Article repost from Nota Clave

By Alfonso Quiñones

Water is a blessing and it was not an obstacle for the Stables of Cap Cana, more or less a thousand people, of a select public, lover of good music to give themselves the banquet of celebrating the Dominican Republic Jazz for the first time. Festival, which in its twenty-second edition confirms not only its maturity, its maturity and its vocation of benefit to others, but its permanent quality.

It started like this, the first of the nine nights that this festival will have, organized by the FEDUJAZZ Foundation, with stops between October and November in Santo Domingo, Santiago de los Caballeros, Puerto Plata, Sosúa and Cabarete, capital of jazz, at least in November .

This event in Cap Cana, presided over by an impressive stage that featured a spectacular and impeccable set design designed by the visual artist Adolfo Farington, was dedicated to the United States with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, integrated this time by a Russian, two Poles and two Americans: Anton Derevyanko (sax, Russian), Daniel Szczepanski (trumpet, Polish), Jason Yeager (piano, American), Sebastian Kuchczynski (drums, Polish) and Sean Pentland (double bass, American), and as a special guest, the saxophonist Ítalo-Puerto Rican Marco Pignataro, whom Notaclave.com had the opportunity to interview and which we will publish in the coming days.

Berklee Global Jazz Institute began with Bokonon, by Jason Yeager and continued with Gracias a la Vida, by Chilean Violeta Parra, included in Pignataro’s new album, also Marimbell, by Sebastian K, Blackmon comedy, by Tony Williams; a jazz-time version of the Dominican classic Por Amor, by Rafael Solano and Panarea, by Teo Ciavarella. The group, although it did not shine at the level of the students of previous years, represented with dignity the educational effort that they receive.

While, it was transited from the drizzle to the rain.

Terri Lyne Carrington and her quintet paid tribute to the outstanding jazz pianist and teacher Gari Allen, who died a year ago of cancer. The prominent musician who participated in Robert Altman’s film Kansas City, in the role of his beloved Mary Lou Williams, was the owner of a very personal language cooked with influences from Monk, Mary Lou herself, Duke Ellington, among others, Herbie Hancock, made her one of the most important jazz pianists of the last decades, and her influence is decisive in some of the best pianists of the 21st century, such as Vijay Iyer, Ethan Iverson, Jason Moran, David Virelles or Craig Taborn between others.

The quintet of Terry Line was integrated by Ingrid Jensen, on the trumpet; Kenny Davis, on bass and Ian Fink, on piano, as well as Dj Val Jeanty (Haiti), who performed the songs LWB’s House (remix), RTG, Your pure self, The Nurterer, Drummer song, Unconditional love and Feed the fire. The outstanding drummer of three Grammy Awards and Dr. Honoris Causa of the University of Berklee, however, was somewhat below expectations. It took a single one where he exposed his talent, his explosiveness and his technical expertise, which he has too much, as he showed in the 2016 version of the DR Jazz Festival in Cabarete. The proposal, from my point of view, was overshadowed by the effects created by the Dj Val Jeanty, who could have been in some topic, but not in all of them and to the point that it felt like an obstacle to the advance of the melodic discourse of the jazz, which also needs concentration and internalization.

The rain turned into a downpour, into pluvial disorder, while the “ripiao jazz” of El Prodigio started, accompanied by a band of nine musicians and two guests, maestro Rafaelito Mirabal on piano and saxophonist Sandy Gabriel, with whom in more than one occasion established an interesting dialogue on topics such as El Cadete, Liborio, AUtum Leaves, Periblues, Mountain Dance, Someday soon, Manteca (by Chano Pozo), Los Algodones and Ella lived me, in a grand finale that gave way to a jam session inside the restaurant of Los Establos.

The public remained faithful until El Prodigio ended. I think the experience was profitable for the hosts of Cap Cana, El Establo, Fedujazz, musicians and fans.

The DR Jazz Festival 2018 will continue on October 26 in Santiago, on the 28th in Santo Domingo, on November 1 in Puerto Plata, on November 2 in Sosúa and will close in Cabarete on November 3 and 4.

María Elena Gratereaux and Lorenzo Sacansani must be exhausted yet, but happy.

About Fedujazz

It is an entity that offers free music education to young people in the Dominican Republic. There are currently a hundred students at the center of the foundation in Cabarete and hundreds of school children from the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, who also attend educational music workshops with the renowned musicians who perform every year at the jazz festival.