ANU music students jam with Spanish rock star

Thursday 7 April 2016

Five ANU School of Music students have had the experience of performing some opening sets for a Spanish rock star at the ANU Bar.

Rosendo Mercado, a household name in Spain known to his fans only by his first name, performed in front of more than 300 rock lovers as part of a trip to Australia to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of another well-known Spaniard, Rosendo Salvado.

Salvado was a Spanish monk who embarked on a mission to create a Benedictine community amongst Indigenous communities of Western Australia in the late 1800s.

The interests of Rosendo the musician lie with the urban rock genre.

"It's a very new experience because he has never played outside Spain, so this is quite unique for him," said Rosendo's interpreter Cesar Espada, Deputy Head of Spain's embassy to Australia.

"To listen to his songs sung by young people in English is something wonderful. Rock and roll is eternal and everlasting in spite of distances and the differences in age. It's the same for everybody."

Bachelor of Arts student Max Diversi was one of the five students who opened Saturday's gig at the bar.

"It's been really cool. Obviously it's a great opportunity for us and we're really happy to have been able to play for him and with him as one of the warm up acts," Max said.

The students were allowed to personalise some of Rosendo's own songs by converting the lyrics into English.

"We've been able to put a lot of our personality in which is really good because as a musician you want to perform what you have created rather than just imitate somebody else and they've absolutely allowed us to do that," he said.

"It's a really big honour that he has allowed us to re-write his songs."

ANU School of Music Lecturer and Performance Teaching Fellow John Mackey said the students had been working tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the concert and had impressed Rosendo and his band.

"It's really good that he's embracing the students and wants the students involved in his music which is a wonderful thing because some artists are very reluctant to do that," Mr Mackey said.

"So to be able to share the experience is great.

"I think that's the beauty of what we do here. We can create that conduit for students to explore so hopefully something else will come of it and if not, at least we've found new friends."

Updated:  19 April 2016/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications