The 24th San Javier International Jazz Festival will pay tribute to the living jazz legend Kenny Barron, to whom it will present one of the two awards of this edition, which will also recognise the talent and swing of the Swedish singer and multi-instrumentalist Gunhild Carling, who will give two of the free concerts. The director of the Festival, David Martínez, highlighted the “eclectic” nature of a programme in which 80 percent of the artists will be visiting Jazz San Javier for the first time and highlighted the presence of musicians of the stature of Kenny Barron, Steve Vai, the charismatic ZaZ, Gungild Carling, Terell Stafford, Stanley Clarke, Emmet Cohen, guitarists Peter Berstein and Mark Whitfield, the Spaniards Patax, Chano Domínguez, the superband Vintage Travell and other legendary groups such as Incognito and Matt Bianco, among many others.
The presentation of the Festival, which started to the sound of “Amazing grace” sung by Dora Helena, was attended by the Mayor of San Javier, José Miguel Luengo and the Director General of the Institute for Arts and Sciences, ICA, Manuel Cebrián, who highlighted the quality of the Festival and reiterated the support of the regional government. The Mayor of San Javier, José Miguel Luengo expressed his satisfaction that “San Javier will once again be the cultural epicentre during the summer”, and highlighted the increase in free concerts and the local presence with a jazz band from the San Javier Conservatory and the vocalist Dora Helena, who closed the event at the Teatro Circo with a version of “Freedom”. José Miguel Luengo thanked the sponsoring companies for their support and, like the Festival’s director, David Martínez, had words of thanks for Alberto Nieto, former director, who was present and who continues to collaborate as a programmer with the San Javier Festival.
Programme Parque Almansa Auditorium
The concerts programmed in the Parque Almansa Auditorium will begin on 1 July with a double night that will start with one of the artists scheduled for the 2019 edition that did not take place due to the pandemic, the pianist Emmet Cohen, leading one of the most acclaimed piano jazz trios today. The second part of the evening is reserved for the legendary British jazz-funk and soul band, Incognito, who are celebrating more than 40 years in the business, led from the beginning by Jean Paul Maunick. With 12 musicians on stage and vocals by Vanessa Haynes, Incognito promises a memorable live performance on the first night of the Festival.
The auditorium will open its doors again on 6 July for another double night that will begin with a German accent. Joscho Stephan, one of the European guitarists of the moment, a Gypsy Jazz innovator, will perform with his Trio and violinist Sandro Roy. The second concert of the evening will be given by the Spanish band that stands out in the new Spanish jazz fusion, Patax, with a tribute to The Beatles, Patax “Plays the Beatles”, whose songs will be revisited with jazz, flamenco and Afro-Cuban rhythms.
On 7 July Jazz San Javier will be visited for the first time by the electric bass and double bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke, who began his career with Chick Corea in the legendary jazz fusion group Return to Forever. With an extensive discography and numerous collaborations over several decades, Stanley Clarke moves between jazz, rock, funk and fusion.
From a legend to another of the contemporary classics of jazz, pianist Kenny Barron, who will receive the 24th San Javier International Jazz Festival Award on 8 July. One of the leading pianists of post-bop and a living example of the golden age of jazz, Kenny Barron returns to Jazz San Javier with his piano trio to present his album “Book of Intuition”.
On Saturday 9th July, the first concert will be given by great jazz guitarists Peter Berstein and Mark Whitfield, old acquaintances on and off the stage who visit San Javier with a production of the Festival dedicated to the legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery, under the name “We All Remember Wes”, taken from the song composed by Steve Wonder. The second concert of the evening will be given by the young Sevillian pianist Andrés Barrios, a new voice in the fusion of jazz and flamenco in a trio with the Cuban double bass player Reinier Elizarde “Negrón” and the Iranian drummer Shayan Fathi. At the end of the concert, the singer Manuel Lombo will join in as a guest to remember Armando Manzanero.
On July 14th, Jazz San Javier hosts the national premiere of “25 años sin Tete”, a project led by pianist Chano Domínguez with his Trio, Laura Simó and Eladio Reinón, which commemorates Tete Montoliu, the first internationally renowned Spanish jazz musician. With the participation of musicians close to Tete Montoliu, such as Horacio Fumero, who was his double bass player, they will recall the usual repertoire of the brilliant Catalan pianist. Next up will be Vintage Trouble, a blues, rock and soul band from Los Angeles, surprising and unclassifiable, described by their own singer as “James Brown singing with Led Zeppelin”. The band, made up of vocalist, guitar, drums and bass, will offer their first concert in the Region of Murcia.
