2012 Ponce International Jazz Festival

The first edition of the Ponce International Jazz Festival, organized by Wanda Borrero and the radio station Vid 90.3, was a success. Three days of good jazz with emphasis in Puerto Rico local talent started on Friday April 27 with the music of Zambaribiri, a big band of talented young students from the town Guayanilla High School, with special guest, “cuatro” virtuoso Archie Negrón (Cuatro is a string instrument mostly used in Puerto Rican folk music). The band opened with the classic Tito Puente composition “Oye como va” and closed with a wonderful version of The Village People “YMCA”. The second and last act of the night was the Vid 90.3 house band, Sound Jazz.

Saturday night was a night dedicated to the trumpet, starting with the sound of Edwin Gutierrez & Jazz Project that included another jazz legend from Puerto Rico, drummer Jimmy Rivera. The two Grammy nominee and internationally recognized jazz trumpeter Charlie Sepúlveda was the second act of the night. Sepúlveda is one of those rare musicians that can play any jazz style, straight ahead or Latin jazz, with conviction and feeling.

Ponce local jazz hero, trumpeter Julito Alvarado, to whom this first edition of the Ponce International Jazz Festival was dedicated, closed the night with his contagious Latin jazz sound. Alvarado is a musician with vast experience playing in Latin jazz bands and salsa orchestras.

The good musical offering continued on Sunday night with the music of Eugenio Torres and Sol Creciente, followed by Carlos Juan Colon & Manus, and the Ponce Municipal Band. Closing the festival, the always interesting and eclectic sound of master trombonist and international musician, William Cepeda. Cepeda, who played with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, is an excellent composer and arranger who fuses jazz with traditional Puerto Rican rhythms like Bomba and Plena.

Review and Photos by 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.

More from author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts


Featured Posts

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

El Gran Fellové: Part 2- Enter Chocolate & Celio González

Early Sunday morning… I awoke to the pleasant surprise of a Google Alert in my email. I clicked to find Variety Magazine had published an...

El Gran Fellové: Part 1- The Beginning

Francisco Fellové Valdés (October 7, 1923 – February 15, 2013), also known as El Gran Fellové (The Great Fellove), was a Cuban songwriter and...

Bobby Paunetto, New York City and The Synthesis of Music

Bobby Paunetto was an unforgettable composer, arranger, musician and recording artist. Latin Jazz Network honors him on the tenth anniversary of his death (8.10.10). His...

Jazz Plaza 2020: Ancient to the Future

Chapter four of our series: 35th Jazz Plaza International Festival in Havana In recent months I found myself in profound reflection of the term...

Ray Martinez and the Forgotten Legacy of Jazz

Sometime in the very near future, several of the jazz world's best known writers and musicologists will meet in some obscure conclave to pool...

A Brief History of the Cuban Style Conjunto

1930: The Orquesta Típica is out and the Conjunto is in The year 1930 marked a turning point in the development of popular Cuban music....

Jazz Plaza 2020: Speaking in Tongues

Chapter three of our series: 35th Jazz Plaza International Festival in Havana Featured photo: Los Muñequitos de Matanzas at El Tablao in Havana, by Danilo...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more