Catalan Review


Catalan Review (2020), 34, (1), 1–18.


As a contribution toward enriching the scholarly interest in the full spectrum of Iberian jazz, this article explores the life, work, and international reception of Catalan pianist Tete Montoliu (1933-1997) within a cultural studies framework. First and foremost, it offers a correction for a tradition of American jazz historiography that in the words of E. Taylor Atkins “has consistently failed to look overseas for jams of consequence” (xii). Moreover, to explore Tete’s accomplishments is to correct for certain tendencies within the existing scholarship on jazz in Spain. As Arribas García highlights, the fact that jazz research has paid more attention to the 1960s and 1980s than the 1970s — the latter being the decade of Spain’s Transition from a dictatorial regime to a constitutional monarchy — is a natural impediment to learning more about the jazz pianist, who recorded over twenty albums during that decade alone. His strong Catalan identity and his connection with the city of Barcelona also distinguish his music from what might be called “Spanish” jazz. Finally, this article also contributes to the need, consistent with the disability studies framework outlined by Neil Lerner and Joseph N. Straus in Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music (2006), to acknowledge that disability is everywhere in music.

Access Token
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


Almacellas i Díez, Josep M. “El procés de creació de l’orquestra municipal de Barcelona.” Revista Catalana de Musicologia, vol. 3, 2005, pp. 93-112. Google Scholar

Arribas García, Miguel. El Jazz en Barcelona durante la transición española (1975-1982). 2015. U de Valladolid, MA thesis. Google Scholar

Atkins, E. Taylor, ed. Jazz Planet. UP of Mississippi, 2003. Google Scholar

Balibrea, Mari Paz. The Global Cultural Capital: Addressing the Citizen and Producing the City in Barcelona. Palgrave, 2017. Google Scholar

Bermúdez, Silvia, and Jorge Pérez, eds. “Spanish Popular Music Studies.” Special Issue Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, 2009, pp. 127-262. Google Scholar

Borge, Jason. Tropical Riffs: Latin American and the Politics of Jazz. Duke UP, 2018. Google Scholar

Bou, Enric, and Jaume Subirana, eds. The Barcelona Reader: Cultural Readings of a City. Liverpool UP, 2017. Google Scholar

Bouchard, Frederick L. “Notes” (record sleeve liner), Catalonian Folksongs by Tete Montoliu. LP. Timeless, 1978. Google Scholar

Cerchiari, Luca, Laurent Cugny, and Franz Kerschbaumer. Eurojazzland: Jazz and European Sources, Dynamics, and Contexts. Northeastern UP, 2012. Google Scholar

Davidson, Robert A. Jazz Age Barcelona. U of Toronto P, 2009. Google Scholar

Davis, Lennard. “Introduction: The Need for Disability Studies.” The Disability Studies Reader, edited by L. Davis, Routledge, 1997, pp. 1-10. Google Scholar

Fernández, Josep-Anton. “Becoming Normal: Cultural Production and Cultural Policy in Catalonia.” Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction, edited by Helen Graham and Jo Labanyi. Oxford UP, 1995, pp. 342-346. Google Scholar

Fernández, Raúl A. From Afro-Cuban Rhythms to Latin Jazz. The U of California P, 2006. Google Scholar

Fraser, Benjamin. Disability Studies and Spanish Culture: Films, Novels, the Comic and the Public Exhibition. Liverpool UP, 2013. Google Scholar

Fraser, Benjamin. “The Public Animal in Barcelona: Urban Form, the Natural World and Socio-Spatial Transgression in the Comic ‘Un cocodril a l’Eixample’ (1987) by Pere Joan and Emilio Manzano.” Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, 2018, pp. 89-110. Google Scholar

Fraser, Benjamin. Beyond Sketches of Spain: Tete Montoliu and the Construction of Spanish Jazz. Oxford: Oxford UP, forthcoming. Google Scholar

Freixes, Dani. “Reasonable Doubts.” Temes de Disseny, vol. 30, 2014, pp. 30-35. Google Scholar

García Ferrer, Raúl. “La ciudad también se vive en los jardines. Una aproximación etnográfica a los interiores de manzana de Barcelona.” Gazeta de Antropología, vol. 28, no. 1, 2012, article 18. Google Scholar

García Martínez, José María. Del Fox Trot al Jazz Flamenco: el jazz en España 1919-1996. Alianza, 1996. Google Scholar

García Martínez, José María. “Tete Montoliu: un homenaje al más grande pianista del jazz español.” Ritmo, no. 692, 1997, pp. 5-8. Google Scholar

Garvía, Roberto. Organizing the Blind: The Case of ONCE in Spain. Routledge, 2017. Google Scholar

Giner, Juan, Joan Sardà, and Enric Vázquez. Guía universal del jazz moderno. Ma Non Troppo, 2006. Google Scholar

Hughes, Robert. Barcelona. Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Google Scholar

Iglesias, Iván. Improvisando la modernidad: El jazz y la España de Franco, de la Guerra Civil a la Guerra Fría (1936-1968). 2010. U de Valladolid, PhD dissertation. Google Scholar

