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Riviera Maya Jazz Festival 2010 in Playa del Carmen

The yearly Riviera Maya Jazz Festival attracts an enthusiastic jazz-loving crowd to Mamitas Beach Club here in Playa del Carmen. Enjoy performances by stars from Mexico, the USA, Brazil and other corners of the globe, all for FREE. So sit back and relax and get ready to be entertained! Taking place from Thursday, November 25th throughout Saturday, November 28th, 2010 with 3 to 4 artists performing each of the 4 nights.

If you're interested in a hotel package in lieu of the Festival we're happy to host! Click here and give us a call we'll give you a great deal!

To learn more about each artist read the blurb below and click on the Youtube videos too get a feel for the music and get you in the mood, once you listen you won't be able to resist making a trip out here to hear it all live!

November 25th

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del Carmen Hiram Gomez

A Bass player, composer and arranger, Hiram Gomez was born in Mexico city. At the tender age of 7 he started studying music with private teachers and by the age of 18 he began his career as a session bass player with great success in recording studios.

He has his own band called the "HIRAM GOMEZ BAND" and has performed on some of Mexico's most famous stages

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenMike Stern and Dave Weckl

In a career that spans over three decades and an extensive discography including more than a dozen eclectic and innovative recordings, six-time GRAMMY nominee Mike Stern has established himself as one of the premier jazz and jazz-fusion guitarists and composers of his generation.

He has been revered as “one of the 25 best drummers of all time” by Modern Drummer’s Hall of Fame,. Dave Weckl is an internationally renowned musician, who started his career as a teenage prodigy, escalating him into today's celebrated 25 year career. Weckl’s cutting edge technique and innovative use of electric and acoustic drums caught the attention of Diana Ross, Robert Plant and Simon and Garfunkel for collaborative projects, leading him to launch a solo career and form the David Weckl Band, which released five albums and toured worldwide. Don't miss this eclectic Duo!

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenIvan Lins

A superstar in Brazil with a career stretching back to the classic era of bossa nova music, Lins has gained fans Europe and the United States, collaborating with urban contemporary greats such as George Benson and Quincy Jones in the 1980s.

The smoothly romantic title track of Love Dance remains Lins's single best-known composition. It was recorded by many jazz vocalists and instrumentalists, including Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Kenny Burrell, but perhaps the most famous version was that by adult contemporary chanteuse Vanessa Williams.

November 26th

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenTroker

Very Mexican smelling Jazz, in the land of mariachi music, Troker is a band of progressive jazz music,presented in such a way that it's always got a crazy and original jazz-fusion feel to it when on stage. 

Their current record "Jazz Vinyl" has had a good response in the alternative music market, partly thanks to the freedom the band gets from working with an independent label. The first thing that will catch your attention is the emotional place with which they come from when performing their work. Anywhere from the rehearsals to the concerts, always have a smile to thank the public for the interest in their work. Seeing them in concert is a unique experience, not to be missed!

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenEldar Djangirov

Eldar was 9 years old when he came to the US from Kyrgyzstan in the former Soviet Union. His first performance appearance in the US was at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. He quickly then moved up the ranks and was featured on Marian McPartland's NPR Piano Jazz radio show at the age of 11.

In 2004, Djangirov signed with Sony Classical and recorded "Eldar" featuring the great bassist, John Patitucci, and Michael Brecker on tenor sax. He then followed up with the critically acclaimed "Live at the Blue Note" featuring Roy Hargrove and Chris Botti. In 2007, Eldar released "Reimagination" which garnered his first Grammy nomination. You'll love the smooth grooves brought forth from this talented artist.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenAl Di Meola

Di Meola on his work:  "What I'm doing now is just completely satisfying, like a phenomenal meal and a great glass of vintage wine. The fusion thing is kind of a blast from the past and is kind of assaulting on the ears. And there's a cool aspect to that, but it's not where I'm going musically as a composer."

Meanwhile, Di Meola may be expanding his world music vocabulary even further after touring Morocco with his New World Sinfonia. Clearly, there are many chapters yet to come in the story of Al Di Meola. But so far, in his 35 years as a professional musician, he's already established a rich legacy that has secured a place for him in the Gallery of Guitar Greats. Keep the spotlight trained on this dynamic musician.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenIncognito

Incognito was originally formed by Jean-Paul Maunick (aka Bluey) and Paul "Tubbs" Williams. They tout themselves as having an acid jazz project with surprisingly deep roots in the 1970s jazz/funk/fusion world. Both of these talented musicians were leaders of the late-'70s disco-funk group Light of the World, who scored several moderate British hits, including a cover song that we have all come to know and love "I Shot the Sheriff."

