Jazz Plaza 2023 Festival proposes a hundred concerts in Cuba

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Photo: TTC.

More than one hundred concerts in Havana and Santiago de Cuba propose the program of the 38th edition of the International Jazz Plaza Festival 2023, which will be held from January 22 to 29 and will host musicians from twenty countries.

In a press conference at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, the Cuban Vice Minister of Culture, Fernando Jacomino, thanked the presence of international artists and Cubans living in other countries, who will participate in this great jazz festival, a unique event of its kind not only in Cuba, but also in the world, due to its vocation for integration and experimentation.

Jacomino affirmed that this is the festival of Cuban jazz players wherever they live; an appointment of the highest level where the hosts are Cuban musicians and cultural institutions.

According to the Festival newspaper, on this occasion the public on the island will have the opportunity to enjoy musicians from Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Congo, Spain, the United States, France, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Countries Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, United Kingdom and South Africa.

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Photo: TTC.

One of the particularities of this edition of the event will be that jazz will leave the usual theaters and circuits to reach other more community spaces. In both Havana and Santiago de Cuba, more than 11 cultural spaces will be set up, which will be extended with functions in squares and parks in both cities, according to Indira Fajardo, president of the Cuban Institute of Music.

In the capital, the concerts will have as venues the National, Martí, América, Lázaro Peña theaters, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Bertolt Brecht Cultural Center, the Cuba Pavilion, the Plaza House of Culture, the Cuban Art Factory and the Pink Hall of the Tropical.

The composer Rodolfo Vaillant, in charge of the activities of the Festival in Santiago de Cuba, pointed out that in addition to the usual stages, the presentations will also reach Plaza de Dolores and some of the main arteries of the city.

The president of the Cuban Institute of Music also highlighted that the Festival is increasingly inclusive, with its purpose of attracting and linking new students from the different music schools in the country.

The National Music Award (2012) Bobby Carcassés, founder of Jazz Plaza, invited the Cuban public not to miss the presentations of talented national and foreign instrumentalists who have opted for the island’s stages.

In his speech, the Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca, artistic director of the Festival, expressed that he dreams of being able to take Jazz Plaza to other provinces of the nation where this musical genre has many followers.


The image of the event is the work Baseball Player, by the notable Cuban plastic artist Arturo Montoto, who impregnated his creative stamp that advocates the conjunction of music and baseball, two of the symbols of national culture.

During the week of the Festival, tributes will be made to the rumbera group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, for its 70th anniversary; trumpeter Bobby Carcassés for his 85th birthday; the composer Martha Valdés, the percussionist Chano Pozo and the pianist Hernán López Nusa.

The 18th Leonardo Acosta in Memoriam International Colloquium will remember his imprint on Cuban music on the 90th anniversary of his birth and will also provide lectures, master classes and panels at the Cuban Art Factory.

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A concert from art and for art

Music and painting come together during this 38th edition of the Festival to give life to the Jazz X Art project, by the American saxophonist, flutist and composer Ted Nash.

The proposal becomes a collaboration between jazz and the plastic arts, where Nash —winner of two Grammy awards— and renowned Cuban musicians will be inspired by works from the patio to create performative improvisation sessions during the event.

These sessions will take place in the Cuban Art building of the National Museum of Fine Arts, in the mornings from January 24 to 27, and may be witnessed by the public visiting the institution.

In the afternoon, Ted Nash will give a Jazz Composition residency in the museum room dedicated to Wifredo Lam, whose 120th anniversary is intended to honor this project. These sessions are also open to the public.

Both moments have the objective of creating a musical repertoire that will have as a great presentation space a concert in the courtyard of the National Museum of Fine Arts itself on January 28 at 5 in the afternoon, dedicated to the birth of José Martí, National Hero of Cuba.

It is the first time that a collaboration of this type has been carried out between Cuban and American musicians and an art museum. In addition to Nash, the project will be led by the Antilleans Alejandro Falcón (piano), Arnulfo Guerra (bass) and Ruy López Nussa (drums).


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Jazz Plaza 2023 Festival proposes a hundred concerts in Cuba

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