Johnson, Bruce, ed. Jazz and Totalitarianism. Routledge, 2016. Google Scholar

Jurado, Miquel. Tete Montoliu. Diàlegs a Barcelona. Ajuntament de Barcelona, 1992. Google Scholar

Jurado, Miquel. Tete: Quasi autobiografia. Proa, 1998. Google Scholar

Lerner, Neil, and Joseph N. Straus. “Introduction: Theorizing Disability in Music.” Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music, edited by Neil Lerner and Joseph N. Straus. Routledge, 2006, pp. 1-10. Google Scholar

Manuel, Peter. “Flamenco Jazz: An Analytical Study.” Journal of Jazz Studies, vol. 11, no. 2, 2016, pp. 29-77. Google Scholar

Martínez, Silvia, and Héctor Fouce, eds. Made in Spain: Studies in Popular Music. Routledge, 2013. Google Scholar

Meseguer, Lluís. “Escriptura lírica i cançó popular.” Catalan Review, vol. 17, no. 1, 2003, pp. 79-91. Google Scholar

Michelone, Guido. El jazz habla español: 63 entrevistas con músicos de jazz, blues, world, tango-jazz, latin-jazz, flamenco-jazz. EDUCatt, Università Cattolica, 2011. Google Scholar

Moreno Peracaula, Xavier. Nuevo Flamenco: Re-Imagining Flamenco in Post-dictatorship Spain. 2016. Newcastle University, 2016. Google Scholar

Moreno Sabogal, Sandra Milena. Gestión del Jazz en la ciudad de Valencia. 2012. U Politécnica de Valencia, MA thesis. Google Scholar

Muñoz Molina, Antonio. El invierno en Lisboa. Círculo de lectores, 1987. Google Scholar

Muñoz Molina, Antonio. Winter in Lisbon, translated by Sonia Soto. Granta, 1999. Google Scholar

Muñoz Molina, Antonio. Como la sombra que se va. Seix Barral, 2014. Google Scholar

Muñoz Molina, Antonio. Like a Fading Shadow, translated by Camilo A. Ramirez. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017. Google Scholar

Ockelford, Adam. “Using a Music-Theoretical Approach to Explore the Impact of Disability on Musical Development: A Case Study.” Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music, edited by Neil Lerner and Joseph N. Straus. Routledge, 2006, pp. 137-55. Google Scholar

Olstrom, Clifford E. Undaunted by Blindness: Concise Biographies of 400 People Who Refused to Let Visual Impairment Define Them. 2nd edition, Perkins School for the Blind, 2012. Google Scholar

Papo, Alfredo. El jazz a Catalunya. Llibres a l’abast, 1985. Google Scholar

Pons, Pere, i Martí Farré, Pere, eds. Els 100 millors discos del jazz català. Cossetània, 2012. Google Scholar

Pujol Balenas, Jordi. Jazz en Barcelona. 1920-1965. Almendra Music, 2005. Google Scholar

Riley, Charles. Disability and the Media: Prescriptions for Change. UP of New England, 2005. Google Scholar

Rizzo, Gene. The Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time: Ranking, Analysis, and Photos. Hal Leonard, 2005. Google Scholar

Roberts, John Storm. Latin Jazz: The First of the Fusions, 1880s to Today. Schirmer, 1999. Google Scholar

Sevilla, Paco. Paco de Lucía: A New Tradition for the Flamenco Guitar. Sevilla Press, 1995. Google Scholar

Suárez, Virgil. Latin Jazz. W. Morrow, 1989. Google Scholar

Sutherland, Madeline. “Toward a History of the Blind in Spain.” Disability Studies Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 4, 2015. Accessed 18 May 2020. Google Scholar

Zagalaz, Juan. “Flamenco-Jazz: una perspectiva analítica de sus orígenes. La obra temprana de Jorge Pardo. 1978-1981.” Congreso las fronteras entre los géneros. Flamenco y otras músicas de tradición oral, edited by José Migue Díaz-Báñez, Francisco Javier Escobar Borrego, and Inmaculada Ventura Molina, U de Sevilla, 2012, pp. 39-50. Google Scholar

Zagalaz, Juan. “The Jazz-Flamenco Connection: Chick Corea and Paco de Lucía Between 1976 and 1982.” Journal of Jazz Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, 2012, pp. 33-54. Google Scholar


Coltrane, John. Olé, LP, Atlantic SD 1373. 1961. Google Scholar

Corea, Chick. My Spanish Heart. LP, Polydor PD-2-9003, Polydor - 2672 031. 1976. Google Scholar

Davis, Miles, and Gil Evans. Sketches of Spain. LP, Columbia, 1960. Google Scholar

Hampton, Lionel. Jazz Flamenco. LP, RCA Victor, 1956. Google Scholar

Iturralde, Pedro. Jazz Flamenco. LP, Hispavox, 1967. Google Scholar

Iturralde, Pedro. Jazz Flamenco, vol. 2. LP, Hispavox, 1968. Google Scholar

Montoliu, Tete. Tete!. LP, SteepleChase, 1975. Google Scholar

Montoliu, Tete. Catalonian Folksongs. Timeless, 1978. Google Scholar

Montoliu, Tete. Lunch in LA. Contemporary, 1979. Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


Author details