The “Fab Four” at the “Joan Chamorro presenta” concert, featuring all former SAJB members who had recorded an album as part of that series of albums (photo courtesy of Peter ter Haar).

“It was nice!” Andrea recalls. “It was very impressive, because I think the SAJB is very different nowadays. For me, one interesting point is that now everyone who gets into the band knows what it is, and what to expect of this, because it’s quite famous, and you can see many videos and many CDs. At the beginning, it was different, because we were building it together.”

In those early days, she admits, attitudes about being a part of the band were sometimes more casual. “Maybe some people didn’t want to do certain things, some others didn’t want to compromise so much with other things, some people were just having fun or killing time…we weren’t so sure what this was. We were of course having fun and performing, but it was not an easy time all the time. Sometimes it’s not all as beautiful as it may seem. I was there ten years, and there were so many things happening and going on. Nowadays, everyone who gets in has a profile. Before, there were talented musicians who were also kind of trouble sometimes.”

Her description of the reunion doesn’t sound much different from that of a high school reunion of classmates — until you add the extraordinary collective musical talent among the nearly 70 SAJB alumni. “The reunion concert it was so interesting for the people who were in the early stages of the SAJB to meet again. It was very nice. Now, most of the people live for the music, but not everyone. But what is true is I think everyone is quite happy with what they are doing, we’re much more mature than at the beginning. So, it’s very nice for me at this stage. You stop seeing each other at a young age, and then you meet again when you’re more mature and have a lot of experience, and it feels good to have so many new memories together, and everyone is excited to see each other.”

She illustrates her point by relating a humorous anecdote. “When I was about to deliver my second baby, Waldi, I went to a place recommended to me in Badalona, where you can have a free [natural] birth, unmedicated, which is good because it’s more like a home or hotel room, not like a hospital. So, I was interested in that, and I went there to see it and have this first contact meeting. I went alone and when I stepped off the bus, I saw two doctors with white lab coats, and I heard one whispering bebop! And it took me some seconds to realize one of them was Carles Vasquez, who was in the SAJB, and is now a doctor! It was so cool to say, ‘Wow! How are you!’ He was working there, and I said, ‘I’m gonna have my baby here, and he said ‘okay, anything you need, I’m here’.”

Another of the five concerts for that occasion was to spotlight Andrea. As Chamorro explained shortly afterward, “The concert with Andrea was like a farewell concert for the quintet, since they are working on a new project with different musicians. It was a very special concert because Andrea had hoarseness and couldn’t sing. She surrounded herself with great musicians who made the concert a success — great moment also for 2021. After more than 10 years working together, seeing how Andrea, with each year that passed, was more solid musically, more mature, a better improviser and with a more personal voice every day, I think it was time for her to seek new paths. We continue to work together, and I am sure we will always do so.”

Alas, Chamorro was correct; the quintet has occasionally reunited onstage since then, and Andrea continues to collaborate with each of the individual musicians on various projects, and in different combinations.

As for the majority of the former SAJB musicians who have continued to pursue their solo careers in music, she observes, “I would say the most common thing — my feeling — is that every one of the soloists and people in the band somehow desire afterwards to have their own band with no one from the SAJB, to have experience with people outside the SAJB. It can get so intense, and you know each other so well, you really need to have other influences. I didn’t feel it so much, but since I’ve started working more with Christoph and other musicians, I think it made something good in me because I could open up a little bit more in music, and that made me gain in experience and handle different personalities, and for me it really opened possibilities in my mind.”

Known for her brilliant improvisations, she also offers her thoughts on the art of improvisation, noting that it’s not as spontaneous as it looks. “You need to know the song, and you need to be familiar with the harmonics and work on it beforehand, and then you can completely improvise, but you need to go through it before. I would say it’s a little bit like doing a speech in front of people. You need to know the topic really well, you need to organize what topics you can talk about…everyone can do a speech, but it can be really poor, or really rich. It’s not something you can do when you just start talking. Joan always compares it to a language. You have to have confidence to improvise, it’s something that takes time to understand. I don’t get too theoretical. I learn by ear, and I play almost 100% by ear, so to me it’s like speaking a language. But of course, with some people it becomes more theoretical, and you can feel it when you hear it.”

Throwing everything she knows into a monster solo on “Love For Sale” with Christoph Mallinger’s band.

