The XXIII edition of the San Javier International Jazz Festival will be held from July 16 to August 1, and through it they will pass 15 bands during eleven nights of concerts, eight of them in the auditorium and three on the street, municipal sources reported in a statement. After the suspension of the event last year due to the pandemic, this year it returns with a format adapted to health measures in an edition that, although a ‘transition’, is full of leading jazz figures. In addition, this year, and for the first time, two awards will be awarded, one of them dedicated to its former conductor, Alberto Nieto, and the other to the Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander.
The mayor of San Javier, José Miguel Luengo; The director of the Festival, David Martínez, and the one who continued collaborating as musical advisor, Alberto Nieto, presented this Tuesday the poster of a program with a lot of presence of great Cuban musicians and protagonism of the piano and other string instruments such as the cello, the violin and viola, less common in jazz music. The organization of the Festival did not hide the difficulty that its programming has entailed this year “but we were clear that this year, more than ever, we had to bet on culture,” said the mayor David Martínez.
The San Javier International Jazz Festival will start on July 16 with one of its unavoidable events that brings one of the best country rock and alternative country bands to the auditorium stage for the first time, The jayhawks, which with 35 years of history come to San Javier after the publication of one of the best albums of his career, ‘Back Roads and Abandoned Motels’ (2018).
Another of the highlights of the Festival will be the presence of Brad Melhldau, the best pianist of his generation and a jazz star who returns to San Javier on July 28 with his trio made up of musicians such as Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard. We will have to wait until July 31 to see Monty alexander, the Miami-based Jamaican pianist and one of jazz greats with more than 75 albums and a long career that oozes jazz, blues and Jamaican echoes of his roots.
On July 31 there will be a double program with a second part starring Steffen morrison, a native of Suriname and settled in Amsterdam, which is considered one of the values of European soul with influences from the most romantic classic. On July 17, the Portuguese singer and guitarist based in Madrid will be seen at Jazz San Javier Alana Sinkëy, accompanied by her quintet. Vocalist for groups like Patax and Cosmosoul, she is considered one of the best soul and R&B voices in Spain.
It will be a night with a double program that will be completed with the Cuban pianist living in Spain Ivan ‘Melon’ Lewis, which will present ‘The Cuban Swing Express’, a show with eleven musicians on stage that will feature the Cuban singer Arahí Martínez as a guest. On July 23 the cellist will perform Matthieu saglio with his usual quartet and four guests such as Isable Julve on singing and dancing, Carlos Sanchís on accordion and the vocalists Abdoulaye N’Diaye and Camile Saglio.
On July 24, the piano returns with Daniel Garcia, who follows in the wake of the greats of flamenco jazz and who will perform with the Cuban musicians with whom he has recorded the album ‘Travesuras’. Reinier ‘El Negrón on double bass and Michael Olivera on drums, along with violinist Maureen Choi. The second part of the night will star Mauri Sanchís, one of the best European organists closely linked to the San Javier Jazz Festival, to which he returns accompanied by vocalist Damon Robinson and bassist Oneida James.
The piano will be the protagonist again on July 30 by the hand of the Italian Giovani mirabassi, who will perform accompanied by the singer Cyril Mokaiesh, with which he has recorded the album ‘Naufragés’, in which French chanson and jazz merge. Mirabassi will complete his concert playing with one of the great jazz accordionists, Marc Berthoumieux, accompanied by his quartet.
The final party will be on August 1 with a tribute to Chick Korea, Prize of the San Javier Jazz Festival in 2018 and one of the most beloved jazz stars at the Festival, which has brought together a large group of artists who had worked with him such as Carles Benavent, Jorge Pardo, Niño Josele, José de Josele, Tino di Geraldo and Tomasito, to remember him on stage with a show.
The San Javier Jazz Festival will also take to the streets, thanks to the collaboration of different councils, during three nights of free concerts that will start with the presence of the Cuban Lucreia in the Plaza de España on Sunday, July 18. In Santiago de la Ribera, the Barnuevo esplanade will host the concert of the Cuban pianist Pepe Rivero with his Trio and the violinist Raúl Márquez with Enrique Heredia ‘El Negri’, as guest artist, on July 21. Finally, in the Tomás Maestre port of La Manga del Mar Menor will perform on Sunday, July 25, the Murcian singer Sara Zamora.
Tickets on sale now
The director of the Festival, David Martínez, announced that Tickets and season tickets are on sale from Tuesday at the Festivals Office, located on the ground floor of the Town Hall, as well as through the website ‘www.festivalessanjavier.com’. The price of the tickets is 15 euros, except for July 16 -when The Jaywawks performs-, which will cost 25 euros, and the nights of July 28 and 31 -with Brad Mehldau Trio and Monty Alexander, respectively-, which will cost 20 euros. The price of the tickets will be 80 euros and includes all the concerts.
The organization will contact the subscribers to confirm their locations, which will be relocated due to capacity limitations imposed by social distance. At this time, it is expected that the capacity limitation will not be less than 750 seats, which is equivalent to 50% of the capacity of the auditorium. The mayor of San Javier, José Miguel Luengo, praised the quality of the Festival despite the difficulties in a year like this one, and highlighted what, in his opinion, represents a “return to culture, a return to life and experiences”.