The Festival Internacional Jazz Plaza Cuba, known informally as Jazz Plaza, has announced the all-star performers for the 2018 festival, which will take place Jan. 16-21 in Havana and at other locales in Cuba. The Jazz Plaza festival, now it its 33rd year, recently moved from its usual time in mid-December to mid-January. The 2018 edition will feature Dee Dee Bridgewater with Theo Croker and DVRKFUNK, Joe Lovano with Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Cuba, Roberto Fonseca & X Alfonso, Chucho Valdés with “Friends & Family” and the Ted Nash Trio with Steve Cardenas and Ben Allison in performances at the Teatro Nacional in Havana. There will also be performances by many other artists from Cuba and the rest of the world, including Bobby Carcassés, Orquesta Aragón, Pancho Amat, Septeto Santiaguero, Ernan Lopez Nussa and Daymé Arocena.
Jazz Plaza is organized by Cuba’s Ministry of Culture and Instituto de la Musica Cubana and produced by the National Centre for Popular Music represented by director Víctor Rodríguez García. The international headliners were booked in collaboration with Montuno Productions’ Daniel Florestano and International Music Network’s Scott Southard.
Blue Note Entertainment, the company that owns or licenses the famous Blue Note clubs in New York City, Honolulu, Tokyo, Beijing and other cities, is a sponsor of the festival, and has organized a travel program for U.S. residents to attend the festival. In addition, Insight Cuba, with whom JazzTimes formerly partnered for jazz trips to Cuba, also offers a special excursion for U.S. citizens to the festival as part of their Cuba Tours program. The legal travel for U.S. residents is based on a special license granted by the U.S. government to promote cultural exchange and person-to-person contact with the people of Cuba.