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Expo Mats Bäcker

Expo Mats Bäcker

If we’re talking about a photographer that defined the rock scene of the 60s and 70s, we must mention Mats Bäcker (Hagfors, Sweden 1958) Icons of yesterday and today have been captured by his lens: Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Bono, Marianne Faithfull, David Bowie, Joe Strummer, Iggy Pop and a long etcetera of immortalized artists in his signature black and white style.

At the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s, the Punk wave surged through Europe and Scandinavians were the first ones to ride it. Bands traveled there before getting established, moved by those aggressive sounds and fashion. Mats Bäcker was there to capture all of it and became a house name in the Scandinavian scene. He was the first to photograph the band The Jam at their first gig outside of the United Kingdom.

His work, mainly influenced by journalism photography, looks for the sensuality and that casual coolness apparent in rockstars, in a timeless black and white, that exudes power and character. Every photograph has a story behind it, meaning that Bäcker is the omniscient narrator in each of them, telling us about the singular adventures that lead up to the meeting with the protagonists of the stills.

The photographs – and the stories – of this unprecedented artist, arrive on Wednesday 11 of May at our most Classic Rock hotel: Dorado. The Swedish photographer will host an exhibition together with Mondo Galería which will be on display until the 11th of June. Mark this date on your calendar, because you have a date with Mats Bäcker and rock history.

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Swing yo hips

The end of the roaring 20s was approaching and in the US, a new form of expression through movement was emerging. A new way of letting loose, to the sounds of modern variants of jazz music. The most notorious of these variants, and the closest to rock’n’roll at that time was Swing. It revolutionized dance floors, exploding into the decade of the 30s, with its devilish rythms and booming drums, piano, guitars and trumpets.

New Orleans, 1930. Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith led what was coined as ‘Jazz Swing’, the popular American music form that was blasted in Storyville, the place to be and be seen for all those looking for a mighty good time. It was a sort of sinners Club where everything that was regarded as inappropriate by society took place. Where whites and people of color defied cultural barriers, where ground breaking music forms were born for the enjoyment of the euphoric crowds.

Storyville was an oasis in the midst of a society completely divided by racial conflict, a place where you could forget about your problems with a swing of the hip.
Swing broke all the rules applied to multi-instrumental music and it became a dance with a great many variants. An updated version Charleston in the 20s, that started with Lindy Hop, a more informal and unfussed way of couple dancing, that emerged from the streets of Harlem.


The fast pace and agile movements – apart from having an innate rhythm – are basic requirements for dancers who take a brave shot at this discipline.

Becomming the most popular dance style until the 50s, that you’ll be able to learn in pure American style at our temple for Lovers & Sinners: Romeo’s Motel & Diner. Ladies, get out your full skirts and dresses out, and Gentlemen, roll up your sleeves because you’re going to boogie harder than Little Richard in a ‘Lucille’ performance. Swing is meant to be danced with a partner, so go find yourself one… Let’s shake those hips!

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