The last five years have served for Barcelona to consolidate itself as a first division academic center in the field of modern music. Up to three higher schools, the Conservatory of the Liceu, the Taller de Músics and the Esmuc, each year train high-level musicians who bring cultural wealth to the city.

Yes? For real? The latter, that they sufficiently nurture the Barcelona scene, would be the most debatable. In fact, a common criticism among the musical atmosphere of the Catalan capital is that yes, every day great talents appear from the schools, but then, when they have to knock on the door of spaces to play, the offer falls in chopped and/or is precarious. This means that many have to find a life outside the physical borders, or even outside the borders of this art they love so much.

Despite this, there are always initiatives that try to alleviate this structural situation. This is the case of the Talents Jazz cycle, promoted by the Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera together with the three centers mentioned, which wants to be, according to its own description, “a speaker and a space where young talents can show their creativity in a exceptional setting such as the roof of the Pedrera-casa Milà”.

The festival, which started this Thursday and will continue until July 26, includes a total of 22 concerts in which up to 120 musicians will participate. There is a little bit of everything: from projects conceived for their premiere exclusively among Gaudi’s chimneys and towers to emerging groups or soloists who are starting to make a name for themselves. There are also some outstanding names at a local level but with international projection, proposals that serve to demonstrate that the training of talent obtains positive results.

The role of schools is key in this cycle. They are the ones who choose their corresponding part of the program, so the quality of the selection seems more than guaranteed. Concerts that are a dialogue between an established musician and young people stand out. This is the case, for example, of the Liceu Vibes Grup, a trio formed by three of the best students of the Liceu conservatory who will accompany the vibraphonist Marc Miralta, or the Taller de Músics Flamenco Lab, a project resulting from an artistic residency with jazz students and flamenco, and led by double bass player Manel Fortià. There are also many new groups that try to find a more current dimension of jazz, through fusions with rock, hip-hop, electronic, experimental or world music. New Rebels, Doideca, New Dimension Collective, Gruvarna or KIW follow this line and represent the freshest offer of the festival.

In short, proposals for restless music lovers who like to discover emerging talent, always so lacking in affection and support in this city.