Mark your calendars and make your reservations for news February 26 – 28
Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival announces lineup for 2016
How can you take your love of music to new heights? Start off at an elevation of 3,900 feet above sea level and then let some of the world’s top performers set you soaring. The Boquete jazz and blues festival is the ideal launching pad to send you into orbit. The sky is by no means limited in the open-air amphitheater of the luxurious Valle Escondido resort, located in a picturesque mountain community in the Republic of Panama, not far from the Costa Rican border. Each yearly festival has reached a new crescendo, and the lineup for the tenth annual event, scheduled from February 26 through 28 of 2016, promises to raise the bar even higher.
To build on past successes, festival producer John Wolff enlisted two of the peak performers from 2015 as associate producers — Shakura S’Aida, a rising international jazz and blues diva now living in Canada, and Deanna Bogart, a widely acclaimed pianist, saxophonist, singer and songwriter from the United States. The two women will be joined in an all-star band by the renowned Danish harmonica performer and manufacturer Lee Oskar, a founding member of the original group that was known as “War.” Past performance levels also warranted a 2016 encore for two acts from the Panamanian music scene — the 18-piece Rigoberto Coba Big Brass Band and John Carney’s smooth Latin jazz band Gato Maximo. In addition, percussionist Charlie Marre, who sat in with some of the 2015 performances, will continue filling in the beat next year.
The impressive lineup also features six first-time acts. Representing the jazz genre will be Spyro Grya bassist Scott Ambush, saxophone virtuoso Marshall Keys and stellar trumpeter Alexander Brown. Three towering bluesmen will round out the billboard: Curtis Salgado, a singer and harmonica player who has performed with the likes of Santana, the Steve Miller Band, the Robert Cray Band and Roomful of Blues and who won the Blues Foundation’s B.B. King Entertainer of the Year for 2013; guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tommy Castro, recipient of the same award for 2010; and Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of the legendary Lonnie Brooks and a preeminent torchbearer for the Chicago blues-guitar sound.
Besides having an uplifting musical experience, festival participants help to raise up the musicians of the future. Profits are donated to promote musical education in local schools, and brief performances by the budding artists have allowed festival goers to see the fruits of this investment.
Look for tickets for the 2016 festival go on soon. For more information, visit the website www.boquetejazzandbluesfestival.com.