A few years ago I had to keep a travel website up to date with details of what entertainment was on in various bars in Tenerife’s southern resorts. Each month I phoned bar owners to ask who was performing and what sort of songs they sang. Each month the conversation was similar for a number of bars.
Me: “What exactly does Rod Bassey (insert any name here) sing?”
Owner: “Everything, he sings everything.”
Me: “Like what? It’ll help if I can give some examples.”
Owner: “Absolutely everything… everything from Neil Diamond to songs from the musicals.”
Maybe not ‘everything’ then.
There are loads of great bars in Tenerife’s southern resorts with crowd-pleasing entertainment, perfect for a singalong and some holiday fun. Personal favourites include St Eugene’s (the spelling varies) in Costa Adeje, Shenanigans and the Bull’s Head in Playa de las Américas and Route 66 in Puerto Santiago.
It would be easy to believe entertainment on Tenerife consisted mainly of cabaret bars when there is a far greater choice of live music than many people realise.
If your particular preferences stretches to something different than ‘everything from Neil Diamond to Les Mis’ there’s a diverse range of sounds to be enjoyed around the island.
The prestigious and world famous Tenerife Symphony Orchestra has been performing classics since 1935. Although they travel all over the world, they regularly play their home venue, the incredible Tenerife Auditorium in Santa Cruz. You can also catch various classical concerts in other venues around the island, including the Auditorio Infanta Leonor in Los Cristianos.
The best place to hear traditional folk groups (parrandas) is at fiestas, of which there are hundreds. At every one you’ll find groups of women in colourful skirts and men in homburgs strumming guitars and singing the distinctive songs of the Canary Islands. In traditional areas they turn up everywhere. There’s often a group in Plaza del Charco in Puerto de la Cruz on a Sunday afternoon. We were even serenaded by a band on a recent ferry journey between Gran Canaria and Tenerife.
When darkness falls at fiestas the soundtrack is mainly a Latino one. At first we were thrilled to hear so much lively and steamy South American music. But after a decade of Latino, Latino and Latino we like a change now and again.
The Heineken Jazz y Mas festival each summer jazzes up Tenerife for a few weeks with some big names on the bill. In 2014 it was headlined by Al Jarreau. Venues are usually in Santa Cruz and La Laguna but in past years they’ve included Puerto de la Cruz.
The island has some excellent blues musicians, not always easy to seek out. Sometimes they turn up in live music bars. The highlight of the year is the Santa Blues festival in Santa Cruz in June which attracts some surprising names (Robert Cray one year). Problem is, publicity is always last minute.
Apart from those, there are plenty of live music bars and small festivals featuring indie bands playing original material. However, most aren’t in the resort areas.
Santa Cruz, La Laguna, La Orotava and Puerto de la Cruz are best for listening to a completely different side of Tenerife’s music scene; one that doesn’t include Neil Diamond.
Category : events
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