Fifteenth Annual Panama Jazz Festival to Take Place in January

December 27, 2017

The 15th Annual Panama Jazz Festival will be held from January 15 to 20 at The City of Knowledge in Panama City, ATLAPA Convention Center and the Old Quarter of Panama City.

The headliners for this year’s festival include the Wayne Shorter Quartet, featuring Pérez on piano, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade; Afro-Cuban jazz legend Chucho Valdés; legendary pianist Ran Blake, and Brazilian singer Luciana Souza. Additional headliners include Danilo Pérez, special guests and Panamanian folk stars Sammy & Sandro Sandoval, and The Global Jazz Big Band, directed by Bill Dobbins.

Other groups featured include Panamanian jazz bassist Santi Debriano, featuring Craig Handy, Bill O’Connell, and Tommy Campbell, Danilo Pérez’s Panamonk Revisited trio, featuring Terri Lyne Carrington and Ben Street, Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro, Panamanian saxophonist Luis Carlos Perez, and the Pan-African Jazz Project, featuring Chilean saxophonist Patricia Zarate Pérez, Panamanian musicians Graciela Nuñez, Luz Acosta, and Egyptian musicians Hesham Galal and Balqueis.

The festival will also host the 6th Latin American Music Therapy Symposium, bringing music therapists from Chile, Argentina, Panama, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, the U.S., and Canada, among other countries, to present on the therapeutic effects of music. The festival will also host the second symposium of the cultural, artistic and musical expressions of the Afro-descendants of Panama.

Since its inception in 2003, the Panama Jazz Festival has attracted over 300,000 jazz fans worldwide and announced over 4.5 million dollars in scholarships on an international level. Its educational component brings 5,000 music students from all over the world every year and in 2018 the festival expects over 30,000 people from all over the world to attend.

Participating educational institutions include Boston-based institutions, Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory, which will be holding auditions for admission and scholarships. Other institutions include the Thelonious Monk Institute, Crossroads High School, and New York Jazz Academy. The Berklee Global Jazz Institute will hold master classes, perform social work with Panamanian youth and perform in various settings throughout the festival. Berklee will repeat last year’s innovative program where students will earn college performance credit for the college.

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