The Cuban jazz sound is unique. It is the result of the African and Spanish musical heritage and mixture, with contributions from the United States of America and many other countries as far as China and France.
In the first half of the 20th century, US Jazz bands were hired to perform in Havana. Soon Cuban jazz musicians incorporated the international repertoire brought by these American bands into their unique Jazz sound. Today the Havana Jazz sound is cosmopolitan, sophisticated and freed from commercial pressure- which allows Cuban jazz players to experiment freely and create the new sounds and styles known as the Havana jazz sound that attracts jazz lovers and jazz professionals from all over the world.
The Jo Jazz Festival or El Joven Jazz Cubano will take place in Havana for 4 days, from November 19 to November 22, 2015 and this year marks the 17Th. anniversary edition. The Jo Jazz Festival is a competition and celebration by and for waves of young musicians breaking into the Latin jazz and global music milieu. The Havana Jo Jazz has become the prelude to the world acclaimed Jazz Festival of Havana, presided over by Chucho Valdes. Jo Jazz has been unfolding for over 15 years in the Cuban capital.
Visitors will mingle with the next generation of melli fluous talent fueling the island’s pulsating rhythm engine. They will meet budding prodigies composing and performing melodies that rock our world.
Zesty, vivacious and exuberant, the Jo Jazz festival’s verve and bravado is a hallmark island event. It’s a melodious jamboree attended by celebrities and jazz aficionados. The Jo Jazz Festival is also a must attend gala for talent scouts from American and beyond.
Jazz lovers still remember the excellent performance by Habana Jazz Collectivo in 2012. Led by Yasek Manzanos, who won the prestigious Jo Jazz award when he was 15 years old, and accompanied by pianist Alejandro Falcón, saxophonist Michel Herrera, trombonist Yoandry Argudín and singer Yanet Valdes, They were recipients of the Jo Jazz awards who were on their way to becoming Cuba’s next jazz stars!
Jazz lovers attending the 17th Edition of the Jo Jazz Competition will certainly witness the birth of more such future jazz stars and young jazz talents performing to excited audiences at the Bertolt Brech Cultural Center, the Mella Theatre, La Zorra y El Cuervo Jazz Club, and other venues.
One thing is guaranteed, young jazz hopes from all provinces of the Caribbean island will come to Havana to match their musical wits for the chance to win at least one of the prizes offered in the various categories. Once again, Jo-Jazz, in Havana, from November 19 to November 22.
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- RHC's Interview with Puerto Rican Singer and Songwriter Pepe Sánchez (Part II)
- RHC's Arts Roundup
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