By Margot Thomas
PANAMA’S FLAGGING tourism industry will be getting a triple musical uplift in 2018 with a new stage show taking its first bow locally before moving to other realms and two renowned jazz festivals.
The year kicks off with the 15th edition of The Panama Jazz Festival (PJF) Jan. 15-19 in The City of Knowledge and Casco Viejo, and will be followed by Panama The Musical, which is currently planning auditions for its red carpet world premiere on Feb. 1 in Plaza Ateneo , also in the City of Knowledge.
The Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival. runs Feb 23-25.
Panama The Musical with a roaring twenties song and dance flavor composed and written by expat duo Yolanda Van Der Kolk and Rob Brown, will run in Panama, Feb 1 – Mar. 4 and be showcased in Toronto, Canada, Nov,3- Dec 2o.
Greater Toronto with a population of six million is planning to declare a Panama Day, a welcome boost to tourism.
The PJF, bringing together acclaimed international jazz artists, renowned educators and amateurs attracted nearly 28,000 last year.
This year artistic director, Danilo Pérez, has already lined up up the Wayne Shorter Quartet; the pop singer, Miguel Bosé; and Latin jazz legend, Chucho Valdés; Brazilian singer, Luciana Souza; American pianist, Ran Blake and composer and pianist, Bill Dobbins.