Danny Rivera at the Panama Jazz Festival 2016


I read with great delight Elmer Gonzalez’s article regarding Danny Rivera being one of the main acts at the 2016 Panama Jazz Festival.

Danny Rivera with Danilo Perez at Panama Jazz Fest
Danny Rivera with Danilo Perez at the Panama Jazz Fest 2016.

This is great because it exposes the audience of jazz enthusiasts, to a variant of music that evolves around the Latin popular songbook, with elements of jazz.

This is nothing new for Danny Rivera. He did that in his latest release “Obsesion” (2014) in which he collaborated with tres maestro Nelson Gonzalez. In “Obsesion”, Danny Rivera explores the Latin-American songbook with tones of jazz, teaming up in a few songs with the likes of Chucho Valdes and Arturo O’Farrill.

Great examples of these are “Ausencia” and “Cristal”, in which he teamed up with Chucho Valdes, and “El Reloj” and “Allí”, in which the pianist was Afro-Cuban jazz maestro Arturo O’Farrill.

Here’s a taste of Danny Rivera’s “Obsesion” with the song “Allí”.

As Elmer Gonzalez points out in his article published in a main newspaper of Puerto Rico (link HERE), the Panama Jazz Festival has had several Puerto Ricans in their event over the years. Other jazz fests are tending to add variety by bringing Salsa or Latin Pop artists.

However, Danilo Perez, who is the founding father of the Panama Jazz Festival, decided to bring Danny Rivera and enrich the musical event with a blend of two Latin music elements, that surely will thrill the audience.

I’m glad to see the Panama Jazz Festival continue to grow and hope other Jazz Festival organizers borrow some ideas from this event.

You can get more information on Danny Rivera’s “Obsession”, including my interviews with Danny and Nelson Gonzalez in these blogs:

Danny Rivera Canta su “Obsesion” (Spanish)
Nelson Gonzalez Talks Making “Obsesion” with Danny Rivera
Danny Rivera: “Bolero is the History of our Feelings”

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