(CelebrityAcccess MediaWire) —
Festival founder and artistic director Danilo Pérez will present the third annual Panama Jazz Festival on January 19-21 in Panama City, Panama. Having grown in stature each year, the 2006 three day event will feature the Randy Weston African Group, the David Sanchez Group, the Kurt Rosenwinkel Group featuring Mark Turner, the New England Conservatory Ensemble, the University Panama Big Band, led by Vitin Paz with special guests, Santi Debriano and the Sounds of Ashé From the University of Massachusetts, the Carlos Garnett Quartet, the New England Conservatory Ensemble, Mauricio Smith’s Tribute Band, Folk Panamanian Musicians among other national and international musicians.
The Pérez Foundation is organizing the festival along with the sponsorship of Ricardo Pérez, SA (Toyota Distributor of Panama) and the continuous support of Panama City’s Mayor Juan Carlos Navarro. In addition to ticketed concerts held at the Anayansi Theater of the Atlantic Pacific Convention Center, there will be a free concert at the Cathedral Plaza, in el Casco Antiguo and jam sessions led by local jazz players and international musicians. The Pérez Foundation and the PJF will also join forces with the New England Conservatory of Music, (Boston, MA) to provide music workshops for students at the Belle Arts Department of the University of Panama. “One of the main reasons for doing this festival is to develop the musical education of our country and the Perez Foundation will provide different ways to do so,” says Pérez.
Pérez’s manager, Robin Tomchin, who is also the International Coordinator of the Panama Jazz Festival, added, “This festival has been a dream of ours, since Danilo and I began working together over twelve years ago. The event is wonderfully received by the people of Panama, who openly embrace the music and the artists—even if they are unfamiliar with them. It’s also especially gratifying to have the support of the entire country, from the office of the President, to the mayor of Panama City to the newspapers and television. We hope to continue to grow the festival over time.”
Each year the festival is dedicated to one of Panama’s musical giants, a musician who exemplifies Panama’s rich musical landscape. For the 2006 festival, the honoree is Mauricio Smith, who died in 2002. Flautist, reeds player, musical director, composer, arranger, guitarist, keyboardist, percussionist and chorus singer, Smith was equally at home in various genres, including classical, Latin, calypso, jazz, R&B, pop, show music, movie scores, zouk and compas. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen