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Jun 5, 2015

Jazz Festival Opens in Belize City

The first ever Belize International Jazz Festival opened with a live concert at the House of Culture in Belize City just moments ago. The first of its kind in the Jewel, the festival will run through to June fourteenth with several performances in several municipalities as well as performances at the Radisson, Spoonaz Café and several other locations. A free concert on Saturday at the Memorial Park in Belize City will feature international artists from Cuba, the U.S., London and the Caribbean. But the highlight of the festival will be a Blissfully Jazz concert at the Bliss Centre on the twelfth of June that will feature the Garifuna Collectives and Morena Son from Cuba. The festival is an important initiative that promotes heritage preservation through educational tourism and music. So why jazz when there is a diversity in cultural music in Belize? Why not…says theatre director at the Institute of Creative Arts, Karen Vernon.


Karen Vernon, Theatre Director, ICA

“The official welcome concert is this evening at the House of Culture…it starts at eight p.m., featuring Omalewa and Errolyn Wallen, she is a pianist in London and so she came for the jazz festival. And tomorrow, we have a huge free concert at the memorial park. We have marching bands, we have all the steel pans. We have the two groups from Cuba—Morena Son, which is an all female band; they are awesome and Influenza Jazz playing as well. We have Ascenthium; Liam Teague, who is from Trinidad; he is one of the world’s best pan players. We have Luciano, who is a Belizean trumpet player, but he lives in Chicago so he came for the festival as well.”


Duane Moody

“Talk to us about this coming to fruition. Why a jazz festival?”


Karen Vernon

Karen Vernon

“Why not? Carlos came towards us last year and said we have to have a jazz festival; it is overdue. And you know how Carlos can be…he says we have to do something. ICA was very excited about it and so we jumped on board right away and started planning. He already had lined up what he envisioned would be the first jazz festival in Belize. We are ready and as I said, it opens tonight and continues for ten days. We have workshops; Radisson has five nights of concerts. There’s two nights at Spoonaz café; there is one in Belmopan next week Friday…a free concert sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. There is a concert at the Mexican embassy as well sponsored by the Mexican Embassy featuring a quartet from Mexico. So it is a jazz fusion next week Friday at the bliss, we have Moreno Son along with the Garifuna Collective. So it is fusing jazz with what we have here in Belize to offer together and introducing it to the public.”

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1 Response for “Jazz Festival Opens in Belize City”

  1. sly deceiver says:

    Looking forward to monday nights performance at spoonaz cafe. The entire family will be there!!

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