  In all of the melancholy or bittersweet moments on their many albums, this dynamic band has the same message of hope and positivity that has been the consistent trademark of Incognito's live shows. "When people come to Incognito gigs, they come as if they're in need of some kind of healing, or some kind of wisdom," Says Bluey. "I'm not a doctor nor a prophet, so all I can do is give them something through the music and the message in the music. That ends up being part of the band's greater goal, whether we're on stage or in the studio- to bring people together, to be a platform to energize people."

November 27th

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenAguamala

The band itself, Aguamala, was born in Playa del Carmen México in February of 2004. The band's musicians consist of Fernando Toussaint (drums), Enrique Pat (keyboards), Bernardo Ron (guitar) and Luis Ernesto Lopez (bass). A delightful mix of influences, a base of jazz with touches of funk and rock, are all te sounds that lend to the particular sound of Aguamala.

In its six year history the band has had the participation of musicians and singers such as Caro Montes, Christian Beck, Natalia La Fourcade, Eugenio Toussaint, Diego Maroto, Dirk Freymuth, Mark Anderson and Sabo Romo among others.

Aguamala has been presented at several international forums and has become the host group in the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, giving them the opportunity to share the stage with music icons such as Marcus Miller, Gino Vannelli, Screaming Headless Torsos, Tom Custer, Tower of Power, George Benson, David Sanborn, Kool And The Gang, George Duke, Ivan Lins, Caribbean Jazz Project and Mint Condition, among others. With their new album Aguamala, is now reaching very important music forums in México and not only for Jazz but also of Mexican Rock, being invited for the first time to one of the most important Rock Festivals The "Vive Latino" 2010 in Mexico City. Congrats Aguamala, we're so proud of you!

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenGeorge Duke

Duke has worked as a musician, composer and producer with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Dorham, French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa, Cannonball Adderley, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, fusion power-drummer Billy Cobham, virtuoso bass player Stanley Clarke, singer Al Jarreau, Brazilian instrumentalist Raoul de Souza, Deniece Williams, Smokey Robinson, saxophonist George Howard, Miles Jaye, vocalist Diane Reeves, The Pointer Sisters, 101 North, Najee, Jeffrey Osborne, Take 6, Howard Hewett, Chante Moore, Everette Harp, Rachelle Ferrell and, most recently, Gladys Knight, Keith Washington, Filipino star Gary Valenciano, Johnny Gill and Anita Baker.

In 1990, George Duke was named "R&B Keyboardist Of The Year" by Keyboard Magazine for the second consecutive year. Other honors include Grammy nominations for his production of "We Are The World" by the Children Of The World; "Sweet Baby" by the Clarke/Duke project; "Let's Hear It For The Boy" by Deniece Williams; "Stay With Me Tonight" and "On The Wings Of Love" by Jeffrey Osborne; and "Fumilayo" by Dianne Reeves.

Tutu, by Miles Davis with selections produced by George Duke, won a Grammy in 1986. Both Miles Davis "Amandla" (selections produced by Duke) and Al Jarreau's "Heart's Horizon" (produced entirely by Duke) received Grammy nominations in 1990. One special moment in 2001 was a tribute to Miles Davis featuring Marcus Miller, Christian McBride and Richard Bona on basses; Herbie Hancock and Duke on piano and synths; Terri Lynn Carrington and Chester Thompson on drums; Wallace Roney on trumpet and Jeff Lee Johnson on guitar. Predictably, the energetic, unstoppable George Duke keeps moving from strength to strength, bringing invention, dimension and texture to music that is alive with personality and rich with artistry.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenJohn McLaughlin

The "4th Dimension" is a group that is the culmination of many years of collaboration with different musicians from different cultures and musical traditions both eastern and western. The music of this group successfully integrates these and other cultural influences, while keeping the spontaneous traditions found in Jazz music.

Gary Husband is the true instrumentalist. With the 4th Dimension he plays keyboards, but can switch over to drums with ease. He has played with many musicians that include: - Allan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce, Jeff Beck, Mike Stern, Christian McBride, Billy Cobham, Mike and Ian Carr's bands, Yaron Herman, Bob Berg, Gary Moore, Level 42 and Robin Trower. He leads his own bands that have included such musicians as Randy Brecker, Jerry Goodman, Matthew Garrison, Jim Beard, and has played with me in recordings and performances for the past 4 years.

