The Biggest little Festival of the world! 11th anniversary Feb 08 - 12, 2017
BJBF Newsletter February 2017
A short preview of artists performing at BJBF2017
Hey there again, all you bluesin' and jazzin' babies out there,
this is our last newsletter before the fest. Please read it carefully, there's a lot of important information here!
The countdown is on....got your tickets yet? Only a few days to go!
Festival tickets are selling fast! Don't wait to get yours! VIP tickets have sold out but general admission tickets are still available. Jam packages have also sold out.
Tickets for individual jams (except the two jams at Mike's Global Grill on Thursday and Sunday) as well as for the garden party at the Panamonte hotel are still available.
Don't wait, get them while they last, they're going fast!
BREAKING NEWS: Best deal! Due to great demand our specially priced Boquete residents' tickets are available again! Price $100, valid for shows on Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12. Tickets for Friday, February 10 are $45 only.
Festival visitors living in the area can also get their tickets at the festival office in Boquete, located on the second floor of the new market building across from Romero supermarket. Open from 9am to 1pm Monday and Wednesday to Friday, and at the Boquete Tuesday market on Tuesday.Please scroll further down for more details about festival shows, the jams sessions and other events as well as prices. You can also find all this information on the festival website. Here's some HUGE news that we received just a couple of days ago:
The Panamanian National Institute of Culture (El Instituto Nacional de Cultura) INAC, has declared the Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival a "National Cultural Event" and the US embassy is sending the Deputy Chief of Mission, Kevin O’Reilly, to Boquete during the festival to express the Embassy’s support of the event. Representatives of the Tourist ministryand the Cultural Institute as well as the City of Boquete will also be present at the festival.
The importance of this development for the future of the festival cannot be estimated highly enough!
It took 11 years of hard work to get there but now, with the support of Panamanian government agencies like the Tourism ministry and the National Cultural Institute as well as support from the US Embassy (with hopefully other embassies to follow) the tireless work of the organizers and hundreds of volunteers over the years is bearing lasting fruit.
Jazz has already become well known in Panama with the prestigious Panama Jazz Festival in Panama City but now the Blues has also found official recognition and a lasting home here! The Boquete Jazz&Blues Festival is now the third largest annual cultural event in Panama!
We are incredibly happy with this! This is a huge step forward! Thanks to everybody who contributed to this success, the volunteers, the sponsors, the organizers, the mayor of Boquete and you, the festival visitors!
More about the 2017 line-up: If you want to know more about our amazing artists please go to our website by clicking here! Want to get a taste about the shows you're going to see? Check out videos of our bandshere!
What about our special guests Ron Hacker, Randy Oxford and Anne Harris? These three excellent musicians have not been assigned to specific shows. They are the surprise elements of the festival as they may show up at any performance anywhere anytime. Two of them, Ron Hacker and Randy Oxford, are already well known to our Boquete audience from previous festivals, and we're happy to have them back. We're also very proud of presenting the fabulous Anne Harris and her violin in Panama for the first time ever! We're certain you'll love them all! Now, all details about performance schedules and associated events during the festival:
Ticket price information for the shows at the amphitheater, plus VIP benefits:
Festival tickets are generally sold online only. In addition, tickets may also be purchased locally at the BJBF festival office in Boquete on the second floor of the new market building across from Romero Supermarket, and at the Boquete Tuesday market starting on January 31. Read more details here. Jam sessions There is a reason why the Boquete Jazz&Blues Festival is famous for its incredible jam sessions: That's where hottest stuff takes place! There will be no less than 6 nightly jams plus a fantastic garden party during the festival! Here are the details. Jam session tickets are also available in the Boquete festival office and online.
Sorry, jam packages and the jams at Mike's Global Grill on Thursday, February 9 and Sunday February 12 have already sold out!
Note: Jams start at 8:30pm (10pm on Friday). Even if you're out of luck and couldn't get a ticket for a sold-out jam you might still take a chance to come to the door and get in if ticket holders won't show up until 30 minutes after the start of the jam. 30 minutes is our grace period to honor prepaid tickets. Pre-festival event: Special musical dinner at The Rock restaurant
The festival week will start with a musical dinner at The Rock restaurant on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 6pm with performances by Deanna Bogart, Ron Hacker, Lance Anderson and Joe Louis Walker. Admission to the event is included in the VIP tickets (with discounts for food and drinks), and in the complete 4-day general admission festival package (see above). Stop press: Tickets for this event have sold out! Our fabulous street parade and the whole shebang...
