Cuba is preparing for its 21st International Contest for Young Jazz Musicians to be held between Nov, 15 and 18, which will see the participation of 105 artists, and promises to be one of the most important music events of the year on the island.
Musicians in the 2018 edition of Jojazz (a wordplay on ‘jewels’) will compete in ‘interpretation’ and ‘composition’ categories, divided by age (16-21 and 22-35 years old) and size of the ensemble, as reported by the festival’s coordinator Riandra Rivero. This year there will be only one prize per category.
The jury will be composed of the renowned musicians Pancho Amat, Barbarito Torres, Michel Herrera, Alejandro Falcon, Carlos Miyares, Maraca, and others. Jorge Reyes and Ruy Lopez-Nussa will take turns as president of the jury.
Victor Rodriguez, president of the organizing committee and director of the National Center for Popular Music, said the contest will bring together the best from music schools across the island. Musicians who took part in the ‘La Banda Gigante’ (The Giant Band) T.V. show will take a break from filming to also participate in the contest.
The festival will be inaugurated with a concert by the guitarist Hector Quintana and the trombonist Yoandy Argudin on Nov. 15 at the Bertolt Brecht Cultural Center. The Afro-cuban jazz pianist Dayramir Gonzalez will perform the next day at the National Theater’s Avellaneda Hall.
The Jam Sessions, led by former JoJazz Prize winner and jazz violinist William Roblejo, will take place at the Mella Theater gardens on the night of Nov. 16. At the same venue the next day Carlos Miyares, Harold Lopez-Nussa, Yasek Manzano, Rodney Barreto, and others will perform.
The awards ceremony will be held on the 18th at the Tito Junco Hall, where the Grupo Influencia will perform.