Puerto Rico Interamerican University Jazz Festival

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The Interamerican University Jazz Festival is the newest out of all the Jazz fests in Puerto Rico.

Report/Photographs by Wilbert Sostre

The 1st edition took place in October 2012, presenting the music of some of the University Music Program professors. The 2nd edition presented a diversity of jazz styles, fusion, smooth, and Latin jazz.

The fest started on Thursday, April 18th with the music of the Professors Guitar Quintet and Osvaldo López Quartet.

The festival continued on April 23rd with the smooth jazz and fusion of Freddie Fusion Band. Followed by the more experimental and modern sounds of Professor/bassist Aldemar Valentín Quartet. A group of true jazz masters that includes Raúl Romero on guitar, Raúl Maldonado on drums, and Tiko Ortiz on sax, played music from Valentín albums “Finding My Path” and “Ficciones.”

On Wednesday April 24th the amazing music continued with the contagious Latin jazz sounds of  Tatoo and his Latin Quartet. The fest closed with another jazz Master, saxophonist Ricardo Pons and his group “Causa Común.” His band includes Raúl Romero on guitar, bassist Alex Apolo Ayala and drummer Efrain Martinez. As a preview to his presentation in the Ponce Jazz Festival, Pons invited saxophonists Angel Torres, Frankie Pérez and Roberto Calderón to play Dizzy Gillespie “Bebop”. Together they are Puerto Sax, a quartet of just saxophones.

At this moment this event is more of an internal fest and an opportunity for the professors of the Interamerican University to present their music to the students and faculty of the institution. Hopefully it will grow up to be a fest that gets the attention of people outside the University. Egüi Sierra, professor/bassist and sound technician deserve a special mention for his excellent work on the sound all throughout the fest in both editions.