Maria Dolors Laffitte, a leading figure in Catalan and Occitan folk music, died February 15 at Hospital Josep Trueta in Girona (Spain). She was 59.
Maria Dolors Laffitte i Masjoan was born in Roda de Ter, Spain in August of 1949. She was a singer songwriter who researched and recovered Catalan folk music, Medieval minstrel music, Early Music, Sephardic songs and Catalan poetry.
Maria started singing when she was 8 years old. Her first recording came out when she was only , titled Cançons Occitanes (Occitan Songs). She released more than 40 recordings, including solo albums and collaborations.
During her early career she was involved with Catalan new song, known as “Nova Cançó”. Her artistic name at the time was Dolors Laffitte. Throughout her extensive artistic career she created many different musical groups. In Traditional Catalan Music she formed La Corranda and L’Arc en el Cel (performances for children).
In the Medieval music she formed Els Trobadors, Ensemble Llull and Joi de Trobar. She performed concerts with prestigious Early Music instrumentalists and ensembles of Germany and Austria like Oni Wytars, Katharco, Unicorn and Accentus.
Maria Dolors Laffitte’s solo recordings include Cançons occitanes (Concèntric, 1968), Cançons d´Israel (Concèntric, 1971), Hello Dolors! (Edigsa, 1975), Et Ades sera l’Alba with Els Trobadors (Sonifolk S.A., 1991), Estimats poetes with Mercè Torrents (Picap, 1995), D’amic e amat (Institut d’Estudis Baleàrics, 1998) and Canciones Tradicionales de Cataluña (Sonifolk S.A., 2001).
During her last years she removed “Dolors” (pains) from her name and started using her first name, Maria Laffitte.