Big names headline Dominican Republic Jazz Festival


Presented by the Dominican Ministries of Tourism and Culture, JetBlue, and businesses such as Millennium Resort & Spa, Sea Horse Ranch, Ron Macorix, Listin Diario, UltraVioleta, Casa Linda Residences, Banco del Progreso-American Express, The Municipality of Sosua, and Cibao Recycling, the 17th Dominican Republic Jazz Festival is a free, multi-day festival held each year on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, combining culture, entertainment and music education, while featuring some of the world’s best Latin jazz groups and musicians.

Ramon Vazquez, acclaimed musician and Festival Artistic Director, notes that “The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival is a unique event that combines great Jazz and World Music Artists with some of the best Latin exponents, in beautiful beachfront settings in the Caribbean”. Lorenzo Sancassani, Festival Founder and Producer explains, “The Festival has grown throughout the years to become an international cultural event of record, and we have established a Foundation (FEDUJAZZ) with an important social mission that provides music education for Dominican youth and local communities”.

The Festival offers VIP tickets available for advance purchase through the website, enabling priority seating and complimentary beverages, with proceeds benefiting FEDUJAZZ, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival`s Foundation for Music Education. The musicians that perform in the Festival generously share their time and expertise in free workshops for Dominican youth. The 2013 line-up includes:

Thursday, October 31 – Puerto Plata, Independence Park – 8:00 PM: Pengbian Sang & Retro Jazz (Dominican), celebrated musician Pengbian Sang combines the beauty and elegance of popular Dominican music with bossa nova, funk and jazz fusion.

-Bernie Williams (Puerto Rico), equally famous for his 16-year professional baseball career in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the New York Yankees, Bernie Wiliams is a talented, classically trained guitarist. A Latin Grammy nominee, Williams has collaborated with such artists as Ruben Blades, salsa legend Gilberto Santa Rosa and Bruce Springsteen.

– Friday, November 1 – Sosua, Parque Mirador – 8:00 PM: Miguel Andres Tejada & Bolero Blue (Dominican) Pianist and composer born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Tejada studied classical piano with Cuban teacher Hilda Melis. He went onto receive the “Michel Camilo Scholarship” at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

-Richie Flores Group (PR) with Horacio “El Negro Hernández” (Cuba), Edsel Gómez, Mike Rodríguez, Iván Renta, Marfil Delgado and Ramón Vázquez (PR). Richie Flores is one of the most in-demand percussionists of today’s active music scene. Flores’ style is an exciting, contemporary fusion, containing elements of rap, jazz and salsa.

Horacio Hernandez is a renowned drummer and percussionist, who represents a new generation of great players following in the footsteps of countrymen Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera and Ignacio Berroa.

Ramón Vázquez is the Artistic Director of the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival, and Professor and Founder Member of the New Jazz and Caribbean Music Department of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. Vazquez studied at the Berklee College of Music, and received his Bachelors of Music in Classical Double Bass and Musical Education from the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music.

Saturday, November 2 – Cabarete Beach – 8:00PM: Joshy Melo “Joshy and his 4 Jazz” (Dominican) Joshy Melo, from Montellano, Puerto Plata, is a musician, arranger, composer and singer-songwriter, performing with his group “4 Jazz”.

-Berklee Global Jazz Institute Performance – The Berklee Global Jazz Institute performance will be led by Jorge Perez Albela and the Managing Director Marco Pignataro, in an initiative of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

-Abraham Laboriel (MEX) & Alex Acuña (Perú) accompanied by Iván Renta (NY/PR) and Manuel Valera (NY/Cuba). A gifted bassist, Abraham Laboriel has recorded and performed with a remarkable array of jazz artists including Al Jarreau, George Benson, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock, and Manhattan Transfer. Alex Acuña, drummer and percussionist, is one of the most sought-after Peruvian musicians of his time. Nominated three times for the American Grammy and Latin Grammy.

-Youth Concert Series – 2:00pm – The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival and FEDUJAZZ are proud to feature a Youth Concert Series on the main festival stage. 2013 will include performances by three different Dominican youth bands, more details to be announced.

Sunday, November 3 – Cabarete Beach – 8:00PM: Marco Pignataro Trio Mas with Rufus Reid, George Garzone, Billy Drummond and Matt Marvuglio (ITA/USA). Marco Pignataro is a Boston based saxophone player, composer and educator originally from Bologna, Italy.

Marco has previously shared the stage with George Garzone, saxophonist and jazz educator from New York, and Billy Drummond, American jazz drummer, but this will be their first live performance with the legendary jazz bassist, educator, and composer Rufus Reid, and Matt Marvuglio American flutist and composer, making it a true jazz experience.

-Jochy Sánchez presents Milly Quezada and Johnny Ventura, in “La Gallera”, a spectacular show of Dominican rhythm and flavor. Milly Quezada, known as the Merengue Queen, is a Dominican Merengue music star and four-time Latin Grammy-Award winner. She performs with Johnny Ventura, the famous Dominican singer and band leader of merengue music.

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