She has been busy in recent years maintaining a heavy schedule of recording new albums, such as Emotional Dance (2017), a mix of standards, bossa nova, and several of Andrea’s original compositions; Do Outro Lado Do Azul (2019), a tribute to Brazilian music featuring composers other than the better-known legends Jobim and Gilberto (plus a few more Andrea originals); Colors and Shadows (2021), a collaboration with Germany’s WDR Big Band. “It’s more classic jazz and Latin, too. I know the director, Michael Mossman, from the same workshop as Chris, I knew he’s very much into Latin jazz, so I would select my own compositions that were more Latin jazz than some others, so we got a good mix.” For the album Loopholes (2022), Andrea experimented with a more progressive, funky, electronic sound.

Her latest release is the album Febrero, recorded in Chile, of which she says,I always love to do any kind of jazz. In Febrero it’s more of a classical jazz, and boleros. It goes back to the music from the ’30s or so, so I think it’s really something easy to listen to. Very melodic.”

A brief promotional clip for “Febrero.”

She explains how she began visiting Chile in February of each year for the past several years. “I started going to Chile thanks to Chris, because he had this work every summer (winter here) with another Austrian, a great opera singer, Christian Boesch. He was the most famous Papageno character in The Magic Flute [the Mozart opera] all over the world. He retired and went to Chile and does a lot of music projects with children at the music school he created, the Fundación Cultural Papageno.

“He asked Christoph to teach violin, so once we were together, he introduced me, and they invited me to teach some trumpet and singing. This year was the 7th or 8th year for me. First, we were there for 8 days, now we travel with the two kids and my parents, and we stay for more than one month. We got to make a lot of friends there, and they come to our place in Barcelona, too. So, it’s our second home. But this project seems to be close to the end, because he’s now 82 or 83, and would like to end this much work.”

She has announced her schedule for her upcoming return to Chile beginning in late January, and is busy at work on new album, Temblor, which has grown from her yearly visits there.

“I was inspired to name it from when I was in Chile, and I’m doing a lot of my own lyrics and songs, and I relate it to my own emotions, and named it Tremblor also because Chile is an earthquake area, so I wanted to relate it somehow to this, and also because this project will have a lot of percussion, which will make it more “shaky” like a tremor. We have a great percussionist, Zé Luis Nascimento, and Christoph will do all the harmonies on the violin and mandolin, and I will do the singing and trumpet, and maybe saxophone. So it’s an unusual trio. It’s not common to see violin, singing, and percussion! It’s not going to be so much swing jazz, but it’s not going to be as electronic as Loopholes, it’s going to be something like jazzy singing/songwriting.

After her return, she will collaborate with her sister Carla again for concert in March. “We’ll also be performing together at the Barcelona Jazz Festival next summer, it will be an open-air show, and we’ve also played in Galicia lately, so we don’t get to play together very often, but we got to do it this year a couple of times.”

Lest we forget that along with recording, performing, touring, and other travels, Andrea has also been raising her two young sons with Mallinger. The new lifestyle has naturally required some adjustments.

“I have always been with the babies until they are two. Cel is now three, and we have always been together, at least at nights. If I were to go during the day, someone could take care of him. But not at night because he wasn’t handling it good without me at night, until he was two. And with Waldi I expect to do the same. Now he’s four months, and I think it will be another year and a half — maybe sooner, because he’s a very chill type, he’s very comfortable and doesn’t need me nursing much as Cel at night.

“But still, it’s been an adjustment, because we always prioritize that they feel good, even if it costs to have somebody with us and travel with the children. But I think for them it’s better than staying with anyone else, and it’s always good to be with the family and go to other places and have different experiences. I think it’s cool. We don’t look at it as a big problem, I think we handle it.”

Nonetheless, she has cut back on her famously busy work schedule in the past few years. “It happens naturally because I was honestly playing very much, like, three concerts a week or so before, and it’s more for the relationship with Chris. We committed to maybe not work so much so we could have more time together, do holidays in the summer…but I still have a lot of concerts. It’s true that before I would do everything, but now I don’t really need to do things. Every time I say yes to a gig, it’s a lot of logistics. So, I make sure I really want to do it from a professional perspective, and from a personal perspective, too. And that makes total sense to me now, and I love doing things this way, because I love spending time at home with my children. For me now, it’s better than before.

With Christoph and Magali in July, 2023 for the “Loopholes” tour.

“Even though I love to do so many things, we’ve been working a lot in the last years with children, with the album Loopholes, with Temblor, even if we work from home we are still composing, we’re still doing lyrics and music...So, the fewer things I’m doing that I don’t need to do, or am not as excited to do so much, the more time I’ll have to be with family. And if it’s important enough, I’ll have extra time to work on the music. I really need this time, if I want to do something creative…so that’s also my motivation, to save time. For me it’s a thing of growing, for organization and prioritizing, it’s been a good thing to learn.”

