Jazz is in the air in sunny Puerto Rico! Why? Because the 26th edition of the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest is just six weeks away at the Tito Puente Amphitheater in San Juan. When? From March 17 thru the 20th. According to Luis Álvarez, Vice President of the Liquors Division at Méndez & Co., the organization sponsoring and organizing the event, this year’s honoree will be Ray Santos, a Grammy Award winning composer, arranger and saxophonist of Puerto Rican extraction who’s career has spanned over 50 years working with other immortals like Noro Morales, Machito, Tito Rodríguez and Tito Puente.
But Ray Santos’ performance on Sunday, as talented and spectacular as he is, will only be the tip of the iceberg. This year’s lineup reads like the “who’s who” of Latin Jazz with favorites like Charlie Sepúlveda (trumpet), Ralph Irizarry (percussionist) and his group Timbalaya, Luis Salinas (a virtuoso —and self taught— guitarist from Argentina), José “Furito” Ríos (saxophonist), Antonio Sánchez (drummer), Paquito D’Rivera (saxophonist), Roberta Gambarini (singer) and many others.
Álvarez also announced the winner of this year’s commemorative poster competition. After a long and careful selection process this year’s winner was young Puerto Rican architect, from the township of Humacao, Abdiel A. Arenas Alicea, with a piece titled “Mambo Puertorro”. The selection committee was comprised of graphic arts experts, Méndez & Co. representatives and executives from the Heineken brand.
Arenas will receive a $2,000 prize, 4 Jazz Passes and the prestige of being the winner of such a important competition.
So, if you are a Jazz lover like me, and you’re tired of all that snow and nasty weather, why not have some “fun in the sun” in beautiful Puerto Rico? You can arrive here a few days before the Jazzfest, enjoy the Island’s wonderful beaches, its world-class cuisine, its caves, canyons, antique sugar plantations, Spanish Forts, the radio telescope, the rum distillery, Old San Juan, the rainforest… the list goes on and on. And then, from the 17th to the 20th, relax under the stars and enjoy the best music in the world at the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazzfest.
Tickets go on sale on February 15th. You can order online a www.ticketpop.com or purchase them over the counter at La Bodega de Méndez, in Guaynabo, PR. For more information call 787-277-5800 (San Juan) 787-651-1999 (Ponce) or 787-826-7560 (Añasco).
You still have six weeks to put it all together so call your travel agent right now!!!