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Jun 6, 2019

2019 Belize International Jazz Festival Commences with a Bang

The 2019 Belize International Jazz Festival started on Wednesday night with a bang as the Mexican Institute in Belize City was the venue for a jam session featuring Belizean and international musicians. It’s the fifth annual festival of this kind that seeks to develop a greater appreciation for the style of music that has grown over the years to combine cultural influences. Percussionists Dawn Drake joined Carlos Perrote and others.


Karen Vernon, Organizer, Belize International Jazz Festival

“It started last night at the Mexican institute with a grand slam opening jam session. We had a nice audience. They were into the jazz. I’m excited to see that every year our audiences are growing. What’s exciting for our audiences is that we have a great line up of shows, a great line up of musicians over the next five days for you. Back with us this year, we have Dawn Drake. Dawn came last year with her band, Zapote, and she is back solo this year and she wowed the crowd last night at the Mexican Institute with some nice reggae jazz music.”


Dawn Drake

Dawn Drake, Percussionist

“I played, collaborate with Carlos Perrote, who is one of the organizers and also with some local musicians. And that was the first time that I’ve had them learn my music and we had a great rehearsal and then last night we jammed and I think the crowd was really into it.”


Duane Moody

“I understand that you had this fusion where you had reggae. Talk to us about that.”


Dawn Drake

“Well my music is a fusion of a lot of different influences from the Caribbean as well as from jazz and Central Africa, West Africa [and] Brazil. So all my music is very percussion based and part of the reason why I am here is that I studied percussion with Carlos Perrote from Cuba when he actually lived in Cuba. So I am also a percussionist and most of my music is really influenced by the African diaspora and the amazing music that comes out of that.”


Karen Vernon

Karen Vernon

“Today we have a junior recital at the Belize School of Music. Gina Scott –a recital and workshop with the children. We have a jam session at the Radisson at five-thirty and here at the Bliss we have a sax/jazz show. We’ll have it right here in the cafe and it will be very entertaining; we Richard Pitts, Dickie Strawn and some other saxophone players. Tomorrow, Friday we have our annual jam session at Spoonaz. Spoonaz has been with us since the beginning of the jazz festival and he always welcomes us over there. There will be food on sale, drinks on sale. We have the National Youth Orchestra starting out with a nice slow music and then we go into Kelberman Jazz who is from Julliard School in U.S.A. And then we go into a jam session which is always so exciting because musicians come and Carlos is there with the drums and people just come and plug in and it really gets exciting and hype. We also have with us this year, Northern Shops. They are having a food and wine fest and they have Morena Sun on Friday night and a special jazz band on Saturday night. Brunch on Sunday morning at the Radisson and our grand closing concert Sunday at the B.T.L. Park.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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