The Jazz Plaza International Festival in its 35th edition will occupy stages in Havana and Santiago de Cuba from the 14th to the 19th of January.
The event will pay tribute to Juan Formell, Félix Chapotín, and the Irakere group, among other renowned personalities who have made substantial contributions to Cuban music and within it to the jazz genre.
The multi-faceted artist Bobby Carcassés, National Music Prize 2012 headed a press conference in the 1930 Hall of the National Hotel of Cuba and considered the high value of both Cuban and foreign musicians who are part of the cast of the festival and especially stressed the presence of teachers Stanley Jordan and Eddy Gómez, who have an impressive artistic career and are widely accredited in the international jazz scene.
Carcassés, along with other prominent instrumentalists, will assume the opening gala of the festival in the Avellaneda Hall of the National Theater, on the night of January 14, and revealed that he will also inaugurate an exhibition of his drawings and paintings in the House of Culture of Plaza, an institution where the Jazz Plaza was born in 1980, and which has dedicated to the National Plastic Arts Prize Nelson Domínguez, as thanks to its donation as an image of the event of his work El otro Munch, inspired by the painting El grito, by the Norwegian Edvard Munch
Víctor Rodríguez, director of the National Center of Popular Music, and president of the Jazz Plaza organizing committee, meanwhile, noticed the presence in the meeting of many of the musicians who will participate in the different shows already scheduled, including the teacher Zenaida Castro Romeu
the director stressed that only with the presentations of the musicians of the patio « this is already a great festival», and recommended the tribute concert to Juan Formell, Van Van 50 years, with Dayramir González, Camerata Romeu, Alain Pérez, Barbarito Torres, Mayito Rivera, Luna Manzanares, David Blanco and Yoruba Andabo, among others.
Also, the one dedicated by Carlos Miyares to Irakere, with Germán Velazco, Alexander Abreu, Harold López-Nussa, Rolando Luna, Mandy Cantero, and Rodney Barreto, and the one who will pay tribute to the work of Félix Chapotín and his team, led by Eduardo Sandoval, and that will have as guests César Pupi Pedroso, Reinaldo Molote and Osaín del Monte.
He also thanked the groups of dance music, of which the most important will be part of the event, including the orchestras Aragón, Jorrín, Sublime, Sensation, Barbarito Diez and the National Septeto Ignacio Piñeiro.
It was known at the meeting that artists from about twenty countries are included in the Jazz Plaza program, among them, Spain, Holland, Martinique, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Haiti, Argentina, Australia, Slovakia, Canada, Japan, Brazil and Colombia.
These musicians will perform together with their Cuban colleagues in the National, America and Bertolt Brecht theaters, the Cuba Pavilion, the Casa del Alba Cultural, the Mella and Coppelia Theater gardens, the Plaza de Armas, the Salón Rosado de la Tropical, Sala Cervantes, El Tablao, Jazz Café, in Havana.
In Santiago de Cuba, the locations that will welcome jazz players will be the Dolores Room, the Meliá Santiago Hotel, the UNEAC headquarters, the Iris Jazz Club, and the Plazas de Marte y Dolores.
Neris González, musicologist, creator and coordinator of the International Jazz Colloquium Leonardo Acosta in memoriam, presented the program that will take place between January 15 and 18 at the Cuban Art Factory (FAC).
Researchers and musicologists from 13 nations will participate in the colloquium, which constitutes the widest international participation in its 15 years of completion; It seeks to be comprehensive from its academic conception and will be structured in different sections in which master classes, illustrated talks, conferences, presentations, record presentations, audiovisuals and magazines will be developed, as well as panels honoring the centenarians of Adolfo Guzmán and Leopoldo Pucho Escalante, the 90th anniversary of the birth of Tata Güines, at the 50th anniversary of the founding of the iconic Sound Experimentation Group of the ICAIC (GES) and at the 20th of the creation of the television program «A todo jazz».
González announced that as part of this theoretical meeting, 37 personalities of Cuban music will be delivered, with significant contributions to the development of the genre and musical culture in Cuba, the 35th anniversary distinction of Jazz Plaza.
He also commented that as a novelty, the program of this edition includes the realization of the First Line event, in an alliance that aims to promote a space for discussion and analysis between Cuban and foreign jazz professionals, about the current situation of the music market.
The applauded musician Roberto Fonseca, along with other important instrumentalists, is in charge of the closing show of the jazz event that will celebrate the 90th birthday of the admired Cuban performer Omara Portuondo, which will take place in the Avellaneda hall on the night of Sunday 19 January.
Fonseca revealed in this exchange with the press: «I feel very happy, because we Cuban musicians have taken care to keep the Jazz Festival (...); the most important thing is that people are interested in what is happening with the music that we are doing ».
Later, he mentioned some of the most relevant foreign musicians who have confirmed their participation as the American saxophonist David Liebman, the trumpeter, saxophonist and Spanish singer Andrea Motis and the DJ Joe Claussell.
Towards the end of his words he declared “one of my dreams is that the International Jazz Festival of Havana becomes a point of reference, to which all the musicians of the world want to come to play, to go crazy for coming to play with the Cuban musicians ».