This next Sunday April 30 is celebrated worldwide on International Jazz Day and the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil, through his career in music, has decided to bring forward the celebrations with the fifth edition of the UCSG International Jazz Day, a space for conferences, free workshops and a great free closing concert on Saturday the 29th on Panama Street from 09:00.

Jenny Villafuerte, professor of musical arts and singer-songwriterspoke to this newspaper about the preparations for this musical and artistic encounter.

“Sometimes there is a certain prejudice about jazz, but what interests us is that the audience can get to know it, because when you become familiar with the genre, and with the sacrifices and efforts of the musicians, they come to appreciate it more. Jazz is not just a style of music, it is a language used by today’s musicians. If you ‘speak jazz’ then you speak it here, in India, in China or in France, it is something universal”.

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How was Guayaquil’s connection to this genre born?

Jazz entered Ecuador through Guayaquil in the 1920s. Here came the big orchestras and the Big Bands, there was a lot of ballroom dancing that got lost a bit over the years and migrated to Quito, but even in this day and age there are people in Guayaquil who developed this genre. Jazz festivals were also held in the city in the early 2000s. Already with the appearance of the Academy, in this case of the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil, we have been working for 14 years on this new educational proposal linked to jazz as a formative axis and we have always been busy broadening those horizons.

How can Guayaquileños continue to cultivate their interest in jazz?

Guayaquil consumes jazz, what happens is it hasn’t figured it out. When one talks about jazz, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a saxophone or the music that can be heard in a hotel or in a waiting room, but it goes much further than that, because jazz is practically the father and mother of the contemporary jazz. music. When we listen to Chaka Khan, we listen to jazz or Di Capo (Diego Chiang), those melodies, those harmonies, it’s jazz. Or Camila Pérez, there’s an influence there, there’s that immersed language.

What would you like to highlight among the objectives of the meeting?

Create community, take advantage of the spaces that exist in the city to integrate, contribute to culture and, during the concert, pioneering musicians of the genre such as Roberto Bolaños and Francisco Echeverría, Carlos Prado, as well as the new generations on to bring to the stage that They are currently doing jazz like Lyzbeth Badaraco, Sepia Jazz Trío, among others. And for this occasion we have two international guests: the Colombian guitarist Santiago Sandoval and, from Portugal, the singer Rita María.

What other activities does this festival include besides the great closing concert? How is it structured?

We’ve named it UCGS International Jazz Week and it kicks off April 25 with free workshops open to the public. All you have to do is follow us on @musicaucsg (Instagram) where you will find a registration link. These workshops will be developed in the UCSG facilities and the workshops are divided on instrument technique from the entry level, there will be an assembly workshop that Santiago Sandoval will teach. Our international guest Rita María will again give a workshop focused on the interpretation and improvisation of the voice. On the 28th, our “Conversations Between Musicians” space will take place, where Rita will also participate about her career, as that also connects with the university community and the general public, and makes them appreciate what the artist’s path is.

What can you expect from the last show? Some recommendations for attendees

I invite you to separate your day on Saturday, it can be a family Saturday, because there are games for children and restaurants. We will have a stage where the artists will perform and of course we have thought about the safety of the event. You can choose the time and artist you want to go see or enjoy all day which will be great because we are going to have traditional jazz, jazz fusion and latin jazz. I really invite you to enjoy the local music.

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