Tucked away in an obscure nook of Medellin’ Paraque Lleras is a small bar called Tinto Tintero, and it is here, every Thursday night, that musicians, jazz lovers, and unsuspecting pedestrians gather to soak up fresh jazz jams.
“Jueves Jazz Jam has been going on for over a year now, and it has really taken off. The place is packed every time now. The atmosphere, the enthusiasm of the artists and the audience has been fantastic. The demand is definitely there,” says Canadian bar-owner David Campbell.
To be sure, jazz is nothing new to Medellin.The Medellin Jazz Festival is now in its 15th year, and has steadily been attracting internationally renowned artists and packed audiences. Similarly there are at least a few other bars that occasionally host live jazz scattered throughout the city.
What is different about Tinto Tintero though is its consistency and spontaneity. The jazz night is every week, and the music is all completely improvised, in the true New Orleans jam tradition.
The musicians are mostly students from the University of EAFIT music program, but the stage is open and anybody is welcome to step up and join in. It is from this ever moving cast of the musicians, and the ever evolving music that comes from their collaboration, that the night gets its electric charge.
Campbell explains the Jueves Jazz Jam initially began with a fundraiser for displaced children. The night was a success and the director of the EAFIT music program pushed for more events.
“The students needed a venue outside of the classroom to work their chops and get some public exposure and we were looking for other activities to fill our week at the bar.”
“It turned out to be a perfect fit,” Campbell added.
Indeed, it certainly feels that way. Sitting on the tattered leather sofas, buzzing on micro-brewed ale, and completely lost in the wafting music and sheesha smoke, you almost forget about all the other bars and clubs in Parque Llleras, all blasting the same 140 decibel reggaeton.
Tinto Tintero is located on Cll 8A #36 -14, in Paraque Lleras, Medellin.
Jueves Jazz Jam takes place every Thursday from 8.30PM to 12.00M.
More info can be found on their facebook page.