Goethe’s Jazz Cycle at Thelonius: Rocking out the blue note

The best national and international jazz is being showcased to a crowd of aficionados and novices alike as Santiago’s Goethe Institute presents a live jazz cycle at Bellavista's Thelonius through the end of the year.

Zeraus. Photo by Joanna Rozniak
Zeraus. Photo by Joanna Rozniak

There is something about jazz clubs that that makes time stand still. At Thelonius, pretty, pouty girls with magenta lipstick and slick gents in taut roll-necks sip cocktails and glasses of fine wine, bobbing their heads to the recorded soundtrack while musicians set up for their set.

Zeraus. Photo by Joanna Rozniak
Zeraus. Photo by Joanna Rozniak

This is 2010, but it might as well be the 1950’s.

The German cultural center is not exactly new to this. Its film, arts and music program is often avant-garde, provocative or innovative and certainly never boring.

For its jazz series, the Goethe didn’t just throw random bands together in the hope of achieving a semi-coherent cycle of concerts; the well thought-out, carefully curated program brings together the cream of the blue note, with an emphasis on Chilean and German musicians.

"Chilean jazz has been having a bit of a moment," points out British pianist and Goethe’s jazz cycle curator, Joseph Martin.

Martin says he chose bands that primarily knock him out while playing live; the audience was certainly taken aback by the quality of the first band. The Sebastián Jordán Quinteto wowed with its refined, grown-up sound which won them this year’s prestigious Altazor prize in the jazz category.

"We’ve selected bands that sound good in Santiago but that would sound equally good in New York or London," he goes on to say.

Zeraus. Photo by Joanna Rozniak
Zeraus. Photo by Joanna Rozniak

Martin admits that there used to be a passive attitude towards music coming from the US; musicians felt the need to follow the rules set by a very select few. But this is all in the past.

"These days musicians are at ease writing their own composition," concludes Martin. "They don’t feel the need to imitate anyone but there isn’t a childish rebellion going on either."

This is the genre’s Generation ’00, as dubbed by renowned Mercurio jazz critic Iñigo Díaz. A new crop of talented jazz men and women is sprouting up in Chile and you can catch a remarkable sample at Thelonius.

All concerts take place at Thelonius at 9pm
Cover: CP$3,000 (US$5.6)
Reduced: CP$2,000 (US$3.7)

Thelonius
Bombero Nuñez 336, Bellavista
Metro: Baquedano
Tel.: (02) 7357962
http://www.theloniouschile.com/

05.05.2010 Sebastián Jordán Quinteto
02.06.2010 Zeraus
14.07.2010 Ensamble Quintessence
04.08.2010 Cultrera, Espinoza y Cía
01.09.2010 Sebastian Schunke Group
22.09.2010 Nils Wogram / Simon Nabatov
06.10.2010 Carmen Paz + 3
03.11.2010 Rodrigo Ratier Quinteto Nuevo Tango
01.12.2010 Contracuarteto

Goethe Institut Chile
http://www.goethe.de/ins/cl/sao/deindex.htm

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