Announcing… Rumba Experience!

Saturday 6 July – 8pm at the Hawkswell

Buy Tickets Here

Felip Carbonell, guitar and vocals; Paula Riera, vocals; Eddie McFarlane, guitar; Eddie Lynch, keyboard; Eddie Lee, bass and Ken McDonald, percussion

Felip Carbonell‘s Rumba Experience, the brain child of well-known Sligo based Mallorcan musician Felip, is an exciting and ambitious new music project with an anchor in the Catalan Rumba, expanding to other styles of Afro-Cuban and Latin music. Tickets are on sale now at the Hawkswell.  Avoid disappointment – buy now!


Els Colors del Temps-The Colours of Time


is my first solo album.

You can listen to a preview of the songs of this DOUBLE ALBUM on the Music section of this site

and you can buy it on CD or digital format on by clicking here

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn





Welcome to my website. It’s a pleasure to have your company.

My full name is Felip Carbonell i Riera. I was born in the island of Mallorca in Spain, and I now live in the village of Strandhill in the west coast of the Republic of Ireland.

Since 2005 I’ve worked as a full-time musician, performing solo or with one of the several bands I’m involved with. I’m also doing a bit of guitar teaching. If some of my projects are of your interest, please do get in touch to enquire.

I have been working in different aspects of the music industry since the late 80s: I worked as an arts officer for 8 years, music manager for 6 years and I set up a production company for 4 years, but I always wanted to give myself a chance as an active musician. No regrets so far: four albums with NoCrows, one with The Vendetta Orchestra, finally my solo double album  and working in a few new projects if I find the time for all of them.

On stage with NoCrows at the Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo Photo by Aleksandr Abalikhin
On stage with NoCrows at the Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo, 2012
Photo by Aleksandr Abalikhin

My Tomás Leal guitar

My forte is the rhythm guitar. These days I normally play a custom-made classical instrument built by Tomás Leal in Casasimarro (province of Cuenca, Spain) but in the past I had my days playing electric and acoustic guitars too. It was around 1994 when I decided to go back to my roots, playing the instrument I always felt more comfortable with: the Spanish guitar.

Currently I’m working with different groups (see the section BANDS in this site) and I’m always interested in new challenges in the folk, jazz and world music genres. You can get in touch with me through the Contact page, even without any particular reason, just to say hi.


A bit of history…

I grew up in Mallorca listening to all sorts of music: plenty of classical, opera, Cuban boleros, Mexican mariachis and Spanish zarzuela…mad mix. My family was very musical: granddad Felip used to sing opera, my aunt Mercedes was a beautiful soprano, my cousin Pascual played the clarinet in the local symphonic orchestra and my other cousin Plácido was a rock drummer. My own father, before marriage, used to play llaüt and bandúrria in a folk band accompanying a group of traditional Mallorcan dancers. That’s how he met my mother. As many other music lovers in the mid-50s, they decided to give up their artistic careers for the financial benefit of their offspring and they settled down with ‘a proper job’.

My parents Miquel & Magdalena (1949), my grandad Mestre Felip Riera (ca. 1965) and my aunt Mercedes Riera and myself (ca. 1966)
LEFT My parents Miquel & Magdalena (1949)
CENTRE My grandad Mestre Felip Riera (ca. 1965)
RIGHT My aunt Mercedes Riera and myself (ca. 1966)
My cousin Plàcido Forteza (with orange T-shirt) with his band Bronze. And my other cousin Pascual Martínez with his son Pascual Jr, who is nowadays playing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
LEFT My cousin Plàcido Forteza (with orange T-shirt) with his band Bronze
RIGHT My other cousin Pascual Martínez with his son Pascual Jr, who is nowadays playing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra

When I was 8 years old my older brother Joan Miquel got his first guitar and he introduced me to Catalan singer songwriters like Raimon, Joan Manel Serrat, Lluís Llach and Quico Pi de la Serra. Soon after that I also started strumming the guitar. Still looking for a picture of my brother and I from around that time. No luck so far, but I found this one:

My first gig (ca. 1974)
My first gig, with Cati Vicens & Neus Monroy (ca. 1974)
Photo cortesy of Petra Ballester

Following the Catalan songwriters was going hand in hand with developing political views, so I started to write ‘protest songs’ at the age of 13. At 19 I did my first ‘real’ gig and formed my first band We worked for a few years with a repertoire based on my own songs and Latin tunes. That was the era when my music got strong influences from the Catalan Rumba of Gato Pérez and the Latin rhythms of Fania All Stars with Cheo Feliciano, Héctor Lavoe and their generation. At the same time I was hired as the singer in a rock band –Iol– with very unusual influences from North African music. I also went to college, started two careers and finished none. Mad times, fond memories.

