12 scenes from the 2017 Panama Jazz Festival



Dianne Reeves and Romero Lubamo. Says photographer Vic Brown: “In my humble opinion this was the outstanding performance of the festival. There might be a little bias to my statement because I just love Brazilian music and Romero IS Brazilian music. However Dianne’s voice is Bebop, Bosa Nova, Flamenco, R&B, freestyle, and them some. She tore it up and them some.”

12 scenes from the Panama Jazz Festival

photos by Vic Brown and Eric Jackson

A teacher, like a community organizer, has a mission to replace herself. Filling Graciela “Chelín” Núñez’s shoes is a tall order for this little girl, but that’s the sort of thing that the Panama Jazz Festivals do. Photo by Eric Jackson.

Of the internationally well-known musicians, Esperanza Spalding was arguably the headline act.

From Jerusalem with his band, Rony Eytan.

When John Patitucci plays with Danilo Pérez, it’s usually on an upright bass. He did so with the Children of the Light at this festival. But here he’s playing the electric bass, which he emphasizes is a different instrument, with his electric guitar quartet.

The festival started out with traditional Panamanian music by the Danilo Pérez Foundation’s Conjunto Folklorico.

Bill Dobbins directing the Global Jazz Big Band.

From Bocas del Toro, the Beachers. See, Panama is also a Caribbean country and its music reflects that.

Osvaldo Jorge expounds on Indian percussion at a master workshop given by the Black Tea Project.

Vasilis Kostas does jazz on a bouzouki with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute’s Band.

Also with Berklee’s band, Nzinga Bank blows her saxophone.

The main point, really — and not just for her. She won a scholarship. Will she be a renowned musician in years to come? Perhaps. But Panama’s education scene has been improved, the global music scene has been enhanced, someone can foresee a better future for herself and we live in a more cultured country.


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