Bigger and better program at San Javier Jazz Festival

Australian pianist, singer and composer Sarah McKenzie

The festival program was actually unveiled 3 or 4 weeks ago but having now had time to look through the acts the event organisers seem to have secured many of the world’s very best performers yet again.

Names like the Mavericks, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea Akoustic Band, British Soul Singer Zalon, Kurt Elling, Kyle Eastwood, Vonda Shepard, Luis Salinas, Joao Bosco or Kenny Garret, are just some of the great artistes that you will be able to see at the festival which gets underway on 30 June with bassist Pepe Bao accompanied by his own group with whom he will offer a fusion of jazz, flamenco and rock.

Pepe will be followed by the American singer Vonda Shepard, who achieved worldwide popularity as the resident pianist on the TV show Ally McBeal.

On 6 July Pat Metheny, one of the most admired jazz guitarists in the world, returns to San Javier with a new group and a twist to his unmistakable style which is reflected in his latest album “The Unity Sessions”.Pat Metheny is one of the most admired jazz guitarists in the world

French accordionist Ludovic Beier features on 7 July, with his Montmartre Quartet and violinist guest artist Pierre Blanchard, followed by the Bilbao band ‘Travellin’ Brothers Little Band ‘, winners of the prestigious 2015 European Blues Challenge and one of the most respected and admired blues bands in Europe with their last record recorded in Nashville “13th Avenue South”, and three international artists as guests, the spectacular New York guitarist Alex Schultz, Finish singer Ina Forsman, and the prestigious Bristish guitarist and singer Ian Siegel.

One of the most anticipated concerts is scheduled for 12 July with the North Americans ‘The Mavericks’, one of the most significant bands of “Americana” music, whose eclectic style is cultivated by influences from country, Tex-Mex, and rockabilly.

‘The Mavericks’ are one of the most significant bands of "Americana" music
‘The Mavericks’ are one of the most significant bands of “Americana” music

On Friday July 13 British Soul Singer Zalon will perform at Jazz San Javier. Zalon supported Amy Winehouse for many years and was the vocal director of Amy’s last album. His show will include a tribute to Amy Winehouse with several of the diva’s immortal themes.

The earlier concert that evening will feature Keyon Harrold, considered by Wynton Marsalis as “the future of the trumpet”, and one of the most interesting you musicians out of the new generation.

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Joao Bosco debuts at Jazz San Javier on 14 July, with the sounds of Brazil, followed by saxophonist Kenny Garrett, heir to the great Charlie Parker. Vocalist Sara McKenzie returns to Jazz San Javier on 20 July, presenting her new album “Paris in the Rain” followed by the London band ‘Nine Below Zero Big Band’, exponent of British blues-rock and influenced by John Mayall, The Kinks and The Who.

The Spanish presence includes two of the most admired musicians in the country, pianist Ignasi Terraza and the most versatile harmónica player in the world, Antonio Serrano, who will perform on 21 July, a night that will end with the rhythm and blues of the singer and New Orleans guitarist, Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington.

One of the greatest American jazz singers, Kurt Elling, a baritone of impressive technique, will perform on 22 July with an exceptional guest, Marquis Hill, one of the most prestigious jazz trumpeters in the United States, where he has won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, the most important jazz musicians competition in the world.

Kyle Eastwood, the bassist and composer, son of Clint Eastwood, also premieres at Jazz San Javier where he will perform on 25 July with his quintet. Kyle Eastwood is also developing into a great  a composer with works on the soundtracks of his father’s films “Million Dollar Baby” and “Gran Torino”, among others. The night will end with the electrifying funk-soul of Big Sam’s Funky Nation, from New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Argentine guitarist Luis Salinas is an old acquaintance of Jazz San Javier and will star on the night of 27 July with a double concert that will begin with his son Juan Salinas and that will end with his own quintet performing their own compositions.

The Jazz Festival of San Javier 2018 will close on 30 June with the Chick Corea Akoustic Band, an acoustic trio formed by the piano legend along with the double bassist John Patitucci and the drummer Dave Weckl, a meeting that is being billed as the “musical event of summer”.

The final concert in this year’s edition, especially for lovers of the most exquisite jazz, will feature one of the festivals most admired artistes, the female jazz vocalist René Marie and the piano of Bruce Barth who will close the month long festival for another year.

Together with the performances at the Almansa park auditorium, the San Javier Jazz Festival will take to the streets with four free concerts. The Spanish Domisol Sisters & Sedajazz Swing Brothers, will take their vocal jazz of the 30s and 40s to the Plaza de España in San Javier on 4 July. Mike Sánchez, a British rhythm and blues musician with Spanish roots, will perform on 18 July at the Barnuevo esplanade in Santiago de la Ribera, the venue also for the Bluesfalos on 24 July. La Manga del Mar Menor will host a concert by the Caribbean singer Tricia Evy, yet another great jazz vocalist, with a quartet of Spanish musicians and guest artist Roland Baker on 26 July.

Tickets for individual concerts can be made directly from the webpage detailing each concert, as well as from the Festival Office (968 19 15 88 or 968 19 15 68 –, located on the ground floor of the town hall of San Javier.