Like in the years before we will again have our one-and-only New Orleans style street parade (Thursday, Feb 9 from 12pm to 1pm), the only such parade in Panama, and again you'll be in for a special treat: An incredibly picturesque event with folkloric Panamanian Pollera and Congo dancers (diablos sucios), a marching band of the local police and fire brigade joining the line! Just take a look at the pictures below to savor the eye-candy you will get to enjoy! Don't miss to bring a costume and beads to throw, and have your cameras ready! We'd love to see you join in and march with us!
The Pollera, traditional Panamanian festive dress Congo dancers, an African import to Panama
The parade will be followed by a great free concert in the central park of Boquete which will include a workshop with young students of local schools as part of our Music for Schools program, followed by shows of local saxman Rigoberto Coba with Lee Oskar of the Lowrider Band, and the Shuffle Demons from Canada!
Immediately after this the fun will go on with an open mic event at the adjacent Baru restaurant. Bring an instrument and sit in to jam with some of the pros!
...and the day is not over yet: The night-owls will flock to Mike's Global Grill at 8:30pm to rock the night away at the jam session hosted by Joe Louis Walker, and that is just one of our 6 jam sessions!
Pace yourself! This is just the first day that will be followed up by three more days packed with great music and lots of fun!
On Friday, Feb. 10 you will enjoy a wonderful party in the lush tropical garden of the Panamonte hotel with shows by the great bluesman Guy Davis, Zydeco master Dwayne Dopsie&the Zydeco Hellraisers straight from New Orleans, and Panama's John Carney and Gato Maximo, followed by three shows at the Valle Escondido amphitheater with (in that order)The Shuffle Demons, Grammy nominee Joe Louis Walker, and the Low Rider band with Lee Oskar. But that's still not all: For the hard-core music lovers there will still be a late-night mini jam hosted by Boquete's amazing guitar wizard Edgar Vargas at the Baru restaurant located at central park, starting at about 10pm.
Finally, 4 shows each day on the main stage in the beautiful amphitheater of Valle Escondido on Saturday and Sunday of the festival weekend (see schedule above), followed by another great jam session each day...
At last: A shaded VIP area in the amphitheater!
You asked for it, we listened! Following the many requests from our audiences the upper part of the amphitheater (VIP seating) will for the first time ever be covered with sunshades! This pic shows the work in progress. In other areas only small compact umbrellas of about 90cm or 35" diameter will be allowed for sun protection.
Speaking of jam sessions, here's the jewel of the crown: On Saturday, Feb 11 at 8:30pm a truly amazing star-studded double blues/jazz jam on two separate stages at The Rock restaurant. The Jazz jam will showcase the extraordinary talents of Panamanian sax lady Patricia Perez, the Venezuelan diva Maria Rivas, Marshall Keys, Scott Ambush, Alex Brown, Alejandro Campos, Abner Torres and Miguel Chacon while the simultaneous Blues jam will see Carolyn Wonderland, Lee Oskar, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hell raisers, Anne Harris, Ron Hacker, Randy Oxford, Deanna Bogart and Lance Anderson share the stage in an incredible medley of first-class stars of the blues world! Jam visitors will be able to wander freely between the two jams, and all this for just $25 or as part of the jam package!
It surely can't get much better than this! Miss it and regret it forever!
Finally, this amazing festival will close out on Sunday, Feb 12 with a final all-star jam at Mike's Global Grill starting at 8:30pm. Even if you'd feel burned out after four activity packed days filled with absolutely high class music you should try not to miss this all-star event! You'll hardly ever see all these great musicians performing together again on one stage! Art about Music Boquete is truly a city of the arts, and we're proud of the great variety of artists and photographers, Panamanians and expats alike, that have made this small city in the highlands their home. Like in previous yearslocal Boquete artists and photographers are offering a special music-related art show 'Art about Music' at the Boquete library starting on February 3 in conjunction with the Jazz&Blues festival. The show will run until the end of February, admission is free.
General information for festival visitors Need to know more about where we're at? Our festival website offers a large amount of information about all things Panama and Boquete, including weather, travel, lodging and touristic information. To check it out please clickhere.
Shuttle bus to the festival site available for visitors Like in previous years we will again have a shuttle bus available for our festival visitors. The bus will run between the Boquete central park and the amphitheater in Valle Escondido for the main shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at a cost of $1 per person one way. Walking distance is about 20 - 25 minutes. The service will start about 1 hour 30 minutes before the first show of the day, and will run until about 1 hour after the last show ends, pending on demand.
We hope to see you soon! That's it for today, folks. I hope this newsletter will get you as excited as we are about the fabulous events ahead! We can't wait to see you here in our beautiful little town of Boquete in the Chiriqui highlands! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us via the email address stated below or via the contact forms on our website which you will reach by clicking here.