Music festivals coming to Marbella & San Pedro

Violins in the orchestra

Just in time for the autumnal twist in weather conditions, there are a couple of good reasons to spend time indoors: the upcoming Flamenco Festival and the International Festival of Classical Music.

Article by Anastasia Sukhanova

15th Festival de Flamenco Sierra Blanca

Poster for the XVI Flamenco Sierra Blance
Don’t miss the 15th edition of the annual Festival de Flamenco Sierra Blanca!

Flamenco is an obvious marker of Spanish national identity. Look no further than Toy Story 3 to see just how globally recognized it has become: Buzz Lightyear is mistakenly reset in “Spanish mode” and becomes a passionate Spanish flamenco dancer. In Andalucía, flamenco is omnipresent in street life and if one gets very lucky, a sporadic show can be observed on a normal Friday night with locals gathering around a guitar player and easily improvising on the tunes that practically run in their veins.

Saturday 29th of November will present an opportunity to catch flamenco right in the heart of Marbella’s Old Town, at Teatro Ciudad. Marking the 15th edition, the festival will feature Cancanilla de Marbella, Miguel de Tena, Ana Fargas, Martín Calle as singers and Paco J. Jimeno, Chaparro de Málaga and Ismael Rueda on guitars. You can get tickets online at or directly at the venue.

International Festival of Classical Music

Poster for Festival Intenational de Musica Clasica
Head to San Pedro de Alcántara for one of the six free classical music concerts

Running from Tuesday October 25th to Sunday October 30th, this year’s edition of the International Festival of Classical Music will cater to a wide range of (classical) tastes: from Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Debussy to Francois Borne’s “Fantaisie Brillante sur “Carmen”. Nine young musicians will be gathering every night at the cultural centre of Trapiche de Guadaiza in San Pedro de Alcántara. Free entry!

Music of Andalucia in personalities

Manuel de Falla

Manuel de Falla
Manuel de Falla was one of Spain’s most important musicians

Manuel de Falla y Matheu was an Andalusian Spanish composer and pianist born in Cadiz in 1876. Along with Isaac Albéniz, Francisco Tárrega, and Enrique Granados, he was one of Spain’s most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century. In his life he lived in Paris, Milan, Madrid and Argentina, but the time he spent in his native Andalucia was especially productive. From 1921 to 1939 he lived in Granada, where he organized the Concurso de Cante Jondo. In Granada he wrote the puppet opera El retablo de Maese Pedro and a concerto for harpsichord and chamber ensemble. Falla’s image appeared on the Spanish 1970 100-pesetas banknote while his house in Granada is still preserved as a biographical museum.

Paco de Lucía

Paco de Lucía, in his youth
The legend of Spanish flamenco, Paco de Lucía, in his youth

Born in 1947 in Algeciras, Francisco Sánchez Gómez, known as Paco de Lucía, was a virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer, and record producer. A leading proponent of the new flamenco style, he was one of the first flamenco guitarists to branch into classical and jazz. He was the youngest of the five children of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sánchez Pecino and Portuguese mother Lúcia Gomes, his brothers were also flamenco singers and guitarists. His early childhood was spent unknowingly learning the art of flamenco, something that was performed in his small, modest home, daily. Fun fact: he made his first public appearance at age 11 on Radio Algeciras. One can find a detailed description of a Paco de Lucia trail of Algeciras here.


Raphael singing
Born in Linares in the Jaén province, Raphael has sold more than 70 million records worldwide

Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez, often simply referred to as Raphael, is a Spanish singer and television, film and theater actor. Raphael is recognized as one of the most successful Spanish singers in the world, having sold more than 70 million records worldwide in seven languages. Born in a place called Linares in the Jaén province, he is nicknamed both “El Ruiseñor de Linares” (“Nightingale of Linares”) and “El Divo de Linares” (“The Divo from Linares”) but is also known as “El Niño”. 

Joaquín Sabina

Joaquín Sabina playing the guitar
Joaquín Sabina playing the guitar during his "Vinagre y Rosas" tour in Madrid on December 15, 2009

Joaquín Ramón Martínez Sabina, also a native of Jaén, is a musician, singer, composer, artist and poet. His songs usually concern love, heartbreaks and society with a large usage of literary figures similar to the baroque-literature style. He has released 14 studio albums, two live albums, and three compilation albums. He was awarded the Medal of Andalusia in 1989 and honoured with a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.

David Bisbal

David Bisbal on the Spanish TV show El Hormiguero
David Bisbal as a guest on the cult Spanish TV show El Hormiguero

David Bisbal Ferre is a songwriter and actor who comes from Almería. He gained his initial fame as a runner-up on the interactive reality television show Operación Triunfo. He has since released five studio albums, all of which topped the Spanish Albums Chart, in addition to recording a number of live albums.