Medejazz Jazz Festival September 9th-16th
This will be my first year getting into the events of the Medejazz Festival, a 21-year-old annual tradition. Though some cities in the world have insane Jazz Fests with weeks (plural) of entertainment and programming, the Medellin one is quite short and to the point. That’s not to say, however, that it’s not exciting.
This year’s, in particular, sounds like it’s going to be on point. For all the dance and salsa lovers out there, it will basically meet your every demand.
We spoke to the founder and director of the festival for the past 21 years, Oscar Castañeda. He spoke to us charismatically about his experience with the festival, the artists and the music scene in the city. In one way or another, this has become something new, September is the month of jazz in Colombia and if we multiply by 5 the events of our festival, we’d be on par with other countries. So, it’s really at a national level that we, as a country, show our participation. National Jazz Festivals include:
Over 21 years, according to Oscar, a number of things have changed and evolved. The very first concert was at Teatro Matacandelas which had a capacity of 150 people. However, somewhere between 400 and 500 people showed up! They had to place a speaker outside so those who couldn’t fit in the theatre could participate in the action.
They used to take over a park by El Tesoro and that end of the city would absolutely collapse. Parking was impossible, traffic would go nuts. They had big-time artists like Cheo Feliciano, who played for around 14,000 people from all areas of the city.
At one point, Oscar said, they invited Ray Barreto from La Fania, a music symbol at the time and as he started playing, it started pouring rain. Startled, he stopped playing and looked into the crowd, who unmoving, prepared for the rain with jackets and umbrellas. Humbled by people urging him to continue, he continued, later remarking that he had never seen any crowd like it.
“The very first concert was at Teatro Matacandelas which had a capacity of 150 people. However, somewhere between 400 and 500 people showed up! They had to place a speaker outside so those who couldn’t fit in the theatre could participate in the action. “
There are a variety events which, if you scroll down you can get details on, but in general there are two types of events, lectures, and concerts.
Lectures are taught by the international artists themselves, on stage speaking to anyone who wants to come. They’ll share experiences, lessons, and take questions, often bringing attendants up on stage to practice, play along and have a good time. Leave your notebook at home, bring your instrument and get ready to learn from the best! All lectures are held at Casa de La Música in the city center.
- September 9th- El Septeto Santiaguero
- September 13th – Conjunto Chapottin
- September 14th- Rosario Giuliani
- September 15th- Yuniel Jiménez
- September 9th: The Great Cuban Fiesta
- September 13th- Chapottin and Puerto Candelaria
- September 14th- La 33 and Rosario Giuliani
- September 15th- Chucho Valdes
- September 16th- Latina All Stars
Check out all of Medejazz Events below:
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Medejazz Guest Artist Gallery
All Photos provided by Medejazz