Berry, the manager who toured with Serrat for half a century
José Emilio Navarro, known as Berry, has worked as manager for Serrat starting in 1975. Previously, he was his sound engineer
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Throughout Joan Manuel Serrat's 57-year career, he has only ever relied on two managers. The famous Spanish songwriter, who will end his career this year with 'El vicio de cantar' tour, has been accompanied since 1975 by José Emilio Navarro, known as Berry.
Years before, in 1972, Berry started working with Serrat as a sound engineer. The real motivation of the manager was to "do the Americas" with the popular singer, who was already a mass idol in Latin America. His first destination was Costa Rica, where he was the technician at a concert scheduled at the Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio.
Over the years, the two forged a solid relationship of trust, which allowed them to manage their friendship and business. Berry lived with Serrat during his exile in Mexico, after facing some death sentences ordered by the Franco regime. The episode reinforced the singer's attachment to the region.
“With Costa Rica we always had a very open relationship. We were very curious that it was a country without an army, and that it was a haven of peace within all that was Central America, a historically troubled territory,” Berry told the weekly magazine Universidad. Given his admiration for the country, both decided a stop in the country on the farewell tour was necessary.
Fifty-one years later, Serrat will perform at Parque Viva, a stage with more capacity than the National Theater or the Mélico Salazar, where he performed in the past. Location was vital on his final hurrah tour.
"Quality is our norm, and the nostalgia of the farewell also influenced,” the manager said.
Berry, discreet and modest, always took care that Serrat had the best conditions to perform. In his opinion, “the main virtue is honesty, if you don't have an idea of the business you're wrong. My profession does not exist in the university, it has to be learned in life.” His passion and dedication were crucial for Serrat to feel comfortable and give his best.
The legendary manager replaced the equally iconic Lasso de la Vega, Serrat's first manager, who according to unverified rumors signed his first contracts on a napkin.
"He can be criticized for many things, but nobody can deny him that he was a pioneer when this profession was unknown to us," said Berry.
He said that Serrat is a normal and very professional person, very careful with details when he goes on stage. He says he remembers countless anecdotes from the past half century he shared with the artist, but that he does not intend to reveal them.
“I have no intention to write anything, I'm lazy. I would do it if I had the didactic capacity to explain show business from the inside,” he said.