Mark Mondesir's reputation as an outstanding drummer has been established for many years. He has been very active in the London scene with musicians such as Courtney Pine and Julian Joseph, and on the international scene with McCoy Tyner, Ravi Coltrane, Gary Thomas, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, John Scofield, Jeff Beck, Joe Zawinul, the list goes on... Mark has been featured on recordings with me dating back to 1995, and to a much greater extent for the past 4 years.

Etienne M'Bappe is one of the finest bassists today. He has played with artists such as Ray Charles, Salif Keita, Manu Dibango, Steps Ahead and also the Parisian fusion band Ultramarine, before creating his own band "Su La Take", based in Paris. Etienne has just recently joined the 4th Dimension, and Gary, Mark and myself are proud to have him with us.

At the end of November 2009 we recorded a new CD entitled 'To the One', and we'll be touring both Europe and the USA in 2010.

I hope you find something in the music we play, that speaks to you in ways that you may never have heard before.

With thanks,

John McLaughlin

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenThe Manhattan Transfer

The Manhattan Transfer, a four-piece band with Tim Hauser, Janis Siegel (alto), Cheryl Bentyne (soprano) and Alan Paul (tenor), who found each other in a series of happy accidents. were not an overnight success, but a result of many years of dues-paying and persistence, particularly by bass singer and founder Tim Hauser.

Cheryl Bentyne joined in 1979. Her father had been a jazz bandleader and she had sung with him, developing a technical facility that she would need with the Transfer.

With Cheryl in the group, the group went forward with their next record: "Extensions." It was a hit and the group were swept up in the disco craze with the single "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone." In addition, "Extensions" included "Birdland," the Weather Report composition that became a Manhattan Transfer signature tune. The group won two Grammy's for that album, the first of many.

"Mecca For Moderns" followed, which included Gene Puerling's "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" and "Boy From New York City." Having discovered them, the public and the critics continued to bestow honors upon the Manhattan Transfer, as they received the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group Grammy, and "Boy" reached number seven on Billboard.

Atlantic released their first greatest hits album, while the group went to work on "Bodies and Souls." The record company's agenda, which necessitated more pop hits, prevailed, but the record did not do well and the group wasn't musically satisfied. The record that followed it, "Bop Doo Wopp," included some live recordings of standards and doo-wop classics, but didn't connect with its audience either. Given the disappointing sales, the group saw no reason to pursue a commercial direction, but decided to go back to the music that they felt was their strongest suit, and for which they had a demonstrated ability unlike any of their contemporaries. With collaborators Jon Hendricks and Richie Cole, they focused on the use of the vocalese technique - singing lyrics over jazz solos - the album, entitled naturally, "Vocalese." The group already had modeled their distinctive voicings on that of the big band horn section of Count Basie, and this approach culminated in a triumph. They received twelve Grammy nominations for "Vocalese," and won three.

"Brasil" was an exploration of the textures and rhythms of world music, juxtaposed with jazz. The group worked with Brazilian songwriters such as Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins and Djavan on the record, and it was another unique musical collage, bringing the decade of the 1980's to a close. Manhattan Transfer also had won the Playboy and Downbeat "Best Jazz Vocal Group" category every year from 1980 to 1990.

The group's next project was a children's album, "Tubby The Tuba." The group played all the parts for this charming story of an insecure tuba searching for a melody. Then, after returning to Atlantic, the Manhattan Transfer produced "Tonin'," featuring such luminaries as Laura Nyro, Frankie Valli, James Taylor and Chaka Khan, singing classic pop hits. A most entertaining record, it nonetheless didn't break any new ground musically for the group. Their latest recording, "Swing," was a tribute to the music of the 1930's and 1940's, and no one could do it better than America's preeminent purveyors of vocal harmony. They reinterpreted several tracks, such as "Java Jive," specially for this recording, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart.

What now, after so many years of success? Only time will tell of course, but the four singers continue to be partners personally and professionally, and certainly an inspiration to all who hear them. Whatever it is, it'll be done as only the Manhattan Transfer can do it!

