Born out of a passion for music of black origin in all its manifestations – soul, funk, jazz, Afro (“especially a lot of Afro, that’s what moves us”), reggae, Latin, boogaloo, salsa brava, and hip-hop, among others – Malanga first opened its doors on May 8, 2015. The club has a live music licence and has brought a breath of fresh air to Ibiza’s nightlife scene, reinforcing the belief that is possible to offer non-electronic music programming in Ibiza. It began when Enrique Gutiérrez, a native of Seville, started playing his selection of African music at the Demiedo Bar. Manuel Verdera, from Ibiza, and Juan Luís Marrero, from Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, approached the booth to let Gutiérrez know they felt a musical connection. “It’s unusual to find people with this particular taste, so we exchanged phone numbers,” explains Gutiérrez. This was in 2013. Two years later, Malanga was born a world music club and live venue that’s here to stay.
Malanga is a tropical root vegetable, but the word is also used in many Latin American expressions like, ¡Viva la malanga y vianda! (Long live malanga and food in general!) to convey something akin to the idea of going out to paint the town red. The word also appears in many hard salsa and boogaloo songs, in phrases like, ¡Por ahí viene la malanga! (Here comes the malanga!). Plus, Gutiérrez, tells us that, “Although we didn’t realize this when we opened the club, in Guatemala, members of the guerilla groups were also known as ‘malangueros’, because when they hid among the crops while under attack from the army they ate nothing but malanga.”
One thing that’s clear is that it’s hard to resist an incredible lineup that includes not just the three partners – DJ Bebé, Fosc, and Juan Soul – but parties that have been part of the schedule from the start, such as Supa Disco with Barcelona DJs Solazz and Carmona, who founded their party in Malanga and are equally unstoppable on other stages such as Cruïlla, or Jazzaldia in San Sebastián. There are also local residents like Lorcan, Mr Doris, DJ La Cat, DJ Alfredo and DJ Pippi, along with international guest stars including artists such as DJ Floro, Quantic, GUTS, Nightmares on Wax, Bosq, Smoove and more. And lets not forget live music, a scarce commodity in Ibiza, with thrilling sets from Julián Maeso and the outstanding Ebo Taylor. It’s enough to make you sweat.
¡Qué viva la Malanga!