Festival Report: Mayagüez Jazz Festival 2012

The last Jazz Festival of the year 2012 in Puerto Rico was without a doubt a great success. Three days of good jazz in all its forms.

Festival Report by Wilbert Sostre

Friday, November 16

On the first night, November 16, the fusion of Latin music and straight ahead jazz of pianist Rey Monrozeau included an excellent version of the bolero Bésame Mucho.

Sound Jazz, the official band of the Mayagüez radio station Vid 90.3, closed the night with a mix of nice originals and jazz standards.

Saturday, November 17

On the second night, the musical offering started with the Latin jazz sounds of Mar Picao, a group of good musicians, including drummer Carlos Rosario. The Festival was dedicated this year to Rosario, recognized cardiologist and musician in Mayagüez. Rosario also played on Sunday with the Mayagüez Big Band.

The music got even better with the second act of the night, pianist Angel David Mattos and his project Jazz Boricua. Jazz Boricua includes a dream team of jazz virtuosos and masters improvisers from Puerto Rico, bassist Aldemar Valentín, drummer Héctor Matos, saxophonist/clarinetist Ricardo Pons and of course Angel David Mattos. Like the group name suggests, Jazz Boricua’s music is a wonderful fusion of jazz with Puerto Rican music, Bomba, Plena, Seis, Danza, etc.

Sunday, November 18

The Mayagüez Big Band with musical director Peter Vega opened the last night of the fest. An offering of Latin jazz and dancers heated up the night under a cloudy sky, preparing the stage for the next act.

The Mayagüez Jazz Fest closed on a high note with the intense music and virtuosic display of Grammy nominated Negroni’s Trio. This power trio is composed by father and son, José Negroni on piano and Nomar Negroni on drums, bassist Josh Allen and a very special guest, Ed Calle on saxophone. The energy of these guys was amazing, enough to leave the audience breathless and wanting more. A nice way to end a good year for jazz in Puerto Rico.

Photographs by Wilbert Sostre


Wilbert Sostre
Wilbert Sostre
Member of the Jazz Journalist Association since 2010. Member of the Ponce International Jazz Festival Commitee. Studied music and guitar, 1985-86. Music studies at the University of Puerto Rico and the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico, 1986-1990.

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