The 26th edition of the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest will take place from Thursday, March 17 to Sunday, March 20, at the Tito Puente Amphitheater in San Juan. This year, the festival will have a varied musical offering, including the introduction of HEINEKEN THE LAB, an experimental proposal that will combine jazz with other musical genres on the first night (Thursday). During the four-day event, many world acclaimed jazz musicians will take the stage to perform live. On Sunday, some of the guest musicians will unite in a tribute to jazz’s king of mambo and this year’s honoree, Ray Santos. Under the direction of Humberto Ramírez, the musicians will be presented as the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest Big Band.
Thursday, March 17:
8:00PM — Henry Cole & Villa Locura – Graduated from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and renowned music school Berklee College of Music, Cole returns for the second time to the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest. This time around as the opening act of the festival. The musician, who will debut the new concept HEINEKEN THE LAB, is known for his fusion of jazz with other genres like salsa, rumba, plena, funk and rock. This led him to share the stage with important music groups and to receive the support of legendary producer, Quincy Jones, who he claims as one of his heroes. For this occasion, Cole will light up the stage with his group Villa Locura, composed of: Mario Castro (Tenor), Ricardo Pons (Baritone), Luis Rodríguez (Electric Bass), Gabriel Vicens (Guitar), Benson Pagán (Guitar), Alberto Torrens (Barrel), Bryant Huffman (Chekere), Obanilu Iré Allende (Barrel and Voice), Kily Vializ (Voice and Percussion), Jonathan Powell (Trumpet), Jeremy Bosh (Voice), and Negro González (Voice\Rap).
9:30 PM — Pirulo Tribal Jazz Experience – With his entertaining musical offer, Pirulo debuts at the JazzFest stage after a year of unstoppable success. The producer, percussionist, and composer, also a graduate from Berklee College of Music in Boston, has worked with a very diverse group of artists, ranging from music legend Bob Dylan, to Vico C and Tego Calderón, making him the perfect fit for THE LAB.
11:00 PM — DJ Guti Talavera – Closing HEINEKEN THE LAB will be Puerto Rican DJ Guti Talavera. Based in Miami, the DJ will present his Hip Hop Jazz Live Show, where he will join forces with 3 fellow musicians to create a fusion of progressive rhythms. DJ Talavera will be accompanied by a saxophonist, trumpeter, and Joel Pierluisi (Danger Garden). The producer and expert in plates will integrate his distinctive “scratching” technique as part of this innovative closing.
Friday, March 18:
8:00 PM — Charlie Sepúlveda & The Turnaround – Puerto Rican trumpeter Charlie Sepúlveda has become a jazz propeller in his land with eleven recordings as a soloist and working as a professor in the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico. His unique and melodic styles led his way participating in big latin jazz recordings with Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Hilton Ruiz and Dave Valentín. The experienced musician will be joined by Norberto Ortiz (Piano), Gabriel Rodríguez (Bass), Francisco Alcalá (Drums), Garwin Vargas (Conga drums) and Bienvenido Dinzey (Saxophone) as the opening act of the second day of the festival.
9:30 PM — Ralph Irizarry – Timbalaye – Known as the timpanist with the greatest swing, Irizarry will be performing during the second night of the festival with his group “Timbalaye”. His credits include five recordings alongside Ray Barreto, as well as an excellent musical relationship with Rubén Blades and Seis del Solar, with whom he collaborated for thirteen years. Other partnerships include artists like David Byrne, Paul Simon, Harry Belafonte, Earl Klugh, Juan Luis Guerra, Cachao, Celia Cruz, and Yomo Toro. Celebrating 20 years with his septet will be fellow musicians Dennis Hernández (Trumpet), Aníbal Rojas (Saxophone), Hommy Ramos (Trombone), Roberto Quintero (Conga drums), Alexander Ayala (Bass), and Adán Pérez (Piano).
11:00 PM — Luis Salinas Quintet – A guitar expert and passionate for the musical fusion, Salinas has demonstrated his ability in music since his early stages where he self-taught the instrument that has now earned him a spot as a big contender in the jazz music industry. The Argentinian musician has worked with the great singer Mercedes Sosa, who expressed that “it is a joy working and listening to Luis’s subtle and melodic voice”. He will be accompanied by Argenis Luis Peña (Drums, Percussion and Flamenco box), Alex Tosca Laugart (Piano and Keyboard), Ricardo José Martínez (Electric bass), and as a special guest, his son, Juan Salinas (Electric guitar).
