FolkWorld article by Pío Fernández:


AljibeAljibe is a Spanish folk band from the city of Aranjuez, a place in the southern border of the province of Madrid, on the Tajo riverside, a few kilometers downstream of the medieval city of Toledo ( the old capital of Spain ). Aranjuez is famous for the beauty of its royal palace and gardens, built along a fertile valley of the Tajo river: the borderline between both Castilean or central Spain regions (Castilla-León on the north, and Castilla-La Mancha on the south).

But the meaning of the word 'aljibe' has another link with water. Same as many other words that in Spanish start wit the prefix "al-", it belongs to our Arab cultural heritage, and refers to an ancient architectural device: a sort of cistern built within the houses which collects the rain falling on the building roofs. Something very useful in dry regions, such as northern Africa or the central and southern part of the Iberian peninsula.

The folk band Aljibe has been on the scene of the Castillean folk music since 1985. Their music is mainly based on the traditional tunes of both 'Castillas', but they also play a few other songs from coastal Spanish regions (Atlantic: Galicia & Cantabria, and Mediterranean: Valencia).

AranjuezBut their work on the preservation of the tradition even goes beyond the music itself. They have recuperated, composed and published in their CDs several collections of: old traditional children songs, songs about forgotten traditions of the Tajo valley workers, and songs illustrating historical episodes of their city of Aranjuez. They also organise folk music festivals in cities and villages of the province of Madrid.

To get a taste of the kind of music performed by Aljibe, you can go the page where they present all their CD's and some MP3 files:

If you could hear some of the tunes, for instance from the CD "Gañanes, Gancheros y otras Faenas" (1991), you probably think that this music resembles a bit the 'flamenco', mostly traditional from the south of Spain (Andalucia, Extremadura). That could be correct to a certain extent, since Aljibe has mainly worked with the musical tradition of the Castilla-La Mancha region, right to the north of Andalusia. In my opinion, another characteristic of the music from Aljibe is that they are quite into the 'classical' style of Castilean folk. I mean, in some instances, Aljibe might sound showing some influence from pop and even country music, but not so much from new trends coming from Celtic, new age or jazz music (although they have a couple of Irish & Galician tunes greatly played with gaita bagpipes).

In their seventh and latest CD named "Penas y Alegrias", the members of Aljibe present one of their most elaborated works and they show their talent playing all kinds of instruments:

Guest musicians are also:

You can visit web pages on Aljibe at:

More about the city of Aranjuez in :

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