Music transcends language, and it also transcends generations: good music is by and for people of all ages and walks of life. At least, that’s the ideology behind this year’s edition of Bogotá’s annual jazz festival, Jazz al Parque. The festival celebrates its 24th anniversary this September.
The 18 performing groups cover different ages, nationalities, and musical styles. From Ron Carter and his Trio, the American combo with over 60 years of jazz experience, to Yamile Burich & Ladies Jazz, a group of young Argentine women that fuses jazz with swing and blues, there is truly something for everyone in this lineup of performers.
The festival opens on September 12 at 7:30 pm in Teatro Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. On this first day of the event, some of the performing groups will also facilitate jazz improvisation seminars in order to introduce more Colombian artists to the international jazz scene.
The second day of the festival will take place in a neighborhood that was once among the most dangerous in Bogotá: El Bronx. La Milla, a street in El Bronx, will be Jazz al Parque’s home base on September 13. “This year, we want Jazz al Parque to reach a new audience,” said Juliana Restrepo, director of the Instituto Distrital de las Artes (IDARTES) which sponsors Jazz al Parque. “That’s why on September 13, we will provide the Bronx Creative District with a reputation of fun and leisure that will solidify this area as a place of transformation, art, and culture.”
This year is also the 10th anniversary of Big Band Bogotá, Bogotá’s own city jazz ensemble. The band will perform on September 14 in Parque El Country, along with nine other ensembles.
Here is part of the September line-up and profiles of the guest artists:
Ron Carter and His Trio
Home country: United States
History in the jazz world: Carter has played alongside Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and other jazz greats in his 60+ years as a performer. He has also written six books about his life and performance methods.
Group members: Ron Carter (contrabass), Donald Vega (piano), Russell Lamar (guitar)
Fun Fact: Carter made the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records for his 2,200 recorded jazz albums.
Home country: Colombia
History in the jazz world: Tobón has played all over Colombia in his career, uniting the diverse sounds of classical, jazz, and traditional Colombian folk music in his performances. He has also toured in Cuba.
Group members: José Tobón (saxophone), accompanied by Juan García Diego Lopera, John Vargas, Camilo Barrera, and Byron Sánchez
Fun Fact: In addition to the saxophone, Tobón also plays the flute and clarinet.
Yamile Burich & Ladies Jazz
Home country: Argentina
Experience: Ladies Jazz has played in London, La Habana, Buenos Aires, and New York, among other locations.
Group members: Yamile Burich (saxophone), Patricia Grinfeld (guitar), Diana María Arias (contrabass), Analia Ferronato (drums), Carolina Cohen (congas)
Fun Fact: Ladies Jazz is the first all-female jazz group based in Argentina.
For more information on these and other groups performing at Jazz al Parque visit: www.jazzalparque.gov.co