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At a time when festivals come and go, it’s especially noteworthy when one commands the admiration of musicians in North, Central and South America. Such is the Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival to be held next year, February 25 through 28.
Few festivals offer the intimacy and ambience of Boquete, perched nearly 4,000 feet up in the Chiriqui highlands near Costa Rica. It is a must for jazz-loving patrons – as well as for a string of musicians who lobby for their place on the roster.
“Some of the biggest names in world of music want in,” says festival producer, John Wolff. “We’d love to have them, if we had an open slot. This says a lot about how Boquete has emerged as ‘a musician’s festival’ in just ten years.”
Back for more is Deanna Bogart, booked for her second Boquete appearance. Bogart’s first time at the festival was in 2015, but given her broad-based appeal, promoters elevated her to the position of associate producer. The talented performer on piano and vocals, as well as a four-time Blues Music Award winner for horn, says, “They’ve created a wonderful freedom for the players. The vibe allows us to work together, play together and come together organically to make great music. The feeling and energy at Boquete inspires us to take our jams into different and exciting directions that feel great to all of us, musically and beyond. They want us to have fun and we do!”
Boogie woogie, jazz and jump blues, keyboard maestro, Mitch Woods, welcomes a return to Boquete. “As musicians, we get to know some of the locals, including ex-pats, and what they like to hear. They’ve loved jazz and good music for years, but the blues is relatively new to Panama. It’s been exciting to see how well received it is, especially when we mix it up in our jams at the amphitheater or in restaurants.”
For details on Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival 2016, visit www.boquetejazzandbluesestival.com.