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Music Without Borders


By Joanne Janning

Ah, music. It enriches the soul, it soothes the savage beast, and it brings people together. This is how a Jewish kid from New York could take the sounds from African rhythms, American folklore, and his own ethnic roots and turn them into the most easily identifiable music in our lifetime.

That kid was George Gershwin. And the amazing thing about his music is its appeal to musicians far and wide—from Tokyo to Trinidad, from Belarus to Belize, and from the Americas to Armenia.

Here in San Miguel, we are lucky to have so many great jazz musicians who may come from other countries but have become one big jazz family. So meet our family:

Bobby Kapp, drummer, vocalist and harmonica player—if you’ve spent any time in San Miguel, you probably know Bobby. But did you know that he was one of 10 finalists at the Thelonious Monk International Voice Competition? And that he played with such jazz greats as Gato Barbieri, Dave Burrell, and Dexter Gordon?

Cuban pianist Gabriel Hernandez started studying piano at the age of seven at the Conservatory of Music of Camaguey “Luis Casas Romero.” At 15, he received the EGREM Prize for Best Musical Orchestration. He has performed at international jazz festivals where he shared the stage with Herbie Hancock, Chucho Valdez, Tito Puente, and Dizzy Gillespie and toured with the Crisol Band, directed by trumpeter Roy Hargrove. He participated in a recent recording with sax player Bob Sheppard and drummer Francisco Mela and tours around the world with the Afro-Cuban All Star Orchestra.

Alfred Thompson, a saxophonist also from Cuba, has earned two Grammys for his recordings with Chucho Valdes and the Ibrahim Ferrer Orchestra (from Buena Vista Social Club). From 2002 to 2005, he was musical director of the group that accompanied Omara Portuondo, the great diva of the Buena Vista Social Club. He also served as arranger and musical director for the Habana Ensamble.

Antonio Lozoya a bassist born in Mexico City and schooled at the National Institute of Fine Arts, he has performed in festivals in Mexico, Cuba, and the US is the director of the International Jazz and Blues Festival of San Miguel de Allende. He has accompanied many great jazz musicians, including Bob Sheppard, Randy Bernsen, Dave Pike, and Brice Winston and singers like Lila Downs, Mago Herrera, and Iraida Noriega. He has been performing around the country with the San Miguel Jazz Cats since 1999.

Joan Yonkler, vocals, was born in New York City. She has been performing jazz standards for the San Miguel Jazz and Blues concert series for the past five years as well as at several local restaurants. She has also performed at Blues Alley in Washington, DC, Bethesda Jazz and Blues Club in Maryland, and Laporta’s in Alexandria, VA, as well as at jazz clubs in Rome, Italy, and New York City.

We hope you come see, listen, and jive to the upcoming “A Night of Gershwin” on Thursday, August 30, at the Angela Peralta Theater. The concert starts at 7pm.



XXIV International Jazz & Blues Festival Presents

“A Night of Gershwin”

Thu, Aug 30, 7pm

Teatro Ángela Peralta

Mesones 82, Centro

350, 300, 250, and 200 pesos

Tickets available the theater box office

Tickets also available via PayPal:


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