Legend George Benson to star on 20 July
One of the most important jazz festivals in Europe will be getting underway on Friday 30 June , the San Javier Jazz Festival, which will be held throughout the remainder of June and the month of July featuring many of the world’s greatest acts, including the fabulous George Benson.
And it is worth going along even if you don’t like jazz, as the concerts that are held in the Parque Almansa in the truly magnificent atmosphere in an open-air auditorium, where you can enjoy the show regardless of the music that you follow.
The full programme will consist of 29 concerts which will take place over 17 nights between June 30th and July 30th of this year.
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Enviroment, Javier Celdrán accompanied the Mayor of San Javier, José Miguel Luengo, the councillor of Culture, David Martínez, and the director of the Festival, Alberto Nieto presented details of the festival which celebrates its 20th edition and more than 400 nights of concerts which has included more than 2,000 elite jazz artist.
The General Director of the Instituto de las Industrias Culturales, Marta López-Briones, praised the San Javier Jazz Festival for its “investment in excellence and for being able to put San Javier and the Region of Murcia on the front row of Jazz festivals in Spain, with a modest budget.” For the Minister, events like the San Javier Jazz Festival “also reinforce, the image as a quality destination of the municipality and the entire Region.”
Alberto Nieto presented the latest news of the festival, which will begin on June 30th with the Mediterranean Jazz guitar of the Spanish composer Ximo Tébar who will present his latest album Soleo, alongside the singer Carmen Rodríguez. One of the most admired voices in Spain, Sole Giménez will be the second performer of the night to present her most recent album Los Hombres Sensibles. She will be joined by Antonio Carmona to pay tribute to Manolo Tena.
Saturday July 1st will feature a night of new discoveries with North American singer Charenee Wade, the new voice of Soul Jazz with a tribute to the poet Gil Scott-Heton. Chant Powell, trumpet player, singer, dancer and multi-faceted artist part of the new generation of musicians out of New Orleans will perform along with his band, a gig designed to get the audience out of their seats.
The New York singer, Allan Harris, among the top Jazz crooners in the world, will perform on July 5th with two giants of Jazz, guitarist Lee Ritenour and pianist and composer Dave Grusin, as they present Lee Ritenour’s latest album A Twist of Rit.
The Spanish presence will return on July 7th with a project sponsored by the San Javier Jazz Festival which joins Blues Express and the great Spanish Blues musicians: Mingo Balaguer, Francisco Simón and Lluis Coloma, alongside Calfornia Blues singer Tia Carroll. The second performance of the night will feature pianist, composer and singer, Ivan Lins, one of the most prestigious Brazilian musicians in the world of Jazz and an old friend of Jazz San Javier.
North American singer Stacey Kent, one of the most respected voices in the Jazz world, will perform with her husband, British saxophonist Jim Tomlinson on July 8th, followed by Ramsey Lewis, one of the greatest Jazz pianists of all time and creator of Jazz-Funk, who returns to San Javier with his Electric Band.
Pegasus, a Jazz group formed in Barcelona in 1981, returns after their successful performance in Jazz San Javier in 2014, and for the first time they will include the voice of the American singer Monica Green to the instrumental Mediterranean sound. The night of the 14th of July will close with two great legends of Blues, guitarists Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ who will present their new album with their band Tajmo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ Band.
The son of the great Thelonious Monk, drummer T.S. Monk leads a sextet on July 15th which will present a concert to celebrate the centennial of the great pianist, called “Monk on Monk: A Centannial of Thelonious S. Monk”, with a special guest, the renowned vocalist Nnenna Freelon. The second concert of the night will star guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli, and pianist, guitarist and singer Daniel Jobim, grandson of the great Antonio Jobim, who will be remembered with a tribute to the album “Sinatra-Jobim” which is now over fifty years old.
The night of the 20th of July is reserved for George Benson, an icon of the San Javier Jazz Festival where he has performed on five previous occasions having received the love of the audience which awarded him the Festival Award during the XIII edition. Benson returns to Jazz San Javier with his band.
Percussionist Jorge Pérez leads the Fusion supergroup Patax which on the night of the 21st of July will present their intense Latin Jazz, Funk and Flamenco proposal also including special guest, American violinist Maureen Choi. On the same night you will be able to enjoy saxophonist Charles Lloyd, a living legend of jazz, who visits San Javier for the first time, where he will present his new album ‘I Long to See You’ accompanied by three great musicians, Gerald Clayton, Reuben Rogers & Eric Harland.
The programme for the 20th edition of the festival also includes the super group Fourplay who return eleven years after their first appearance at San Javier, with their well-known and admired ‘Fusion proposal’ which incorporated R&B and Pop to Jazz. On the same night of July 22nd, Texas guitarist Buddy Whitington one of the main figures of U.S. Blues and Southern Rock will perform with the Blues Rock musician from Murcia, Santiago Campillo, founder and ex-guitarist of M-Clan, and pianist Mauri Sanchís.
On the penultimate night of the Festival, July 29th we will see the Barcelona Big Blues Band with their energetic Blues, R&B, Swing and Jazz performance with special guests, saxophinist Dani Nel.lo and British tenor saxophinist and singer Ray Gelato. The night will be completed with the most distinguished vocalist in Boston Blues, Toni Lynn Washington who will be accompanied by Italian Luca Giordano’s superband with Sax Gorgon on the saxophone.
The closing night of the festival, July 30th will be dedicated to one of the European Jazz greats, Frenchman Michel Legrand, pianist, arranger, and composer of more than 200 soundtracks and songs which have become jazz classics. Michel Legrand, winner of 3 Academy Awards and 5 Grammy Awards, is the most important living French musicians and along with Charles Aznavour, the top representatives of the golden age of French music.
FREE OUTDOOR CONCERTS
After last year’s success, the San Javier Jazz Festival returns to the streets with free concerts in Santiago de la Ribera, La Manga del Mar Menor and San Javier. The first of the concerts will be on July 12th in San Javier’s Plaza de España with Funkystep & the Sey Sisters, a band of six formidable musicians with a vocal trio formed by the three Sey sisters. On July 18th the septet of musicians from Murcia and Alicante, Zoot Suiters will take their festive Swing and Jazz to the Barnuevo boardwalk in Santiago de la Ribera. On Sunday July 23rd it will be Sammy Miller and the Congregation’s turn, a band led by drummer and singer, Sammy Miller, with young musicians who perform a joyous and virtuoso jazz. Finally, on July 26th the Cuban pianist, singer and composer Lucrecia will in the Barnuevo Boardwalk in Santiago de la Ribera, “America cómo te adoro”, a selection of her favourite Latin American songs, accompanied by great musicians like Cuban pianist Ramón Balle, bassist Yeltsi Heredia and German percussionist Nils Fischer.
TICKETS AND SEASON TICKETS
Tickets and season tickets are currently on sale through the festival website www.festivalessanjavier.com and in the Festival Offices.
The price of the season pass will be 120€, which will not include the George Benson concert which will cost 40€, or Tajmo: Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ Band which will cost 25€ and 20€ for season ticket holders.
The price of the rest of the performances will be 15€ for six of the nights and 20€ for the remaining five nights. The four concerts which will take place outside of the Auditorium will be free.