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Thousands of residents and visitors to Brownsville recently enjoyed five days of truly fine music, art exhibits and spectacular dancing during our 20th Annual Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival held on October 12 to 16.

Inaugurated in 1997 by the late great "King of Latin Music" Tito Puente, the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival has presented scores of artists of the highest caliber, advanced our cultural diversity, influenced our young performers, generated tourism, entertained thousands and improved the quality of life in our community.

Many consider it the premier Latin Jazz Festival in Texas and certainly one of the best in the country. It's regarded in the industry as a great, small festival that has preserved its quality, authenticity and identity for two decades.

Countless local students, educators and performing artists have benefited from the world-class touring artists the Festival has hosted for two decades. Their clinics, master classes and performances have re-defined the meaning of artistic excellence.

The Festival and its artists have opened our minds and senses to the vast wealth of our cultural diversity. For everyone else, the legacy of our artists is the Latin Jazz enjoyed throughout the world today.

This year, we are most grateful for the participation of Jose Rizo's Mongorama, one of the most musically gifted ensembles to grace our stage and their featured artist, the great Hubert Laws, an icon of jazz and a true gentleman. Their joyful demeanor, artistic excellence and obvious love for the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival made their visit very special for everyone, audience and producers alike.

Latin Jazz is irresistible, sophisticated and grown far beyond its roots. It's still African, unmistakably Latin, and yet so American. It is inclusive, not exclusive, the music and dance they'll remember us by. It is a pleasure to share it with you, please share it with others!


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