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Panama Jazz Festival 2024

21st Annual Panama Jazz Festival 

January 15-20, 2024

Featuring Billy Cobham, Danilo Perez, Alex Blake, 

Ron Savage, Bill Pierce, Global Jazz Womxn,

Hijas del Jazz Orchestra and More

Berklee Global Jazz Institute 15 Anniversary with

Special Guest Marion Hayden

Panamanian All Stars Trio with Billy Cobham on Drums,

Danilo Perez on Piano and Alex Blake on Bass

DownBeat‘s Michael Jackson Will Interview Cobham for a Live Blindfold Test

In 2023, Panama Jazz Festival celebrated its 20th edition in a hybrid format. With over 40,000 people attending all events of the festival, the event was characterized by the sold-out outdoor show on the final day of the festival. Artistic Director Danilo Perez said, “It was a dream to see the central square of the city of knowledge, a place that was a USA military base during my childhood, completed packed this year. The Panama Jazz Festival 2023 commemoration ushered in a new era, and this coming year we must contemplate serving over 40,000 individuals, which is both a blessing and a challenge.” 

During this next edition, the Panama Jazz Festival will be honoring Panamanian jazz drummer Billy Cobham, who will be performing with his fusion group Spectrum 50; the trio with Danilo Perez on piano and Alex Blake on bass; and the Global Jazz Big Band composed of musicians from all over the world including Mike Rodriguez on trumpet, Brandon Wilkins on tenor sax, Marshall Gilkes on trombone, Gary Husband on keyboards, Cristian Galvez on bass, Rocco Zifarelli on guitar, directed by Guy Barker, and accompanied by distinguished Panamanian musicians including Carlos Agrazal, Luis Carlos Perez, and Samuel Batista.

“As a person born in Coco Solo Hospital in Colon, Panama,” Cobham says, “I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to perform in front of my countrymen and women at 80 years of age. When I left Panama, I was 3 ½ years old; when I came back it was 2005. It is more than an honor for me to be presented in such a special place. Hopefully, for the time that I have left, I can contribute in some way. Not just playing at the jazz festival, which is a big plus for me, but to have a legacy that goes beyond the concert stage in the areas of education.”

Danilo Perez, who founded the festival in 2003 with his wife Patricia Zarate, says Cobham “is an essential figure in jazz history, and his influence can be evident in the work of today’s most notable drummers. He is an important example of how, since its inception, Panama has been a hidden gem for jazz that must be included in its history. Because one of the many festival’s contributions is to rescue and document our Panamanian Jazz history, it is with great pride and honor that we dedicate our XXI PJF edition to maestro Billy Cobham.”

Other artists who will participate of the festival include the Ron Savage Trio with special guest Bill Pierce; Cuban drummer Calixto Oviedo; Global Jazz Womxn with Patricia Zarate (Panama/Chile), Lihi Haruhi (Israel), Zahili Zamora (Cuba), Ciara Moser (Austria), and Ivanna Cuesta (Dominican Republic) with special guests Afrodisiaco from Panama; the Brazilian duo Pablo Fagundes and Marcus Moraes, The Chilean band Orion Lion & Afroritual, Cuban violinist Tanmy Lopez, Guillermo Nojechowicz from Argentina, and distinguished national projects such as Hijas del Jazz Orchestra with special guest director Sheila Del Bosque (Cuba) and Panamanian singer Solinka.

A week of enriching concerts highlighting the great gala night held at the Anayansi Theater in Atlapa Convention Center on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. The same theater will present great live jazz performances on Thursday, January 18. Ateneo Theater, located in the City of Knowledge, will also present afternoon and night concerts; Villa Agustina, situated in the Old Quarter (Casco Antiguo), will hold night concerts and jam sessions every day of the week of the festival. 

The Panama Jazz Festival’s signature educational events will happen at the City of Knowledge and will host distinguished institutions such as Berklee College of Music and the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, the New England Conservatory, New York Jazz Academy, and Conservatorio de Santiago de Chile, Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School and Zumix. The Berklee Global Jazz Institute will be celebrating 15 years with a special group lead by distinguished bassist from Detroit Marion Hayden. The festival will be celebrating the 12th Latin American Music Therapy Symposium, bringing together music therapists from Panama, Chile, the United States, Argentina, Uruguay, among other countries. Other important symposiums that will take place during the festival include the 3rd Symposium of Native Peoples and the 8th Symposium of the Culture and Music of Afro-Panamanians.

The 21st Panama Jazz Festival will have the City of Knowledge as its educational venue, and the official hotel will be the Marriot Panama Hotel. The festival will also feature hundreds of national and international musicians and many educational and artistic performances will also be streamed during the event on our social media.

The festival is produced by Panama Jazz Productions and co-produced by the City of Knowledge to benefit the social programs of the Danilo Pérez Foundation with the help of Panama’s Ministry of Culture, Banco Nacional de Panamá, Panama Colon Container Port, Panama City Mayor Office, Copa Airlines, Embassy of Brazil, and many others.

For more information on the Panama Jazz Festival,


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