Santiago, Dominican Republic, becomes the Jazz Capital of the Americas for 3 days

¨Jazz from a Caribbean perspective¨

The Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic, the Institute of Caribbean Studies (INEC) and Centro León will host the Fourth International Conference Music, Identity and Culture in the Caribbean (MIC). The conference will be 15, 16 and April 17, 2011, in the facilities of Centro León in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The theme for this conference is ¨Jazz from a Caribbean perspective¨ and as such will make it an event of considerable cultural dimension.

This fourth MIC conference will be the first event of global scope dedicated to “Jazz from a Caribbean perspective.” Although it is a musical genre originating in the United States, the impact of jazz has been so large that it has had an enormous influence in the world, particularly in the Americas, and has in turn received influences from Caribbean and Latin American music, thus originating one of the most significant musical fusions in contemporary culture: Latin jazz.

The conference participants will include distinguished members of re-known universities and cultural institutions, amongst these the Smithsonian Institute; respected leading figures, educators and researchers in ethnomusicology, music fusion, jazz, Caribbean music, Latin history and culture and many more. As well as recognized musicians in Latin jazz from many Latin American countries, as well as from the host nation – the Dominican Republic.

Because of the African traces found in the origins of jazz and Caribbean music alike, the theme of MIC-IV allows for a focus on the musical relations that intertwine the United States, the Greater Caribbean, and Africa, allowing for an intercultural dialogue between these three regions. Similarly, jazz – particularly Latin jazz – has produced diverse forms of cultural representation through music, dance, film, literature, and theater, which should be tackled in an interdisciplinary manner in order to understand their signs, meanings, and relevance in today’s global culture.

In this sense, the MIC-IV conference will be useful for sharing knowledge that will contribute to understanding jazz – seen through the eyes of the Greater Caribbean – as a musical, historical, and socio-cultural phenomenon, spotlighting its history, characteristics, and future.

Some of the musicians participating are: Poncho Sanchez, Bobby Sanabria and John Santos (USA); Justo Almario (Colombia); Giovanni Hidalgo, Humberto Ramirez and Luis Marin (Puerto Rico); Andy Duran (Venezuela); Bobby Carcasses (Cuba); Thurgot Theodat (Haiti) and Dario Estrella, Juan Colon, Manuel Tejada, Crispin Fernandez, Pengbian Sang, and Felix del Rosario (Dominican Republic).

Speakers such as Natalio Chediak (Author – Dictionary of Latin Jazz); Jim Byers (Radio and Washington Post); Benjamin Lapidus (John Jay College); Christine Gangelhoff (Bahamas); Basilio Ortiz (Spain); Sergio Gomes (Brazil); Sydney Hutchinson (Univ. of Syracuse); Paul Austerlitz (Gettysburg College) as well as Chantal Drice and Pierre Rigaud Cherry (Haiti). From the Dominican Republic: Jose Guerrero, Jimmy Hungria, Maximo Jimenez, Luis Aquino, Jose Del Castillo, amongst others.

The Conference will include, amongst others, the following activities:
o Key-note speakers
o Panels and debate sessions.
o Visual arts expositions.
o II Meeting of Caribbean Music Collectors.
o Presentation of newly released material such as books, magazines, music and audiovisual materials
o Concerts: These will show the wealth and transformations of jazz throughout its history.
o A cultural tour of the host city (Santiago de los Caballeros).
o A book memorializing the events of the Conference will be published.

Further information may be obtained at: http://congresomic.inecrd.org/

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Fernando Rodriguez