Depedro is the musical outlet of Jairo Zavala, a chance for him to explore his roots and express his observations that he collects and turn into songs. The Spanish singer, guitarist and songwriter has already produced 5 albums with this band. Before Depedro, Jairo was one of the founders of the band Vacazul and last year he was also a member of the famous American band Calexico.
The previous album La increíble historia de un hombre bueno was a culmination of his travels around the world, with songs focusing on local issues. Distinguished artists from three continents have collaborated with him on that album amongst others Tony Allen (Fela Kuti), Joey Burns and John Convertino (Calexico), Nick Urata (DeVotchKa) and Bernard Fanning (Powderfinger).
Despite all his globetrotting Jairo lives and breathes Spain, constantly spanning these two spheres in his music: the local and the global. Something that makes sense for a musician who has Peruvian blood on his father’s side and whose mother grew up in Guinea. Imagine all the music and rhythms he must have grown up with.
After the release of La increíble historia de un hombre bueno Jairo and his trio toured around the world performing at several festivals such as Womad (Aus, NZ), Winnipeg Folk festival, Berlin Zitadelle, Woodford, Stern Grove, Pirineos Sur, NXNE Canada, and SXSW, and numerous venues in Europe, USA, Mexico, Argentina and Australia.
His new album El Pasajero was released in September 2016 by Warner. It was partially inspired by his musical journey last year that has been captured in the documentary “Casamance” released also in fall this year. This album is about the passenger, El Pasajero, but his passenger is nothing like Iggy Pop’s. Jairo’s passenger is not the driver, he does not hold the reins. He is an observer enjoying the journey, surviving the journey, learning from the journey, living the journey. This passenger could be any one of thousands of people with whom Jairo has crossed paths as he tirelessly travels the world. The invisible ones he sings about in one of the most perfect songs on the album, Déjalo ir. A heartfelt song encouraging us to listen to those we often ignore. In the light of his travels for this album Jairo says, “El Pasajero (the passenger) is a collection of songs inspired by multiple meetings with artist around the world, and experiences such as: making a documentary exploring the roots of west African music in Senegal, travelling and playing with musicians from Latin-America, Europe and Asia. I guess it is fair to say that Latin-American is the backbone of this album and the Mediterranean melodies the colors of the songs. The lyrics of this work look to the inside of people more than on the previous albums, but always with hope as lead motif.”
El Pasajero is an album that is quiet, yet full of sounds, simple yet multifaceted, restrained yet infinite. The album features exquisite winds, a string quartet, arrangements by Devotchka’s Tom Hagerman, and musicians from the philharmonic orchestra of Tucson. His music is something you’ve heard before, with flowy melodies, surprising guitar riffs and a swinging pace. It is bound to get stuck in your head for good.