In Puerto Rico, during the 80’s, a movement of jazz aficionados began to surface into the mainstream. Locals loved it and there was constant airplay and even a dedicated Jazz station called “Jazzeando.” Since 1985, Mendez & Company (a spirits distributor) have teamed up with Heineken to create an ongoing annual festival.
Over time the format has changed and has focused it energy on education, new talent and wider scope. No longer only Latin Jazz, the new repertoire has brought elements never seen on the island before: Brazilian jazz, jazz-rock and big-band. An annual recognition tradition was also added. 2000 was a special year, looking back at a decade of previous years. Since then the festival has continued the tradition and has further expanded both the scope of the event and the genres it covers.
Running from Thursday (March 20th) thru Sunday (March 23rd) the Tito Puente Amphitheater will host Luis Perdomo, Jerry Medina, Sammy Morales, Terry Lyne Carrington and many more. The timing couldn’t be better – it coincides with my theoretically trip to the island this weekend!