Jarabe de Palo
About Jarabe de Palo
The Latin rock group Jarabe de Palo (strictly translated as "wood syrup" in English) was formed in Barcelona in the early '90s by vocalist and guitarist Pau Donés with guitarist Jordi Mena, drummer Alex Tenas, percussionist Dani Forcada, and bassist Joan Gené. Donés, an early fan of the Beatles and Bob Marley, formed his first band with his brother, but found another lineup for the newly named Jarabe de Palo. The group's 1997 album, La Flaca, did well on the charts in the group's native land. De Vuelta y Vuelta was issued four years later and placed inside the Top 50 at Top Latin Albums.
As Spain's appetite for various forms of Latin, African, and Anglo music increased, Jarabe de Palo accommodated them by creating original music where rock, funk, jazz, and blues were fused with flamenco, Afro-Caribbean, Cuban, and Brazilian styles. 2003's Bonito mixed them all up and offered a kaleidoscopic portrait of the band's sonic palette. In 2009 they formed their own label, Tronco, and christened it with the release of Orquesta Reciclando.
In 2014, Jarabe de Palo issued the rock-funk offering Somos, followed by a global tour that took them through the Americas, Europe, and of course, Spain. Critically, the album was universally acclaimed and earned them three of their 12 Latin Grammy nominations, including album of the year, best pop/rock album, and song of the year for the title track. The tour was documented by a live offering, Americas 14-15, before the band re-emerged with the double-length studio date 50 Palos in 2017, titled for lead vocalist Pau Donés' 50th birthday. ~ John Bush