Villa de Leyva Moves to the Rhythm of Jazz: The VillaJazz Festival Returns
For thirteen years, the municipality of Villa de Leyva has been hosting a jazz festival. During the San Pedro and San Pablo holiday weekend, the town welcomes renowned artists from both the national and international jazz scenes. This year, the event will take place from June 30th to July 2nd, featuring two stages: the San Francisco Cloister and the Main Square of Villa de Leyva. In this edition, the festival pays tribute to the late Wayne Shorter, who passed away on March 2nd, 2023, leaving behind a significant legacy for Colombian jazz musicians. The festival will kick off on Friday, June 30th, at 7:00 pm at the San Francisco Cloister with a solo piano concert by the renowned Chilean artist Orion Lion. Lion has performed in America and Europe, released 18 albums with original material that showcases traditional Chilean music and jazz, and serves as the artistic director of the Chile Jazz for Peace Festival sponsored by UNESCO-Santiago and the ChilEUropa Festival organized by European embassies in Chile. Tickets for this event can be purchased by calling +57 310 322 7072.
Among the international guest bands in this edition is Chaivers from Peru, a project that blends festejo, hauyano, vals, and landó with the sounds of rock, jazz, and funk. On the national front, La Burning Caravan will be performing. This band is highly influenced by genres such as jazz and blues, but above all by Gypsy rhythms, giving their music a pioneering flair. Additionally, the festival will feature the Big Band of Teatro Colsubsidio – EMMAT, a project that seeks to showcase young talents involved in jazz education. Moreover, in the ninth edition of the VillaJazz Fest’s musical group call, 41 groups from different parts of the country participated, with a total of 150 musicians competing. Four winners were selected: Cuántica Látin Jazz, led by Pablo Marriaga from Barranquilla, representing young talent; Groovato, led by Camila Ortiz from Medellín; De Chonta from El Retiro Antioquia, led by Alejandro Jaramillo; and the duet of Gabriel Galvis and Felipe Rey from Bogotá. The panel of judges for this occasion consisted of Edmar Castañeda, Orion Lion, and Paola Vargas. As part of the academic activities, the festival will offer a master class on composition by Orion Lion and a panel discussion on the experience of festival management, featuring Paola Vargas, Director of the VillaJazz Festival, and Orion Lion, Director of the Chile Jazz for Peace and ChilEUropa festivals. “This time, the festival has broadened its horizons. It is an enormous joy to be able to welcome three guest countries: Peru, Uruguay, and Chile, as well as three regions of our country: Bogotá, Atlántico, and Antioquia, all coming together in our beloved Villa de Leyva during this holiday weekend. This allows our dream called VillaJazz to continue growing and consolidating,” said Arian Cuervo, Producer of the Villa de Leyva International Jazz Festival.
This event is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia through the national cultural concertation program, the Government of Boyacá through the Secretary of Culture and Heritage, and the Municipality of Villa de Leyva. It also receives support from Villa del Cine Festival, the Cultural Center of Banco de la Republica in Tunja, as well as tourism entrepreneurs in Villa de Leyva, including Hospedería Duruelo, Hotel Plaza Mayor, Restaurant Los Quioscos del Cacique y La Real Puerta de San Pedro.