“Jazz: Libertad” will be the motto accompanying the 34th International Jazz Festival, Jazz Plaza 2019, programmed from January 14 to the 20th in Havana and Santiago de Cuba; two emblematic cultural capitals, feeling music as an indispensable part of their daily life.
Thus, the slogan and poster for this edition both proceed from a work gifted by Santiago de Cuba born plastic artist Alberto Lescay, always linked to music who inspired Ernesto Niebla, the poster designer.
The celebration in Havana will host first class performers according to an important tradition and the international repercussion of Latin Jazz or Cuban Jazz. As always, the festival includes concerts and informal nightlong individual and collective performances or “descargas” with famous national and international jazz groups and to that end, the city will avail different stages offering an opportunity for foreign visitors to visit and enjoy significant jazz presentations.
The Centro Nacional de Música Popular sponsors the festival that started in the eighties of the past century. The first one, held in February 14, 1980 and dedicated to Saint Valentine´s Day was a total success, evolving at present to an event of transcendent nature and undoubtedly a necessary space and opportunity for dialogue and reunion among friends, musicians and spectators.
This edition will count on more than fifty international jazz interpreters, a genre born in the United States expanding beyond its frontiers to become universal. In Cuba its spiritual father is Bobby Carcasses’, sponsor of the world famous International Jazz Plaza Festival, without doubt an essential artist when approaching the history of jazz in Cuba.
National Music Award winner, this “Cuban legend-man, jazz-legend” has a special gift attracting with his voice and acting, national and foreign spectators as well. Bobby leaves his imprint, a halo dazzling our eyes in every undertaking of his with a great dose of talent and professionalism. Be it music, song, acting or painting, he owns the birth and continuation of these festivals for many years.
Alberto Lescay in reference to the plastic work shared that “the making process was something natural. I paint inspired by music because I believe there is nothing higher and of best communication than music, and I interpret jazz that way, as liberty. The work is exhibited in Santiago´s Iris Jazz Club for some years now”.
Roberto Fonseca, a multi-awarded musician, director of the group Temperamento and at the same time president of the Santiago Jazz Plaza shared his ideas with the press, strongly defending what he wishes the festival to be. “We want the festival to be at Cuba´s upmost height because many people are interested. This is Cuba´s face to the world. In addition, that whoever comes to the Island feels the music level has not diminished. Cuba deserves that and Cuban culture is among the richest”.
Now is up to you to come to Cuba and enjoy these days experiencing the performances of young and consecrated talents of the Island sharing the stage with well-known musicians of the world. Besides there will be an international jazz band session during the celebration of the 10th anniversary of maestro Joaquín Betancourt´s Young Jazz Band with its first performance in November 2008. Saturday, January 19 will pay homage to maestro Adalberto Alvarez, National Music Award winner on occasion of his 70th birthday and his important contribution to Cuban music.
At the same time, since 2004 the International Jazz Colloquium hosts a theoretical meeting including master classes, interpretation workshops, record, audiovisual and digital sites´ presentations as well as research works, thus becoming a learning and dialogue key space among creators and musicologists.
By: Dianik Flores Martínez