TORI SPARKS is: a road warrior
Tori Sparks was born in Chicago. She wanted to be a lawyer when she was a kid, but eventually settled upon the more (….ahem…) “traditional” career path of songwriter/musician. After graduating from college, Sparks lived and recorded in country music capital Nashville — where she had the good luck to work with some of Music City’s most talented musicians — though then and now she spent most of her time on the road all over the world. Since the age of 18, she has played an average of 150-200 concerts each year in 24 countries, and has built an extremely close relationship with her fans through her constant touring. A force of nature onstage, Tori walks the line between soulful and hilarious, blending ironic stand-up style humor with her no-holds-barred, high energy live show.
FROM NASHVILLE TO BARCELONA
In 2011, Tori Sparks moved from Nashville to Barcelona, Spain, and in just a few years has become a household name in her adopted country. Rock magazine Popular1 included her name on the list of the five most important female voices in Spain (January 2018). On September 14th, 2018, Tori and the band presented a concert which was also a live recording session at legendary Barcelona venue Luz de Gas — which included belly dancers, video projections, guest artists, and other surprises. The recording was released as a live album, titled Wait No More, on limited-edition vinyl in honor of Record Store Day 2019 (April 13th). An extended version on double CD will be released on April 26th. This will be Tori’s seventh album: Her third since embracing the rock-blues-flamenco fusion that has become her signature sound, and her first recorded live onstage. Learn more about and listen to the album Wait No More here.
AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC MEETS FLAMENCO FUSION
The blending of musical styles was always a hallmark of Sparks’ songwriting, but the inclusion of Spanish rhythms and harmonic elements began when she took the first of many trips to Granada, where she studied flamenco guitar in the Sacramonte “just for fun.” The new musical vocabulary she learned spawned her fifth album, El Mar (2014), a collaboration with Barcelona-based instrumental flamenco fusion trio Calamento (Javi Garcia, Percussion; Ramon Vague, Bass; Pepe Camacho, Spanish Guitar). The bilingual project started out small but grew to be an international success, called "indescribable, incredible" (Deruting), "adventurous, pushing the envelope" (Rolling Stone), and “pure art” (Los Conciertos de Radio3, RTVE).
TWO YEARS LATER
Tori Sparks + Calamento returned to the studio and released their highly anticipated follow up record, La Huerta (2017) – this time with the added help of the maestro of the electric guitar, Francisco Guisado “El Rubio.” Smashing traditional concepts of genre, the band experimented with new sounds without sacrificing the unique combination of styles that won them fans the world over with El Mar. The quartet-turned-quintet went on to tour in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, and beyond. They have played for 30 people in a house concert, and for 30,000 people at prestigious music festivals such as Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and Bele Chere in Asheville; (In)Fusion Flamenca, El Mercat de Música Viva de Vic, the Voll-Damm Festival Internacional de Jazz, and the GREC Festival in Spain; Su La Testa in Italy; many others, and their star only continues to rise as word-of-mouth spreads.
ACTIVIST, BUSINESSWOMAN, PUBLIC SPEAKER, EDUCATOR
Apart from her reputation as a songwriter, arranger and live performer, Tori is known as a champion of the DIY business model – her small independent record label, Glass Mountain Records, celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2017 — and regularly speaks at universities, performing arts schools, and music conferences such as South by Southwest, the International Folk Alliance, WOMEX, PrimaveraPro, and the Indie Music Conference. Tori has been interviewed by Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times blog, NPR, The Village Voice, Paste, Radio1, Radio 4, Americana UK, Rockdelux, Los Conciertos de Radio3, Ruta66 All Music Guide, LateMotiv, and other press outlets around the world.
Sparks is also known for actively giving back to the community through music and is the creator of The Feed Your Soul Guitar Project, a tour and folk-art auction benefiting Oxfam America. Tori has organized and/or performed at benefit concerts on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind, the March of Dimes, Save the Music, Rett Syndrome International, the One Campaign, Pinktober, The Ronald McDonald House, Nens amb Cancer, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, among others. She is a strong proponent of social justice and music education, is heavily involved in the Spanish freedom of speech movement No Callarem, and is the Secretary of the Musician’s Union of Catalunya.
COMING in 2019 AND BEYOND
This year, Tori’s voice can be heard in various TV commercials, and in the soundtrack of the original series produced by Movistar, Felix. Tori Sparks and the band will be on tour throughout the rest of 2019 in support of Wait No More.