The fifth annual Jazz Festival kicked off last night and will run up until Sunday. The Jazz Festival features several international artists as well as local artists. According to Karen Vernon, the theatre director of the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, the purpose of having the Jazz Festival is to foster a deeper appreciation for jazz among local musicians since it is the foundation upon which music is built.
Karen Vernon – Theatre Director, Bliss Center for the Performing Arts: “Last night we had an Open Jam session at the Mexican Institute. We had Omolewa Ossain, we had Dicky Straughn Quartet, we had Kelberman and we closed off with the Morena Son which is an all female band from Cuba, a traditional jazz type of music. They ended off with a big bang so I think we had a successful start to the Belize International Jazz Festival. We continue today, we have a piano pair recital and workshop this evening at the Belize School of Music and we continue with a jam session at the Radisson at 5:30, then at 7 pm tonight we have a Sac Jazz session at the Bliss Cafe. Tomorrow we have a jam session at Spooners and that is at 8 pm. We have the International Youth Orchestra along with the Kelberman Jazz Quartet.Omalewa Ossain and of course Don Drake, it is going to be a total jam session. Spooners has been with us for the past five years, this has been a venue for the jam session on Friday night so it is a quite looked after event. There is also Morena Son at the northern shops and they are having a food and jazz festival included in the Jazz Festival. On Saturday we have another jam session at the northern shops and a festival at the Radisson with Morena Son and on Sunday we close off with a big bang with a big concert at the BTL Park at 5 pm.”
There isn’t any cover charge to attend the performances with the exception of Spoonaz. The closing of the Jazz Festival takes place on Sunday at the BTL Park and it will feature local marching bands. Apart from the performances, there are several workshops lined up to broaden local musicians’ knowledge about jazz.