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Dominican Republic Jazz Festival Honors Cuban Jazz Player Ignacio Berroa

The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival will celebrate its 18th year, November 6-9, with four nights of concerts in the north coast towns of Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete.

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 the DR’s FEDUJAZZ, a non-profit organization that conducts musical workshops for youth.

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.

This Year’s DR Jazz festival is featuring Ignacio Berroa’s band. Ignacio Berroa was born 8 July 1953 in Havana, Cuba and he is a jazz percussionist.

In 1980 Ignacio moved to New York and joined Dizzy Gillespie’s quartet. In 1981 becoming the drummer of all the important bands Gillespie formed until his death in 1993.

Ignacio Berroa has been recognized by many as one of the greatest drummers of our times. Jazz Legend Dizzy Gillespie defined Ignacio as: “… the only Latin drummer in the world in the history of American music that intimately knows both worlds: his native Afro-Cuban music as well as Jazz…”[

As an educator Ignacio has conducted clinics and master classes all over the world. As an author he made his mark with the instructional video: Mastering the Art of Afro – Cuban Drumming as well as the books: Groovin’ in Clave and A New Way of Groovin’.

His first album as a leader, “Codes”, released under Blue Note Records, was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. “Codes” also won a Danish Music Award in 2007 as best International Jazz Album. He was recently honored by inclusion in the 2011 Blue Note and Modern Drummer Release entitled "Jazz Drumming Legends". He is currently working on a new album for 5Passion Records and plans to produce a new instructional DVD under the same banner.

Ignacio has recorded and played with musicians of the stature of Joe Lovano, Charlie Haden, Tito Puente and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, just to name a few.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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