Twenty three years ago at a time when jazz was barely known in Puerto Vallarta, Jazz musician Martin Montenegro a recent transplant from Mexico City and Esther Zermeño, owner of the newly established Cuates y Cuetes Restaurant/Bar on Los Muertos Beach, set about creating a festival of jazz in Puerto Vallarta. Their goal was to spread the awareness and love of jazz to the local population and those visiting the growing community.
Over the years Martin has been known and loved in Puerto Vallarta and beyond for his talent on the saxophone, his signature piece being the beautiful Europa written for Carlos Santana by his excellent keyboardist Tom Coster. This year, by special invitation, we will be privileged to hear Coster performing here in Puerto Vallarta at the 23rd Annual Jazz Festival on the beach at Cuates y Cuetes.
Detroit born and raised in San Francisco, Tom Coster has enjoyed a very successful career as keyboardist and composer spanning over 50 years. He composed for, recorded and played with famous names such as Gábor Szabó, Carlos Santana, Boz Scaggs, Zucchero, Vital Information, and many more. He wrote many famous pieces including The celebrated Europa which he recorded with Carlos Santana, Flor de Luna and Dance Sister Dance also recorded with Santana and The Perfect Date recorded by Vital Information. This will be a very special treat for all to enjoy!
The program for this year’s festival is abundant spanning over 10 days of wonderful music from March 18-27. The highlight will be Thursday, March 21, a spectacular day with a grand stage on the beach and seating both inside and out. The show will begin at 2:00 and go until 11:00 PM. Below is an approximate schedule of Thursday’s performers.
On the days preceding and following the 21st there will be music beginning at 6:00 at Cuates y Cuetes featuring those participating in Thursday’s event as well as other guests. Wednesday, March 20th is the exception. They are calling it Jazzevera meaning that we will see what happens. What we do know is that music will start early at 4:00 that day. A long tradition was established when the festival first began and the musicians from cruise ships came ashore to play with the local musicians for the celebration and they have carried that on in some form all these years and that is what happens early in the afternoon of Wednesday giving the cruise musicians a chance to return to the ships on time in the evening.
Part of the fun of this entire event is the total jazz like innovation as it moves along. Don’t get too upset if timing is not rigid. Just follow the music!
For more details see my website vallartasounds.com