Cançons de Menorca
On the 19th of December 1966 Maria del Mar Bonet joined Els Setze jutges as judge number fourteen in a show in the Ovella Negra venue in Barcelona, during the celebration of the group’s 5th anniversary. From the 4th to 8th of July the following year, 1967, she issued her first single, Cançons de Menorca, published by Concèntric, a record that represented the beginning of her professional career. The musicians who played on the recording of Cançons de Menorca were Gracià Tarragó and Laura Almerich.
Between the age of 11 and 13 Maria del Mar Bonet had formed part of the Stella Maris Choir, founded and directed by the teacher Llorenç Galmés, a Menorca musician and researcher into the musical folklore of Menorca who left a major impression in those early years of musical training. She later had guitar classes from Bartomeu Calatayud and Juanito Coll.
Before 1967, however, she had sung in small contributions in Mallorca. In 1964 she accompanied her father, Joan Bonet, to a conference about the French chanson.
Her brother, Joan Ramon Bonet was a member of Els Setze Jutges from April 1965, and published 3 records between 1965 and 1967. It is thanks to the career that Joan Ramon Bonet has started as a singer and to his friends from Barcelona, members and founders of Els Setze Jutges, that Maria del Mar Bonet was introduced into this world of the Nova Cançó (new song). On the 26th of June 1965 she was invited to sing with Els Setze Jutges at the I Festival de la Nova Cançó which was held in the Hotel Jaume I in Palma, organised by the Juventudes Musicales and directed by Pau Valls. That day Maria del Mar Bonet sang three Menorca songs. Her performance was so well received that she was asked to sing solo with those songs from the neighbouring island that she had learnt in the choir. So on the 4th of December 1965, also in the Hotel Jaume I and also organised by the Juventudes Musicales, Maria del Mar Bonet gave her first solo performance.
In 1966 she moved to Barcelona to continue her ceramics studies and moved in with the family of Lluís Serrahima and Remei Margarit, two founders of Els Setze Jutges. By then she already knew the members of the group also known as Nova Cançó and often accompanied them in concerts as a representative of the traditional song of the islands, until forming part of the group on the 19th of December.
She began working in the ceramics factory of Jordi Aguadé, a job she combined with the concerts she gave during the year. In early 1967 she toured the towns of Mallorca along with Joan Manuel Serrat and her brother Joan Ramon Bonet, who already had some records in the market. On the 5th of March she performed in the Teatre Romea de Barcelona along with Raimon, Francesc Pi de la Serra and Guillermina Motta. She presented her first single Cançons de Menorca in the Cova del Drac, in a series of concerts that she gave from the 4th to the 8th of July. These concerts were organised by Concèntric where the last three members of Els Setze Jutges, Maria del Mar Bonet, Lluís Llach and Rafael Subirachs, also known as Novíssima Cançó, presented their first records. The first place where this term of “Novíssima Cançó” was heard was, therefore, the Cova del Drac with Josep Maria Espinàs as master of ceremonies. On the 11th of October of the same year, 1967, a concert was given with the last three judges, Maria del Mar Bonet, Lluís Llach and Rafael Subirachs, in the Palau de la Música Catalana under the name of “Novíssima Cançó”.
With this first record Maria del Mar Bonet was a finalist in the Revelation Record of the Year awards.