Jazz Plaza Festival
The 37th International Jazz Plaza Festival began this Tuesday, January 18th in the Cuban capital with a concert by Cuban musician Ignacio ‘Nachito’ Herrera, who resides in the United States, and musicians with Habana Jazz band.
A renowned pianist, arranger and composer, Nachito Herrera combines traditional Cuban styles, especially the rhythms of montunos and tumbaos, with jazz and classical music.
The winner of two Grammy Awards, he is visiting this time, accompanied by a large delegation that includes his wife and producer, Aurora Gonzalez, president of the Minnesota-based company Herrera Gonzalez LLC, American musicians, businessmen, doctors and solidarity with Cuba activists from Minnesota and from other U.S. States.
The delegation announced that they will donate medical inputs for the Cuban health system to confront the COVID-19, as well as musical instruments that will be delivered to the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and the National Center of Arts Schools, for distribution in the country’s artistic education system.
The solidarity organization brought also water filters for the Ecumenical Council of Cuba, donated by the Presbyterian Church of Minnesota, of which the musician and his wife are members.
Also in the framework of the 37th edition of Jazz Plaza, ‘Nachito’ Herrera will give a master class as part of the Festival's academic event and will visit the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory.
Tuesday’s opening gala included also Cuban maestro and founder of Jazz Plaza, National Music Prize laureate Bobby Carcassés, with his show ‘Del blues a la Timba-de la Timba al Jazz.’
In statements to the press, Carcassés said it is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of his band Afrojazz and to renowned trumpet player José Manuel Crego –better known as ‘El Greco’—who died recently here in Havana.
Also on Tuesday, the opening day, the Leonardo Acosta in memoriam International Jazz Colloquium began sessions at La Plaza Cultural Center in the Havana neighborhood of Vedado, with conferences, panel discussions, master classes by renowned Cuban and foreign jazz artists. Likewise, the space ‘Primera Línea’ serves as a unique platform for professionals from the music industry in charge of producing, promoting and exploring new market opportunities. The space serves also for the presentation of jazz albums.
Running through January 23rd, this year’s edition of Jazz Plaza includes live, in-person recitals and concerts --under strict compliance with sanitary measures in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The top event in Cuba dedicated to jazz music includes broadcasts on Canal Clave of Cuban Television, also on Streaming Cuba and the platforms of the Cuban Ministry of Culture and the National Center for Popular Music.