The South American nation of Colombia is one of the few countries in the world and the only one in Latin America that coordinates and stages its major jazz festivals concurrently. El Circuito de Jazz de Colombia (The Colombian Jazz Circuit) links the early- to mid-September events in the four largest cities—Barranquilla, Cali, Medellín and Bogotá—and the provincial town of Pasto. They all benefit from being able to present major international artists by sharing expenses.
This year, Cuban woodwind artist Paquito D’Rivera (pictured above), backed by Brazil’s Trio Corrente, will appear at four festivals in as many nights, while Brazilian vocalist Rosa Passos is featured at three festivals. Latin-oriented jazz is a specialty of the events; Puerto Rican flautist Néstor Torres, Cuban singer Issac Delgado and Puerto Rico’s legendary salsa band Sonora Ponceña are among many national and international artists scheduled to perform. Also this year, the neighboring Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto has joined the circuit. More information, including programming updates and ticket availability for all six of the festivals, can be obtained at the organization’s website, www.circuitodejazzcolombia.com. A—Mark Holston