Mardi Gras in Boquete Jazz Festival

Mardi Gras parade at Boquete.

This post is also available in: Spanish

Mardi Gras in Boquete Jazz Festival. The Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival is back, bringing the brightest stars of these genres to the mountain town, located in the Chiriquí province, which for four days, from Thursday 9 until Sunday, February 12, will become the setting for amazing performances by Joe Louis Walker, Guy Davis and the Lowrider Band.

As usual, the 2017 festival will kick-off on Thursday, February 9, with the one and only New Orleans-style street parade in Panama. There will be floats, decorated vehicles, costumes, a folkloric dance troupe with 16 traditional Pollera dancers, three “diablos sucios“ with their fantastic masks and costumes, live traditional music, members of the Boquete bomberos and a street band from the Nacional Police department of Chiriqui.

Mardi Gras in Boquete Jazz Festival

Mardi Gras in Boquete Jazz Festival: Mardi Gras parade at Boquete.

A pre-party with face painting starts at 9am on Thursday, Feb. 9 at the BCP communal theater. Parade marching order will be set up in the BCP parking lot. The parade will leave the parking lot at 11am and will end at 12 noon at the Boquete central park to join the BJBF free concerts with three great bands and a student workshop in the park from 12noon until 4pm.

The festivities will not end there but will continue at the Boquete Central Park in the middle of the town where the Rigoberto Coba Big Band and Lee Oskar of the Lowrider Band will provide the entertainment from 1:00p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Shuffle Demons will perform from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Rigoberto Coba is a native of David, the capital city of the Panamanian province of Chiriqui. His show with a 18 piece Big Band is now a permanent staple of the festival. Lee Oskar is a Danish harmonica player, and member of the LowRider Band. The Shuffle Demons are a high-energy Canadian band that blends virtuoso jazz and funk playing with eye-catching costumes and over-the-top stage antics to produce an incredible show.

After the concert there will be an open mic at the Baru Restaurant and Bar, located near the Central Park from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., hosted by Adam Reach and featuring the festival stars. Admission at the door costs $10. The open mic then moves to Mike’s Global Grill in Bajo Boquetefrom 9:00 p.m. to midnight; the show will be presented by the Grammy award nominee, Joe Louis Walker, with guest musician performances. Tickets can be bought at the entrance for $20.

For more information about the festival visit


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