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Jay Blakesberg & Alan Paul’s IGE 2018 Barcelona Diary: Sala Apolo, Everyone Orchestra, & The Music Of The Grateful Dead [Photos]

Innovative Giving Enhancement (IGE)‘s fourth-annual Music and Art Immersion Community in Barcelona, Spain, is currently underway. The yearly event brings a crew of talented musical ambassadors to foreign destinations where they cross paths with a broad range of multi-genre European artists for ten days filled with immersive international improvisation and collaboration. Lauded music photographer Jay Blakesberg and New York Times best-selling Allman Brothers biographer Alan Paul will be bringing you daily updates on the happenings of the 2018 IGE Music and Art Immersion Community via Live For Live Music. You can check out today’s entry from Barcelona below: 

Yesterday’s highlight of the IGE 2018 Barcelona Music and Art Immersion Community with The Music Never Stopped, a ticketed event at the large club Sala Apolo, had over 400 Barcelonans in attendance.

The Everyone Orchestra, conducted by Matt Butler, opened the night with an hour-long set that featured IGE regulars Eric Krasno, Greensky Bluegrass’s Anders Beck and Paul Hoffman, Holly Bowling, and Jason Hann of the String Cheese Incident on drums. Added musicians included bassist Pete Shand of the New Mastersounds, vocalist Dirga McBroom and a special guest Barcelona horn section of Roger Mir and Pol Omedes.

Butler’s Everyone Orchestra is based around everyone taking the stage with a clean slate, creating group improvisations from note one, with Butler offering directions on a whiteboard and iPad to both musicians and crowds. They played an hour-long set that wowed the crowd, ending with a call and response between band and audience.

After a short changeover, the core musicians of the trip took the stage for a two-hour set of music of the Grateful Dead, marching on and off the stage in various configurations that included Grahame Lesh, Holly Bowling, Scott Law, Elliot Peck, Butler, Hann, Krasno, Hoffman, Beck and Ross James, supplemented at times by Spanish guitarist Damia Timoner. They opened with Lesh belting “Bertha” and moved through “Ramble On Rose”, “Easy Wind”, “China Cat Sunflower”, “I Know You Rider”, “Friend of the Devil”, “Cassidy”, “Brown Eyed Women”, “New Speedway Boogie”, “The Music Never Stopped”, and an all-hands-on-deck “Ripple” that became an audience sing-along.

Taking it all in from the side of the stage, The New Mastersounds’ Shand smiled and shook his head. “It’s like church, isn’t it?” he asked. It was, of course, a rhetorical question.

—Alan Paul

You can check out Jay Blakesberg’s photos from day six of IGE’s 2018 Barcelona Music and Art Immersion Community below. Check back tomorrow for another entry in Alan Paul and Jay Blakesberg’s IGE 2018 Barcelona Music and Art Immersion Community diary, exclusively on Live For Live Music.