Javier Mas was born in Zaragoza, Spain. He began playing the 12-string bandurria at the age of nine. Three years later he picked up the drums and twelve string guitar and at the age of eighteen bought a laud (the same instrument as the bandurria but pitched an octave lower). In his early twenties, Mas added the archilaud to his repertoire, putting nylon strings on the instrument and tuning it in fourths so that it sounded similar to the Arabian oud.
He learned bandurria from Maestro Peirona in Zaragoza at the age of nine and from all the great musicians he has had the pleasure to work with like Jorge Sarraute, Feliu Gasull, Julia Leon, Maria del Mar Bonet, Kiko Veneno, the flamenco player Raimundo Amador, and with Julian Vaughn, Steve de Swardt and Neil Geoffrey, members of the blues band “Big Chief.”
Mas has recorded extensively and performed live in both the blues and world music genres. He has also produced numerous recordings including the superb 2007 CD Oulad Fulani Ganga by the Moroccan singer Abdeljalil Kodssi and his own Tamiz CD released by Harmonica Mundi.
He has played and recorded with numerous Spanish and International artists. In partnership with Alberto Manzano and Kevin McCormick, Mas was the musical director and arranger of Leonard Cohen’s tribute concerts in Barcelona in both 2006 and 2007. Amongst the participants in the latter event were Cohen’s former background singer and songwriting partner Anjani Thomas, Cohen’s son, Adam, Perla Batalla, John Cale and Jackson Browne and many great Spanish artists like Luz Casal, Jabier Muguruza, Duquende, Toti Soler, Santiago Auseron, Javier Colis, and Christina Rosenvinge. Entitled Acords amb Leonard Cohen, the 2007 performance has been issued as a 2 CD set by Discmedi Spain. It is also available on DVD.