We had a fabulous time at the Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival.
We went on Sunday, February 8.
It was the 9th Annual Festival, but our 1st time attending.
Photos of the event are at the bottom of this page.
If you will be in Panama, I highly recommend you go to the Boquete Jazz & Blues festival next February.
5 Days of Music
The 2 main days are always Saturday and Sunday, but the festival actually goes on for days.
This year it started on Tuesday night with a party. Wednesday featured a street parade and jam sessions. On Thursday there was a free concert at Boquete’s central park followed by a performance and then another jam session. Friday afternoon and evening was one big jam session. On Saturday, the venue moved to the amphitheater at Valle Escondido in Boquete. Music started at noon and went into the evening. Then everyone reconvened at a restaurant for a big jam session at 8pm. On Sunday, they did the whole thing over again, but with all new musical acts.
All Profit Goes To Support Music Education
100% of the festival profit goes to buy musical instruments and improve musical education in Boquete area schools.
Tickets are a bit steep at $35. Kids 12 and younger are free, which means one of mine got to go for free.
English Here, English Everywhere
The high cost of the tickets means that most of the folks there were expats.
Which is also why it felt abit like I was back in the States. Everyone was speaking English.
Even people who aren’t native English speakers, were speaking English.
I met a people from Holland, Germany, Italy, and Panama. All spoke excellent English. Then, of course, there were the many Americans and Canadians who filled the stands. We were surrounded by English.
On our way out, I saw one of the children who had put on a performance. (As part of Sunday’s performances, a group of school children also put on a few brief numbers. These kids are part of the music programs that the festival helps to fund. ) I told him, in Spanish, what a good job he did. Turns out he is an American. No need to speak Spanish. However, I would say the vast majority of the kids on stage were obviously Panamanian.
I hear that hotels in Boquete fill up quickly for the festival dates I didn’t even try to get a hotel there. We stayed in David at the Hotel Ciudad de David. David is about 30 minutes from Boquete. We had errands to run in David anyway so it worked out for us. Plus, we have an 8 year old, so any late night jam sessions were not in the cards for us.
Note about Hotel Ciudad de David
We normally stay at the Gran National in David, but decided to try something new, and we are glad we did.
We were impressed by the excellent customer service at Hotel Ciudad de David. We had a very pleasant time there.
Will Be Going Again!
We’ll be going, or at least I will, every year from now on.
I ran into Joan, of the Careening Cay Resort & Cosmic Crab Cafe in Bocas del Toro, there too. We like staying at their hotel when we visit Bocas.
Like me, she has lived in Panama for years but it is the first time she’s made it to the Festival. She and her husband are very busy running their a hotel/restaurant along with being parents of 2 young children. She was enjoying a well-deserved break, and without kids! Maybe next year…