To top off an eventful 2023, Andrea received a Goya Awards nomination for Best Original Music for the film “Saben Aquell.”

So, coming full circle: For all that she has accomplished in her career — pursuing new sounds and collaborations in jazz with a wide variety of musicians and singers around the world — it is obvious that she is still happy to talk about the musical foundation Joan Chamorro and the Sant Andreu Jazz Band provided for her throughout her childhood and teen years. She has made several return appearances to the SAJB at the band’s annual Jazzing Festival — most recently in 2022 — and has joined the band onstage as a guest artist elsewhere as well.

Performing “Acai” by Brazilian singer/composer Djavan at 2022 Jazzing, accompanied by the current SAJB generation of musicians.

Today, Chamorro offers his assessment of Andrea’s accomplishments. “Fourteen years later [since the first album], we find ourselves with a consolidated artist, with worldwide projection. A sincere artist who continues to surprise and excite with her art, both with her voice and with her instruments.”

He also reflects on his relationship with Andrea, which continues to thrive today. “Beyond the professional,” he continues, “we are united by a friendship and an affection that will last forever, because when our paths crossed, our lives changed course and began a wonderful journey towards the present, towards the now, through music. And that now is something that I’m proud of and happy about.”

Andrea is even okay with seeing the older videos of herself playing and singing at a young age, when she was being hailed by many as a musical prodigy.

“For me it’s nice to go back and talk about it [watching the older videos]. I don’t have problems with that anymore. I think years ago I wouldn’t feel as comfortable, thinking ‘it’s not good enough, I could do better,’ and ‘I thought I was doing better than that’, and I didn’t want to only be related to those videos, but now I’m really at peace with what I did, because I was that age, and now I hear it and I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with it. Even later, or now, I can do things really wrong in music, and all the things I like, but I’m quite at peace with things.”

Until next time…

You can read my previous articles about the Sant Andreu Jazz Band at the links below, and at the “Garry’s Blog” page on my website, Please click the “follow” button and follow me on Medium (for no charge) for more articles on popular culture, music, films, television, entertainment history, and just plain old history.

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The Sant Andreu Jazz Band is always grateful for donations large and small to help the project continue to record and release new albums, perform live concerts, and maintain a successful project and all that entails. Please see this link regarding the current GoFundMe campaign:

Fundraiser for Association Sant Andreu Jazz Band by Friends of SAJB Amis du SAJB : Sant Andreu Jazz Band JAZZING 14 (

Bossa Nova Returns to Barcelona” | by Garry Berman | Medium| by Garry Berman | Medium

“A Perfect Arrangement: Joan Monné and the Sant Andreu Jazz Band” | by Garry Berman | Dec, 2023 | Medium

“Carla Motis: A Quiet Force on Jazz Guitar” | by Garry Berman | Sep, 2023 | Medium

“Memories of my Visit to Jazzing Fest, 2023” | by Garry Berman | Sep, 2023 | Medium

“Meet Asier Vázquez, The SAJB’s Eager New Guitarist” | by Garry Berman | Medium

“Koldo Munné’s Musical Journey” | by Garry Berman | Jun, 2023 | Medium

“Claudia Rostey’s Rising Star” | by Garry Berman | Jun, 2023 | Medium

“A Film About Kids and Music: Ten Years Later”

“Marching to a Different Bassist: The Music of Magali Datzira” | by Garry Berman | Medium

“Kindred Spirits: How Joan Chamorro and Isidore Rudnick Teach Jazz to Kids”

“The Compelling Music of Elia Bastida and Carolina Alabau”

“The SAJB’s Koldo Munne Steps into the Jazz Spotlight”

“A Tale of Two Albas”

“How a Kids Band in Barcelona Rekindled My Love of Jazz”

“Jan Domenech’s New Chapter as a Jazz Musician”

“Joan Chamorro and the SAJB: Past, Present, and Future”

“Josep Traver: Guitarist of All Trades”

“When American Jazz Pros Meet Spanish Jazz Kids”

“Claudia Rostey: The Life of an 18-year-old Bacelona Jazz Trombonist”

“The Magic of the Voice: The Singers of the Sant Andreu Jazz Band”

“Jobim is Alive and Well in Barcelona”

“Did Someone Say Anastasia Ivanova?”

“Struck by (musical) Lightning”

Sant Andreu Jazz Band CDs and DVDs are available at:, eBay, and

You can also visit to read synopses and reviews of my books and order them via the links to



Garry Berman

Pop Culture historian, Freelance Writer, Author, specializing in American comedy history in films, radio, and TV. Beatles and jazz enthusiast, animal lover.