Saturday, March 19:
8:00 PM — Jose “Furito” Ríos & Standard Bomba – If you were to take a look at Furito’s resume, you’ll find a wide variety of abilities and experience. Skillful in the saxophone, the flute, piccolo, and clarinet, Ríos also excels as a composer and arranger. His diversity has led him to participate in over 300 recordings with artists from different musical genres, like Ray Barreto and Arturo Sandoval in jazz, Celia Cruz and Bobby Valentín in salsa, and Franco de Vita and Marco Antonio Solís in popular music, just to name a few. He has played in various Broadway musicals, as well as with the Symphonic Orchestras from Puerto Rico and the Bronx. He knows no limits when it comes to his dedication to music. During the JazzFest, he will play his most recent production, “Standard Bomba”, with Ramón Luis Irizarry (Bass and Electric bass), Juan Luis Anglero (Piano), Jimmy Rivera (Drums), Omar “Pipo” Sánchez (Barrel pump, maracas and cuá), Hector Calderón (Barrel pump, maracas and cuá), Raúl Rodríguez (Barrel Pump), Giovanna Sosa (Modern dancer), and Milton Cordero (Digital Artist and Programmer).
9:30 PM — Antonio Sánchez & Migration – The Mexican musician is catalogued as one of the most influential drummers in today’s music industry. With the recognition he gained after his nominations for Best Original Score during 2015 Golden Globes and BAFTA for the movie Birdman, who won the Oscar for best movie, Sánchez has benefited from his well-deserved success to promote two new and unique productions, alongside his group Migration, with whom he’ll debut in Puerto Rico during the third night of the festival. The group is made up of Antonio Sánchez (Director and Drums), John Escreet (Piano), Matt Brewer (Bass), Thana Alexa (Voice), and Seamus Blake (Saxophone).
11:00 PM — Paquito D’Rivera Ensemble – Closing on Saturday night will be one of the biggest Latin jazz figures in the world. The Cuban saxophonist, clarinetist, and musical director returns to the Heineken Jazzfest to celebrate his more than six decades of musical career. In his lifetime he has played bossa nova and tango, participated in compositions for philharmonic orchestras, and played tribute to many influential artists. This shows in his last production where he plays tribute to the classic boleros of composer Armando Manzanero. D’Rivera will share the stage with Alex Brown (Piano), Oscar R. Stagnaro (Electric bass), Mark Walker (Drums), Pernell Luciano Saturnino (Percussion), and Victor Provost (Steel drum).
Sunday, March 20:
5:00 PM — Berklee in Puerto Rico – Our Island may be small in size but huge in talent. Directed by Eguie Castrillo, the Puerto Rican students that have had the opportunity of studying and learning in one of the most important music schools in the world, Berklee College of Music, will take the JazzFest stage on its last day. The young musicians that will play on Sunday are: Manuel E. Castrillo (Congas and Timbales), David E. Suleiman Orozco (Saxophone, Tenor), Orlando A. Latorre (Trumpet), Joseph Omar Rivera (Piano), Jonathan Salas Rodríguez (Drums), and Flavio Lira de Oliveira (Bass).
6:00 PM — Roberta Gambarini Quartet – Influenced by the music of the great Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday, the Italian singer moved to the United States in 1988 to pursue a career in music while studying in the New England Conservatory of Boston. Her career took flight quickly, becoming a recurring act in the North American jazz festivals. Gambarini will be joined by Cyrus Chestnut (Piano), John Webber (Bass), and Victor Lews (Drums).
7:30 PM — Ray Santos Tribute – Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest Big Band: Directed by Humberto Ramírez, a group of guest musicians will play tribute to the master of mambo, Mr. Ray Santos, this year’s honoree during the PR Heineken JazzFest.
Tickets On Sale!!!
Tickets for the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest are available for sale. Prices vary depending on a per-day basis. Prices begin at $15.00, up to $75.00 for the JazzPass, a special pass that allows patrons to enjoy all four days for less than $25.00 a day plus a 15-minute fast track entrance before the general public. Prices listed below do not include service charges nor taxes (IVU).
Thursday, March 17- $10.00 (Students with I.D.)/ $15.00 (General Public)
Friday, March 18- $25.00
Saturday, March 19- $25.00
Sunday, March 20- $30.00
Jazz Pass (Full four-day access to the festival with 15 fast track entrance) $75.00
Tickets are available at www.ticketpop.com and at La Bodega de Méndez & Compañía in Guaynabo (787) 277-5880, Ponce (787) 651-1999, or Añasco (787) 826-7570.
How To Get There
For more information regarding the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest, visit the website www.prheinekenjazz.com.
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