Colombia will hold six jazz festivals beginning in September, featuring concerts from acclaimed international performers in the country’s four biggest cities, Spanish news agency EFE reported Tuesday.
Two concert festivals will take place in the country’s capital, Bogota, one in each of the other three biggest cities, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and one in Sevilla, in the southwest Valle del Cauca department. A concert will also be held on Thursday, June 23 with Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, as a precursor of what is to come later in the year.
The festival series is a product of the Jazz Circuit, an alliance among the cities, that will allow international musicians to perform various times across the country and thus cut costs for each individual performance.
“To hold various simultaneous festivals is economically beneficial because it generates a circuit in which different artists circulate around different cities. They come not to do just one concert, but various ones and in this way we divide the expenses among everyone,” said the technical secretary of the Jazz Circuit, Beatriz Monsalve.
According to Monsalve, holding a series of festivals in this manner has allowed the Jazz Circuit to book more expensive artists, such as the world-renowned Cuban band Buena Vista Social Club and U.S. jazz musician Deborah Carter.
Monsalve added that, contrary to what many believe about jazz, the music can be enjoyed across all social classes and age groups.
“The welcoming from the Colombian public with jazz is marvelous. People think that this is an elite musical genre, and it isn’t; there are kids, there are people from all social classes, there are elderly people, there are young people, it is a heterogeneous public,” said Monsalve.