The Great American Songbook—Jazz
By Antonio Lozoya
On Saturday, June 4, at 5pm at St Paul’s Church, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a memorable concert of the composers who created great songs in the Golden Age of Jazz. The XXI International Festival of Jazz and Blues of San Miguel de Allende will present an extraordinary concert to celebrate the Great American Songbook, the collection of popular American music from Broadway and Hollywood musicals prevalent from the 1920s to the 1950s. Familiar composers include George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, and Richard Rodgers. Some representative singers of this era were Frank Sinatra, Al Jolson, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, and Mel Torme. This timeless music offered hope of better days during the Great Depression and World War II and helped build social bridges. The songwriters of the Great American Songbook translated positive values and an optimistic spirit into the soundtrack of American life. Through this work, we hope to convey the relevance of the Great American Songbook and its connection to current music.
“The Great American Songbook”
Sat, June 4, 5pm
St Paul’s Church
The musicians who will be participating in this musical evening are: Robert Kaplan (singer and drummer), Jaime Valle (guitarist), Alfred Thompson (saxophonist), and Antonio Lozoya (bassist).
Singer and drummer Robert Kaplan has played with Dexter Gordon, Etta Jones, and David Fathead Newman, among others. In combination with a natural rhythmic sense, Bobby is a force to be reckoned with as a vocalist and lyricist.
Jaime Valle has performed in jazz festivals worldwide with such luminaries as Steve Allen, Frankie Laine, Sammy Davis Jr., Dave Valentin, Eddie Harris, Joe Farrell, Kenny Burrell, Ron Eschete, Russell Malone, Ramon Banda, and Ernie Watts.
Alfred Thompson, a Cuban musician with an extensive career, has won two Grammy Awards. The first was with the famous Cuban jazz group Irakere, led by pianist Chucho Valdes, and the second with the orchestra of Ibrahim Ferrer of the Buena Vista Social Club. For five years he was musical director for diva Omara Portuondo of the Buena Vista Social Club.
Antonio Lozoya graduated from the School of Music of Mexico City with a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz. He was selected for the National Grant Program for Performing Artists 2014 by the National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA). He has performed in several festivals in Mexico, Cuba, and the United States with prominent personalities such as Dave Pike, Bob Sheppard, John Ronstadt, Othello Molineaux, Paul McCandless, Art Lande, Francisco Mela, and Brice Winston. In 2006, he reactivated the International Jazz Festival of San Miguel de Allende and added the Blues style. Since then he has been charged with the general direction of the International Jazz and Blues Festival.
I invite you to visit the International Jazz and Blues Festival website, sanmigueljazz.com.mx, where you can obtain additional information, and where we will announce the biggest events between November 16 and 20. We recommend that you mark your calendar. Do not this pleasant experience!