Warm Nights, Cool Jazz at Providencia's International Jazz Festival

As night falls over a hot summer evening in Providencia, spectators take their seats, many sipping on complimentary champagne. Lining the banks of the Mapocho River are hundreds of revelers, hoping to catch the show for free. They've gathered around Parque de las Esculturas for the Providencia International Jazz Festival.


The 14th edition of the festival, organized by the Cultural Foundation of Providencia and the municipality, took place this past weekend (January 15-17). Each year, a mixture of local and international talent descends upon the park, that sits in the shadow of the Constanera Center, South America’s tallest building, to celebrate three great nights of jazz.

 The Gerald Clayton Quartet performs at the Providencia International Jazz Festival
The Gerald Clayton Quartet performs at the Providencia International Jazz Festival

Perhaps the most important jazz festival in the country, this year’s festival, more so than in previous years, highlighted Chilean musicians. Amongst them were saxophonist Melissa Aldana, vocalist Camila Meza (both rising stars in the New York jazz scene), Ensamble Simetrio, the Mauricio Barraza Sexteto, the Roberto Lecaros Cuarteto, the Cristian Gallardo Trio and the Orquesta Huambaly with Carmelo Bustos.

The event consistently draws jazz greats from around the world as well. International talent included the William Parker Quartet, the Gerald Clayton Quartet and the Tom Harrell Quintet. Although undeniably small by international standards, the festival serves as a good introduction to jazz and the setting, by the river on a warm summer night, really cannot be beat.

 Camila Meza serenades the audience at the Providencia International Jazz Festival.
Camila Meza serenades the audience at the Providencia International Jazz Festival.

A distinguishing element of the festival is that the Cultural Foundation of Providencia (Avda. Nueva Providencia 1995. Pedro de Valdivia Metro) hosts clinics with the headliners. Although these clinics are limited in space, they provide the public with the opportunity to interact closely with the musicians and gain insight on their creative processes.

If you missed the Providencia International Jazz Festival and are hankering for some Chilean jazz, you might consider checking out the Las Condes Jazz Festival this weekend (January 23-24).

+ Festival Internacional de Jazz de Providencia
+ January 15 - 17
+ 20:00 hrs
+ 3.000 CLP field, 10.000 general, 15.000 VIP
+ Parque de las Esculturas
+ Av.Santa María, between Pedro de Valdivia and Nueva de Lyon
+ Metro Los Leones
+ http://www.culturaprovidencia.cl/noticias/ya-estan-a-la-venta-las-entrad...

+ Festival de Jazz Las Condes
+ January 23 and 24, 21:00 hrs
+ 5.000 CLP general, 1.000 CLP with Las Condes Vecino Card
+ Teatro Municipal de Las Condes
+ Av. Apoquindo 3300 Las Condes
+ Metro El Golf
+ http://www.tmlascondes.cl/funciones/2015_01_jazz/index.php
+ Tickets available at the above mentioned theater, where the event will take place. The ticket office will be open until 30 minutes after start time (21:30)

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