November 28th

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenYekina Pavon

Celebrating a career of nearly 35 years, Yekina Pavón has been recognized by the media as one of the best voices in Mexico.

Colorful and full of strength as the rivers from her native Tabasco, she involves us in her songs with emotion.

She started in the Jazz music at an early age, supported by one of the great trumpeters of Mexico, Chilo Moran and the music lover and expert Sergio Romano.

Yekina has been invited to many important TV Méxican Shows such as: "Música y Algo Más" with Sergio Romano, "Animal Nocturno" with Ricardo Rocha, "Estudio 54" with Jaime Almeida among others.

She has performed at major festivals both nationally and internationally and given concerts in some of the most important concert halls of Mexico such as the National Auditorium and the Teatro de La Ciudad, in Mexico City.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenEugenia Leon

Universal singer born in México, Eugenia León began her musical career in the 70s singing with groups of young students who sought in latin american music and songs of protest a space for their rebellion. She is defined as a singer committed to the people and their causes.

The year 1985 is emblematic for Eugenia Leon and her audience. While Eugenia's voice won the Festival OTI in Seville, Spain with Marcial Alejandro's song "fandango", Mexico began to recover from the earthquake that destroyed part of Mexico City on 19 September. Eugenia continuously enriching her expressive capacity, in her long journey she has gone through different music challenges such as tango, norteño, bolero, latin american music and the classics of the ranchera song, of course with the composers of her generation.

She also performed very memorable duets, over 40 during the TV show "Acustico" which she hosted for three years; most notably one conducted with the tenor Ramón Vargas and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Mexico City.

With a career of more than 30 years, she has recorded 24 albums. Her capacity to work, her imagination and performance quality have given memorable concerts at the most important venues in Mexico.

Eugenia Leon has done very successful concerts in international venues, such as Center Concert Hall in Shanghai, China, the Opera of Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt, the Palace of Marrakech, Morocco, the Universal Forum of Cultures, Barcelona, Spain, The European Parliament in Brussels, The Teatro Colon in Bogotá, Colombia; the Teatro Oriente, in Santiago de Chile, the Festival Mexico Now at Lincoln Center, the Festival Latino in Central Park and at Joe's Pub, New York, USA, in the Kennedy Center Jazz Club, Washington, USA; The Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, USA, the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress, Washington, USA, and recently in Jackson Hall of the Mondavi Center in Davis, USA, the Millennium Park in Chicago, USA, the Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, USA, Discovery Green, Houston, USA, and the Palacio de los Deportes, Bogotá, Colombia. Eugenia is the only Mexican singer who has represented Mexico in four consecutive World Exhibitions: Sevilla, Spain, Lisbon, Portugal, Hanover, Germany, and Aichi, Japan.

She is appreciated nationally and internationally for the strength, versatility and quality of her voice, as well as the elaborate cultural offerings to her proposal. She is therefore identified as one of the most recognized and representative Mexican singers.

2010 sees the birth of the new CD "Cinema", a beautiful tribute to the music of Mexican Cinema from different eras, with the participation of bright Mexican musicians.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa del CarmenArmando Manzanero
Manzanero was born in the city of Merida, capital of Yucatan, Mexico, the birthplace of many songwriters and troubadours. Son of one of the founders of the typical orchestra Yucalpetén, Manzanero was close to music from a very early age.

Long way from there to the living legend, the songwriter, record producer from Grammy Award winners, he is well considered as one of the leading exponents of Latin music and modern bolero, Manzanero is the essence, the same composer and author at the piano, his voice, gently whispers the lyrics of his songs, so intimate that anyone who hears them can sometimes imagine that they were written specially for them.

"The best languages for love are songs" said Armando Manzanero. Not surprisingly, to date he has written over 400 songs, 50 of which have gained international fame.

In addition, his songs translated or not, have been performed by voices like those of Eddie Gorme, Johnny Mathis, Paul Muriat, Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ellis Regina, Andrea Bochelli, Luis Miguel, Il Divo and Placido Domingo.

With his live performances, Manzanero remains in place, close to the public that has continued to follow him for a long time.

Some of his live performances outside Mexico, have been at Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden in New York, the Memorial in Sao Paulo Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro Canecão, Teatro Colon in Argentina, Sport Arena in California, in Colombia Colsubsidio Theater, theater Teresa Carreño de Caracas, among others.

And soon we will have the honor to witness one of his performances on the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival accompanied by The Big Band Jazz de Mexico.



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