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18th Annual Panama Jazz Festival Goes Virtual

Victoria Wasylak • News • January 4, 2021

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Uniting internationally acclaimed jazz artists, renowned educators, and jazz fans from around the globe, the 18th Panama Jazz Festival will be held January 11-23, 2021 on a virtual platform at

Among the headliners for this year’s festival are Panamanian pop star Erika Ender in a special duo with jazz pianist and festival artistic director Danilo Perez. Panamanian salsa star Rubén Blades will be featured with the Roberto Delgado Salsa Big Band. As a special event, the festival’s gala will feature a virtual concert of the last performance of the Wayne Shorter Quartet and the celebration of their 18-year musical collaboration.

Regarding the performance, Perez states, “To perform the last concert of the Wayne Shorter Quartet in Panama was not only unexpected but a true blessing and a gift from the universe. I am grateful to Wayne, Brian, John, and Carolina Shorter for their generous contribution to our social work in Latin America.”

Additional headliners will include an intimate duo concert with gifted bassist John Patitucci and Brazilian percussionist Roggerio Bocatto; Joe Lovano & Judi Silvano Duo; singer Kurt Elling; Terri Lyne Carrington with Kris Davis and Val Jeanty. Other musicians include Italian bassist Paolo Damiani, Chilean saxophonist Patricia Zarate Perez, and a dozen of other artists from different parts of the globe.

The longstanding festival will celebrate its 18th anniversary and will honor Panamanian singer Enid Lowe and saxophonist Walter “Gene” Jefferson. Furthermore, the festival will host the 9th Latin American Music Therapy Symposium, bringing music therapists from Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia, Uruguay, and the USA, among other countries, to present on the therapeutic effects of music; the 5th Symposium of the cultural, artistic and musical expressions of the Afro-descendants of Panama, the VI Conference on Homeschooling, Clinics in different topics related to music, and an array of Panamanian musicians who will be performing virtually.

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, and students will be providing clinics. The Berklee Global Jazz Institute will hold master classes and will host the innovative program where students earn college credit.

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