Providencia International Jazz Festival hits Santiago riverside

The 10th edition of this January´s event will welcome 40 international performers, straddling the banks of the Mapocho River and seating up to 6,000 people on the Chilean capital´s warm summer evenings.


To welcome in the New Year, Santiago´s leafy, middle-class neighbourhood of Providencia will be hosting three days of the world´s smoothest jazz on 11, 12 and 13 January.

Around 40 well-known international jazz performers will play in 6 different areas beneath the trees on the banks of the Mapocho River, which runs through central Santiago. In previous years, the festival has attracted more than 12,000 people over the three-day event.

Prices for seating range US$6 to US$30 (CP$3,000 to CP$14,000) , the cheapest being on a raised platform that will allow onlookers a summertime view from across the Mapocho. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and more information can be found on the Festival’s website (in Spanish).

Emmanuel Fuentes, a jazz enthusiast who works with event organizers the Providencia Cultural Institute, said that this year´s programme has been somewhat influenced by South American jazz-fusion. “It´s a good opportunity for Chilean, Argentinian and Brazilian artists to showcase their new work,” he said during an interview with This Is Chile.

The festival will be inaugurated at 9pm Tuesday Jan. 11 by well-known Chilean artist Andrea Tessa, who attributes her influences to the big bands and spectacles of Las Vegas in the U.S. Since 2007, however, she has been dedicating herself to jazz.

Other South American artists to perform will include Escalandrum (Argentina), a sextet headed by Daniel “Pipi” Piazzolla which integrates traditional folklore rhythms and textures into its sound; Eliane Elias (Brazil), who will perform for the second time at the festival; and Javier Malosetti (Argentina), who has been described as one of the most important and accomplished bassists in the scene.

The International Jazz Festival nonetheless lives up to its name and alongside Latin American groups, Canadian and American artists such as Brian Hughes and Dave Valentin will also perform.

This year´s Providencia Jazz Festival will be its 10th version, organized by the Providencia Cultural Institute. Other events organized across Providencia by the institute have included traditional Basque and Spanish music, and art events such as a currently ongoing exhibition by Chilean muralist Fernando Daza.

For jazz fanatics visiting Santiago, a good place to begin is the Santiago Jazz Club. For more about Chilean jazz, a recommended website is Puro Jazz.