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History

Jazz history in Madrid

Forty years offering live jazz music and cultural events.

Established in 1981, El Despertar Café was born as a personal project during the first democratic years after Franco's dictatorship. Decorated in an early 20th century art nouveau style, it combines culture, a love of music, and a belle époque atmosphere. Over time it has grown as a family business that, even during challenging times, has striven to share our passion for jazz culture.

Forty years later, Café El Despertar continues to showcase live music as one of the few surviving bastions of jazz in Madrid.

Art nouveau atmosphere

A perfectly preserved turn of the century aesthetic fin de siglocomprising carefully restored original features such as lamps, fans, cash register and ceramic floors. These sit alongside other artisanal objects, crafted in the workshops that once stood in the surrounding neighbourhood. In essence: a beautifully curated collection of craftsmanship and decorative arts.

Classic and experimental Jazz

A trusted and admired project, well known by local, national and international musicians and artists, who keep coming back to this familiar venue, sharing their new work, playing exquisite and experimental concerts for loving and informed audiences, that are invested in enjoying good music.

Timeline

1981

Café El Despertar opens its doors

Café El Despertar opens its doors just after Spain regains a democratic government. The café is a personal project that combines a love for music and culture, fin de siècle decor and objects created by the local craftsmen of Lavapiés.

1986

The café is used to shoot a scene for the film Cara de acelga, by José Sacristán, starring Fernando Fernán Gómez and Marisa Paredes.

2002

El Despertar doubles as a Parisian café for Antonio Hernández's film En la ciudad sin límites , starring Fernando Fernán Gómez, Leonardo Sbaraglia and Ana Fernández.

2016

Documentary about the history of Jazz in Madrid

By Rafael Álvarez Espejo and José Luis No-riega.

The café features in the documentary Sólo en un Día by Rafael Álvarez Espejo and José Luis Noriega: "Two lifelong friends in love with jazz music, take their mutual passion a step further, renting a fancy American car, a 76 Lincoln, to go on a tour of Madrid's most mythic jazz venues…"

2019

A great day in Conde Duque

On April 25, La Noche en Vivo ("Live Night") brings together 159 renowned jazz musicians from Madrid's music scene on the stairs of the Conde Duque cultural center for a group picture by photographer Juanlu Vela.

2020

Pandemic

Últimos conciertos antes de la pandemia con destacados como ¡Zas Trío! (Marcelo Peralta, saxos; Baldo Martínez, contrabajo y Carlos “Sir Charles”, batería), Pedro Ojesto Flamenco Jazz Trío; Román Filiú Quartet; Lobo Jazz Trío (Carlos Bermúdez, saxos); Sacri Delfino Trío, entre otros y quedan a aplazados conciertos que no se llegan a realizar tales como Nudos (Baldo Martínez, contrabajo y Juan Saiz, saxo y flautas) o el concierto de Jorge Vistel Trío.

2021

25 June

#jaimeymanuela_currators reopen El Despertar for a few hours, to speak about enviromental art , the potential of bars and cafés as spaces linked to artistic creation, unofficial archives, conservation and outsider art, as part of the Comunidad de Madrid Programa Cráter.

2021

October

Durante la pandemia se acometieron labores de restauración y conservación para continuar atesorando el presente del jazz y de la ciudad de Madrid. Reabrimos las puertas del Café con la ayuda de muchas personas queridas como Baldo Martínez, Julia Colash, Laura Graizer, Ángela García, Izara García, Oak Tylor Smith, Irene Gaumé, Zaida Rodríguez, Celia Martín, Manuela Padrón, Jaime Cela, Raul Ruano, Sara Buraya, Pedro Ojesto, Asociación La Noche En Vivo, Aurora Portillo y muchas más.

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