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Newsroom Panama

Jazz Scene heads to picturesque Boquete

Posted on February 5, 2016 in Live

alexander-brown.jpgAlexander Brown

By Ken Grady

GOOD, LIVE JAZZ in Panama is spotty at best. The few clubs regularly offering  Jazz aren’t getting enough support from the public, and that’s not going to change any time soon. The alternative is to enjoy what we can count on, a Panama Jazz “season” in January and February, with two long established Jazz festivals that, in my view, are getting better.

Every January for the past 13 years the Panama Jazz Festival has come through, albeit with mixed results for  some fans. But, this year’s line-up pleased most everyone I spoke with.

Then comes February, which over past the past  10 years has given us the Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival. This year’s event is February 24 through 28 2016, and also appears to be raising the bar. The Jazz headliners will be, Spyro Ggrya bassist Scott Ambush, and trumpeter Alexander Brown.

Among the Blues acts will be internationaly acclaimed vocalist, Shafura S’Aida, and multi-talented singersongwriter & musician Deanna Bogart. Harmonica legend Lee Oskar will be in the house, along with The Rigoberto Coba Big Band, John Carney’s Latin Jazz Band, Gato Maximo, singer and harmonica player Curtis Salgado, songwriter Tommy Castro, and Blues guitarist Ronnie Baker Brooks.

Here’s the full lineup:

Wednesday, February 24 – 7pm to 12:30am Warm –up jam with the Edgar Vargas Trio, and Andy Egert at Baru restaurant

Thursday, Feb 25 – 1pm to 4pm Music in the park with Deanna Bogart, Lee Oskar, Shakura S’Aida, and L.A.

4pm – 6pm Open mic at Baru Restaurante

8pm – 12:30pm Jam at Mike’s Global Grill with John Carney and Rigoberto Coba

Friday, Feb 26 – 1:30pm to 5pm Garden party at Panamonte Hotel featuring Deanna Bogart, and a surprise group from Italy

6pm – 7:30pm Shakura S’Aida


8:30pm – 12:30 am Jam at Saboor Restaurante with Tommy Castro, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Deanna Bogart


Saturday, Feb 27Valle Escondido Amphitheater

1:30pm John Carney

3pm Scott Ambush

4:40pm Ronnie Barker Brooks

6pm Curtis Salgado

8:30pm 12:30am The Rock restaurant, hosted by Lee Oskar, Curtis Salgado & Shakura S’ Aida


Sunday, Feb 28 – Valle Escondido Amphitheater

1:30pm 2:30pm Rigoberto Coba Big Band

3pm Marshall Keys

4:30pm Tommy Castro

6pm All-Star band with Lee Oskar and Shakura S’ Aida,

Deanna Bogart and Matt Shofield


8:30pm – 12:30pm Jam at Mike’s Global Grill hosted by Marshall Keys, Scott Ambush and Alex Brown.


So, enjoy the beauty of Boquete, the atmosphere, and mostly the live Jazz & Blues. And remember, your participation at the festival will help promote music education in local schools.
For more info go to, www.boquetejazzandbluesfestival.com.

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