The Puerto Plata Report: news and travel info from the Dominican Republic's north coast

18th Dominican Republic Jazz Festival coming to North Shore

The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival will celebrate its 18th year with four nights of free concerts Nov. 6-9 in the touristic towns of Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete on the Dominican North Shore.

Abraham Laboriel performs at Dominican Republic Jazz Festival 2013

Abraham Laboriel performs at Dominican Republic Jazz Festival 2013. Photo by Olivier Moro

Presented by the Dominican Ministry of Tourism, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival is a renowned, annual cultural event. Bringing Jazz to a diverse crowd of music lovers, comprised of local residents and tourists alike, the 2013 event enjoyed record-breaking attendance with a combined audience of over 10,000 people.

The festival also brings music education to the region through its affiliation with FEDUJAZZ, a non-profit organization that conducts musical workshops for youth. Motivating and developing young artistic talent, FEDUJAZZ has partnered with local organizations such as Sosua City Council to further assist in the education of Dominican children, using Jazz as the teaching platform.

The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival is known for its legendary performers and seaside locale with its mix of tropical climate, Caribbean culture and a Latin take on the international jazz scene. The festival is free, but VIP tickets are available, enabling priority seating, complimentary beverages and other festival perks with proceeds benefiting the music foundation FEDUJAZZ.

The internationally acclaimed musicians participating in the 2014 Dominican Republic Jazz Festival include Colin Hunter & Joe Sealy ‘s Quartet (Canada), Ignacio Berroa Group (USA) with Giovanni Hidalgo (Puerto Rico), Berklee Global Jazz Institute (USA), Joe Lovano’s Quartet (USA), Ramón Vázquez Trío with Edmar Colón and Danny Díaz (Puerto Rico), Big Band Conservatory of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic ), Patricia Pereyra and Band with musical direction by Rafelito Mirabal and Guy Frometa (Dominican Republic) with special guest Alex Jacquemin (France), and Edgar Molina (Dominican Republic).

Dominican Republic Jazz Festival dates and locations include:

• Nov. 6 – Puerto Plata, Independence Park

• Nov. 7 – Sosúa, Hotel Casa Marina Amphitheater

• Nov. 8-9 – Cabarete, Cabarete Beach

The Caribbean jazz ensemble BwaKoré of Martinique will perform a special concert at Parque Mirador in Sosua on Saturday, Oct. 11 as an opening event for the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival, sponsored in part by the French Embassy of the Dominican Republic and Alianza Francesa. In addition to the concert, BwaKoré will offer free music workshops at the Casa de Arte in Sosua for children in the Strings program, in conjunction with FEDUJAZZ and Sosua City Council.

Since the beginning, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival has presented internationally renowned Latin Grammy and Grammy Award winning musicians such as Chuck Mangione, David Sánchez, Ray Baretto, Néstor Torres, Chucho Valdés, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and Arturo Sandoval. Additional jazz greats have included Stanley Jordan, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Danilo Pérez, El Canario, Ismael Miranda, Cuco Valoy among many other talents.

Sponsors for the 18th Dominican Republic Jazz Festival include Ron Macorix, JetBlue, United States Embassy, Berklee Global Jazz Institute, Sea Horse Ranch Luxury Resort, Ultravioleta, Millennium Resort & Spa, Casa Linda, the Municipality of Sosua and Cibao Recycling.

For more info visit drjazzfestival.com.

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