In the News from Panama

Time to Plan Your Panama Jazz Fest Trip

One of Panama’s hippest events, the Panama Jazz Festival, is officially returning in January. The festival brings together the top names in jazz from throughout the region, and it’s developed into one of the highlights of the Panama cultural calendar.

This year’s event, the 21st edition, scheduled for Jan. 15-20, will pay tribute to extraordinary Panamanian drummer, composer, and percussionist Billy Cobham. One of the real legends of jazz, Cobham’s resume includes work with Miles Davis and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. 

Other name artists scheduled include The Global Jazz Womxn; The Daughters of Jazz with their godmothers Idania Dowman & Solinka; Pablo Fagundes and Marcus Moraes from Brazil; Orion Lion and Afroritual from Chile; and Guillermo Nojechowicz from Argentina, festival organizers announced last week. There will also be a wide range of free concerts and events in different venues as jazz takes over the city.

It really has become one of the city’s cool events, attracting music lovers from all over the world. Over the years, some of the jazz world’s biggest stars have performed at the festival, including The Wayne Shorter Quartet, Herbie Hancock, Chucho Valdés Quartet, Esperanza Spalding, Jack DeJohnette, Stanley Jordan, and Ellis Marsal.

The Panama festival is extra special because it is about more than the performing stars. There is a major focus on education and involving communities in the events. Students from throughout the region are exposed to the music and culture behind it. This year’s event will include participation from the Berklee College of Music, the New England Conservatory, the New York Jazz Academy, and the Conservatory of Santiago de Chile.

You can track festival news here.