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An Evening with Duke Ellington


By Joanne Janning

On Saturday, January 12 at St Paul’s Church, the San Miguel Jazz Festival will celebrate the music of Duke Ellington with some of San Miguel de Allende’s own jazz greats: Gabriel Hernández on piano, Bobby Kapp on vocals and drums, Antonio Lozoya on bass, and Joan Yonkler on vocals.

Edward Kennedy Ellington, better known as Duke Ellington (or as Stevie Wonder called him, “Sir Duke”) is one of the US’s most important legacies. His music represents one of the greatest contributions to art that the United States has ever developed.

His songs, such as “Mood Indigo,” “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” and “Sophisticated Lady” have been recorded by greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Miles Davis.

Born in Cuba, Gabriel Hernández started studying piano at the age of seven at the Conservatory of Music of Camaguey. 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. He toured with the Crisol Band, directed by trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and toured the world with the Afro-Cuban All Star Orchestra.

If you’ve spent time in San Miguel, you know Bobby Kapp. But did you know that he was one of ten finalists at the Thelonious Monk International Voice Competition, sharing that year’s privilege with Teri Thornton, Jane Monheit, and Tierney Sutton? And that he became a US State Department Jazz Ambassador and represented the US in countries all over Africa and Europe? Or that he played with Gato Barbieri, Dave Burrell, and Dexter Gordon? Or that he still tours the world, performing such diverse musical genres as blues and free jazz?

Born in México City and schooled at the National Institute of Fine Arts, Antonio Lozoya has performed in festivals in México, Cuba, and in the US. He has accompanied many great jazz musicians such as Dave Pike, Bob Sheppard, and Randy Bernsen and has accompanied Karrin Allyson, Lila Downs, and Magos Herrera. He has performed around the country with his group, the San Miguel Jazz Cats, and is the director of the International Jazz and Blues Festival of San Miguel de Allende.

Born in New York City, Joan Yonkler has been performing jazz standards for the San Miguel Jazz and Blues concert series for the past five years. She has also performed at Blues Alley in Washington, DC, the Bethesda Jazz and Blues Club in Maryland, and Laporta’s in Alexandria, Virginia. She has also performed at jazz clubs in Rome and New York City.



An Evening with Duke Ellington

Sat, Jan 12, 7pm

St Paul’s Church

Cardo 6

Tickets can be purchased at:

Solutions, Recreo 11, Centro


350 and 250 pesos



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