The 19th edition of the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival brought five nights of free concerts to the Dominican North Coast recently, delighting an estimated 12,650 music patrons in four cities.
Presented by FEDUJAZZ and the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, the Nov. 4-8 festival featured an all-star lineup of outstanding musicians who performed in Santiago, Sosúa, Puerto Plata and Cabarete.
Artists for the 2015 festival included Grammy Award winners David Sanchez (Puerto Rico) and John Patitucci (USA), and the Grammy-nominated Pedrito Martinez Group, along with other outstanding talents: Josean Jacobo (Dominican Republic), Roy Assaf Trio (Israel), Berklee Global Jazz Institute (USA), Javier Vargas and The Big Band Conservatory of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) with special guests Jim Kelly, Jim Odgren and Jason Camelio (USA).
Additional prominent artists included the Student Loan String Band (USA), Manuel Tejada (Dominican Republic), Mario Canonge Trio (France) and Pengbian Sang and Retro Jazz (Dominican Republic).
The largest free event of its kind in the Caribbean, the festival also paid homage to several of its own beloved national treasures, with tributes to renowned Dominican saxophone players and composers / arrangers Juan Colón, Sandy Gabriel and Crispin Fernandez.
In addition to delighting jazz lovers at the evening shows, several of the artists led daytime music workshops for more than 1,500 North Coast schoolchildren.
FEDUJAZZ, the music education foundation of the festival, currently provides 150 local children with free, ongoing music education and training at its new center in Cabarete.
In December, FEDUJAZZ will expand its music programs to include 73 children now on the waiting list. The programs will be divided into five age groups: 7 to 8 year olds, 8 to 9 year olds, 10 to 11 year olds, 12 to 14 year olds and 15 to 18 year olds.
The festival has also announced an exciting, new alliance with the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Matt Marvuglio, dean of the college’s Performance Division, and Marco Pignataro, college managing director, will join the festival’s Artistic Advisory Board, beginning with selection of artists for the 2016 event. Mr. Marvuglio and Mr. Pignataro will also serve as FEDUJAZZ advisors.
Since its inception, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival has presented internationally renowned Latin Grammy and Grammy Award-winning musicians from around the world. This enriching addition to the diverse culture of the country allows for visitors and locals alike to enjoy all forms of jazz in the beautiful setting of the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival will celebrate its 20th edition in 2016 on the following dates:
• Nov. 8 – Santo Domingo
• Nov. 9 – Santiago
• Nov. 10 – Puerto Plata
• Nov. 11 & 12 – Cabarete
Sponsors for the 2015 festival included Ron Macorix, JetBlue, the U.S. Embassy, Berklee Global Jazz Institute, Gratereaux Delva & Associates Law Firm, Sea Horse Ranch Luxury Resort, Ultravioleta Boutique Residences, Millennium Resort & Spa, Casa Linda, the Municipality of Sosua, Cibao Recycling and Ban Reservas.
For more information, visit www.drjazzfestival.com.
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