Who is Javier Mas?

On January 18 on her forum, Anjani made the following announcement about Leonard's band, "Javier Mas will be handling the ethnic stringed instruments chair which includes 12 string acoustic guitar, bandurria, the laud and the archilaud." So, who is Javier Mas?

According, to Javier's myspace page --

Javier Mas was born in Zaragoza, Spain and began playing the bandurria at the age of nine. At twelve, he was playing drums and the 12 string guitar. He learned rock & roll from the records of The Kinks, The Who, etc. By fifteen, he made the decision to pursue life as a musician.

Javier has worked with singer Julia Leon, singer Neil Geoffrey, and was the composer and arranger for singer Maria del Mar Bonet and has toured, recorded and learned from many, many great musicians including his son Mario Mas. In 2000, Javier and Jordi Rallo released the album Tamiz on the Harmonia Mundi label. This album is described as a "musical journey through the traditional music of the Mediterranean.

"Javier Mas (archlute, 12-string guitar) and Jordi Rallo (tablas, percussion), on their new CD Tamiz, take a very personal approach towards traditional Mediterranean music at the crossroads of several cultures. Their music is inspired by India, the Arabic world, flamenco and the blues. It is the result of more than 15 years of close collaboration which allowed them to create step by step a profound symbiosis between percussion, sound, rhythm and melody. In this way, Jordi and Javier have developed an absolutely unique musical feeling which they transmit with total liberty of expression to their public in order to share with them a musical journey without frontiers." (Listen to clip from the album)

According to Jamie Renton of Folkroots, "...Tamiz is a beautifully performed and recorded blend of Asian, Moroccan, flamenco and blues influences... At times,the mix of gypsy, Indian and Arabic sounds is reminiscent of Thierry Robin's work in this area, but the duo have a sound all of their own... Fascinating stuff and I bet they're amazing live..."

Here is some of his music Javier Mas provides his visitors to his myspace page. In addition, Javier has posted some incredible videos of his instrumental work so check out his page and and don't forget to say hello.

Finally, in 2007 a series of concerts was organized by Alberto Manzano with a number of artists paying tribute to Leonard's songs. Those concerts became the CD/DVD set Acordes con Leonard Cohen (According to Leonard Cohen). Javier Mas and Kevin McCormick provided the arrangements and musical co-ordination. In addition, Javier provided musical accompaniment on the bandurria, laud, archilaud and 12 string acoustic guitar and even backing vocals.

Acordes con Leonard Cohen reveals what Javier's talent and skill will mean to Leonard's upcoming tour. Just watch the amazing performance of "The Butcher" by Javier Colis while Javier Mas provides backing vocals and guitar accompaniment.

And watch Adam Cohen and Anjani beautifully perform "Take This Waltz" in Spanish while Javier provides accompaniment on the 12 string accoustic guitar.

Finally, this song from the Acordes con Leonard Cohen performances highlights Javier's incredible work. Perla Batalla sings "Baila conmingo (hasta el fin del amor)" ("Dance Me to the End of Love") while Javier Mas works his magic on the 12 string accoustic guitar.

It sounds like Leonard Cohen and Javier Mas will be a match made in heaven.

You can listen and watch more of Javier's work on his myspace page. You won't be disappointed.

All songs from Acordes con Leonard Cohen are available for purchase individually in mp3 format on Amazon.com and you can also listen to clips of the songs as well.

Other youtube performances from Acordes con Leonard Cohen --

Perla Batalla - "Suzanne"
Duquende - "Mi Gitana" ("Gypsy Wife")
Jackson Browne - "A Thousand Kisses Deep"
Adam Cohen - "Bird On The Wire"

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