One of the most eagerly awaited concerts by guitar fans will be that of Steve Vai, unanimously considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Steve Vai, who began his career alongside Frank Zappa and who has sold more than 15 million records, will perform on 15 July, with one of his overwhelming live shows in which he will present his new album “Inviolate”.
Jazz San Javier once again looks to the British music scene, with the group Young Gun Silver Fox, who on July 16th will offer their first concert in Spain on the stage of the Parque Almansa auditorium in San Javier, where they will bring the echoes of West Coast Pop and Soft Rock from the coast of California that characterises their sound. The evening will be rounded off with an original proposal by Jazz San Javier in an in-house production, “Skol 2022”, which brings together great European jazz musicians to commemorate the album “Skol”, a recording of the concert given by great jazz stars such as Oscar Peterson and Stephane Grappelli, among others, in Denmark in 1979. On this occasion, the guitarist Ulf Wakenius, Pierre Boussaguet, the pianist Ignasi Terraza, the violinist Raúl Márquez and the drummer Marc Miralta will come together.
On July 20th, Jazz San Javier welcomes Terell Stafford & The Bruce Barth Trio. Terell Stafford, one of the great trumpet players of today’s jazz in the wake of Wynton Marsalis, joins the trio of pianist Bruce Barth, former musical director of Toni Bennet and regular pianist of jazz greats. Vocalist Sara Dowling, one of the UK’s new musical talents of the moment, will be the guest artist in the last part of the concert.
In the final stretch of the Festival comes another of the highlights of this year’s edition. On the 22nd of July, ZaZ will fill the stage of Jazz San Javier, the French singer and composer of worldwide renown, creator of her own style in which she fuses French song, swing and gypsy jazz. Live performances are one of the great assets of this artist who, together with a group of excellent musicians, will perform songs from her latest album “Isa” along with other hits from her career.
On 23 July the Festival will bid farewell to this year’s festival with a double concert session beginning with another Frenchwoman, Cyrille Aimée, one of the most highly valued jazz singers of today, winner of vocalist competitions such as the Sarah Vaughan and the Montreux Festival. The second concert will feature the British band Matt Bianco, a pioneer in the fusion of pop music with jazz and Latin rhythms, which became popular worldwide in the 1980s with songs such as “Half a minute” and “Don’t blame it on that girl”. With some breaks, Matt Bianco has continued since then along the lines of pop, jazz and bossa nova rhythms with a long discography whose main hits will be reviewed in his concert at Jazz San Javier.
As usual, Jazz San Javier will bring three free concerts to open spaces in San Javier, Santiago de la Ribera and La Manga del Mar Menor, to which this year’s edition will add three more in its own “Jazz in the garden” section. Festival director David Martínez explained that “Jazz in the garden” will be held in the Anglo-Saxon style, inviting the public to bring their own seats or find a place to sit in the gardens surrounding the San Blas pavilion in Santiago de la Ribera.
La Manga del Mar Menor will host a concert by Swedish singer and multi-instrumentalist Gunhild Carling at the Tomás Maestre Port on 10 July. Gunhild Carling, who will also perform on 11 July in the San Blas pavilion, will receive one of the two prizes awarded by the Festival this year. On 17th July the Festival comes to the Plaza de España in San Javier with one of the most admired jazz singers of the moment, the American Sharon Clark. The Barnuevo esplanade in Santiago de la Ribera will host a concert by another American, although based in Spain, Tui Higgins, who together with pianist Xavier Monge will recall the album they recorded together, “Cecilia Revisited”, in which they adapted the famous songs by the Spanish singer-songwriter to jazz.
The “Jazz in the garden” series will offer three more free concerts on the stage of the pavilion located in the gardens of San Blas. The premiere will be on 5 July with the Jazz Band formed by 11 musicians from the San Javier Conservatory of Music under the direction of guitarist Antonio F. Baeza. The magnetism and energy of Swedish singer and multi-instrumentalist Gunhild Carling will fill the San Blas pine forest on 11 July. Local vocalist Dora Helena premieres her new project “Dora Helena Soul Jazz Band” sponsored by Jazz San Javier, along with some of the best jazz musicians in the Region of Murcia and saxophonist José Luis Santacruz from Alicante, in a concert on 19 July.
Tickets and season tickets will be on sale in the next few days, with prior notice from the Festival. Season tickets will cost 100 euros and include all the concerts except those of Steve Vay and ZaZ, whose tickets will cost 30 and 50-55 euros respectively. The rest of the tickets will cost between 15 and 25 euros. The Festival has a new start time for concerts, which will be at 22:30h for single concert nights and at 22:00h for single concert nights.