In 1989 I met my pal Xesc Carbonell (not related) with whom I collaborated very intensely for several years. In 1990 I formed Tumbet, my most ambitious band to date. The line-up changed over the years and included some very good friends of mine: Xesc Carbonell, Toni Amengual, Cati Llull, Pere Balaguer, Tolo Morel.lo, Álvaro Porcel, Toni Servera, Jaume ‘Güia’ Rosselló and Tòfol Font. Great fun…electric guitars, rock approach and plenty of Latin percussion. We won several awards, played outside the island and went on to record one track in a compilation album. We also did several demos that never got to be published.

On stage with Tumbet, 1991. Cover of the album VIII Concurs de Pop Rock. Cover of the album Sa Finestra
LEFT On stage with Tumbet, 1991
CENTRE Cover of the album VIII Concurs de Pop Rock
RIGHT Cover of the album Sa Finestra

At the same time Xesc and I kept working as a duo and recorded another track for another compilation album. We used to have a regular weekly residency in a local trendy pub in my hometown (Palma) called Sa Finestra on a Monday night. We were announced to start at 11 pm but we never did before midnight, and never got to bed before 3 am… Next morning I was attending the public at my civil service job. So that was the first time in my life I was tempted to give up my day job. Instead, wrong or right, I decided to give up performing music for a while. It was 1993, the same year I discovered Irish music through Dervish, a band that would mark my life forever.

Dervish, 2002 Photo by Christoph Obrecht
Dervish, 2002
Photo by Christoph Obrecht

I’m mostly a self-taught guitarist but I found a little bit of time in that gap to study a bit of jazz, first with Sebastià Cardell and then with Gabriel Rosales, both fantastic players and fantastic tutors. Unfortunately I didn’t take enough advantage of it, but I got loads of good knowledge in the short time I tried to learn the real stuff. I did use a bit of it with a new project we had with a music/clown band for children, Els Borinots. Plenty of work at a decent time of the day, so  no huge conflict with being a civil servant at the Arts Office.

Gabriel Rosales Guitar Tutorial book - At a street performance with Els Borinots
LEFT Gabriel Rosales Guitar Tutorial book
RIGHT At a street performance with Els Borinots

So, having been involved with organising a few very successful gigs for Dervish in ‘93, ‘94 and ‘97 in Mallorca and with a growing interest in Irish music, in 1998 I took the adventurous decision of moving to the town of Sligo in the West Coast of Ireland, to work with Dervish as their manager. I’m extremely happy of this move and really enjoyed the following 6 years working in the Irish music industry. I managed to know loads of great people and the band did loads of mighty gigs around the world, opening new markets for them in countries like China, Brazil, Colombia and Israel.

But during those years I had no time whatsoever to play any music and that wasn’t right. In 2001 I happened to meet up with a very interesting man, a jazz guitarist who would soon become one of my best friends, Jim Meehan. With Jim we went through plenty of musical projects since our first meeting (The Courthouse Criminals, Bronson Jazz Quartet, Jazztam amongst others) and we still play together often enough to this day (see the BANDS section under Lampenfeber Jazz).

Jim was the instigator of my return to live music and therefore I can’t ever be thankful enough for his encouragement, inspiration and most of all for his friendship. So, cheers Jim.

Jim Meehan. Photo by Brenda McCallion, ca. 2003
Jim Meehan (ca. 2003)
Photo by Brenda McCallion

In 2005, after 2 years playing a weekly jazz session on Wednesday nights in the Sligo fabulous pub ‘Shoot the Crows’, the owner Ronan ‘Uisce’ Waters suggested for us to amalgamate the Wednesday night session with the Thursday night one which was lead at the time by fiddler Steve Wickham. So, without noticing it, we ended up with a curious line up of four musicians (Anna, Eddie, Steve and myself) coming from different musical backgrounds and trying to play together on a weekly basis. Play what?, was the main question. Trad, classical, folk, jazz? That was the birth of NoCrows. Nearly 10 years and four CDs later, NoCrows is still the band that keeps me busier and with whom I managed to tour around Europe. Happy days.

NoCrows. Photo by Brenda McCallion, 2011
NoCrows, 2011
Photo by Brenda McCallion

As my involvement in the super-rich Sligo music scene increased, I was lucky enough to get to know plenty of different musicians and joined several music projects with some of them. These days I play a bit of trad, a bit of classical, a bit of jazz, a bit of Latin, a bit of anything that comes my way. I probably don’t play any style with serious rigour but I enjoy the challenge and every minute of my musical journey. Check the BANDS section to find out more about The Vendetta Orchestra, Duo Compello, The Troubador Mules, Rumbatism and Lampemfeber Jazz.

vendetta 1
The Vendetta Orchestra
muls cover
The Troubador Mules
nocrows_torh08_155_lieve MEDIUM
duo compello 1
Duo Compello
Lampemfeber Jazz

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