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Inaugurated in 1997 by the late great "King of Latin Music" Tito Puente, the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival has hosted countless Latin Jazz artists of the highest caliber, advanced our multi-cultural diversity, generated tourism, entertained thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds and improved the quality of life in Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley.

Recognizing this achievement, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded the Festival a prestigious and generous grant for nine years in a row. The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) has likewise supported the Festival in particular and our organization in general for nearly fourteen years. None of this would of course be possible without steadfast support from the City of Brownsville to whom we are most grateful.

The Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival is considered by many as THE Latin Jazz Festival of Texas, one of the best in the country and is well regarded throughout the Latin Jazz industry here and abroad. Throughout the year, it receives booking inquiries from dozens of acts, some renowned and some simply aspiring to perform in Brownsville and only our modest budget limits our capabilities. They all know it's a small festival but they also know that it's not a generic festival... it's a real bona-fide Latin Jazz festival that has preserved its quality, authenticity and identity for nearly 20 years.

It is our great pleasure to share this wonderful music with you. Latin Jazz, and the huge range of sounds and dances it encompasses, is irresistible, sophisticated and grown far beyond its roots... still African, unmistakably Latin and so American too. It is inclusive not exclusive, the ultimate blend of our cultures, the music they'll remember us by.

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The Festival strives to educate as well as entertain so in years past we've dedicated time and resources to learn, play and listen to the music of great artists who created much of the musical legacy considered fundamental to the Latin Jazz we hear today. Principal among Festival collaborators, our talented friend and Jazz guitar master, Clay Moore, is responsible for producing much of the Festival's musical education outreach during the last decade or so.

This year, Clay has recruited an impressive array of veteran jazz musicians from back in the day when they shared the stage of The Elephant Room, for Visit Clay Moore's website!decades regarded as the hub of Jazz music in a city known for live music, Austin, Texas. Creatively dubbed LOS ELEFANTES DEL JAZZ, on Friday October 9, they will celebrate our 19 years of bringing Latin jazz to the Rio Grande Valley to honor the legacy of the Jazz masters we've showcased in past festivals: timbalero Tito Puente, vibraphonist Cal Tjader, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and percussionist Chano Pozo, Brazilian Bossa Nova founder Antonio Carlos Jobim, pianist Chick Corea, percussionist Mongo Santamaria, guitarist Wes Montgomery and pianist Horace Silver. Besides "tributario-in-chief" Clay Moore, this group will feature Adrian Ruiz on trumpet, Michael Mordecai on trombone, Evan "Sticky Lopez" Arredondo on bass, Miguel Longoria on drums, Tom Raines on vibes, and the Jazzmanian Devil himself, Tomás Ramirez, on saxophones. The opening set will feature a selection by each of the honored artists while giving an opportunity for each of the group's musicians to showcase their unique talents.

As if that wasn't enough, on their second set LOS ELEFANTES DEL JAZZ will pay tribute to Latin jazz legend, saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Paquito D'Rivera. Born and raised in Cuba, D'Rivera is one of the true renaissance men of music, equally at home in straight ahead jazz, classical music, the multitude of musical styles of his native Cuba, and the musical cultures of Central and South America and the Caribbean. In 2005 D'Rivera was honored as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the winner of fourteen GRAMMY Awards and recorded over 30 solo albums. Check this video on YouTube called "Siguelo Si Puedes, Ayá Tú" also featuring the great bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez.

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The songs of Beto and the Fairlanes are magical, cross-cultural incantations of salsa, jazz, rock, and Latin influences, of irresistible dance rhythms and visions of the tropics. In Beto and the Fairlanes' hard-driving percussion, high-flying horns, and Beto's natural sense of fun and humor, you feel the excitement, celebration, and romance of traditions, north and south, meeting in the melodies and beat of their music. Long-time considered among the top acts in Austin, Beto and the Fairlanes tours with a 10-piece Latin-influenced ensemble, including horns, guitars, drums, percussion, bass, and keys. For just a taste of the spicy, powerful music Beto & the Fairlanes serve, check out the their video below:

Don't miss Beto and the Fairlanes in the outdoor ambience of the recently restored Historic Market Square in the heart of the Brownsville's Historic Downtown District. This event signals good-bye from the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival to the much revered but aging Jacob Brown Auditorium and heralds a new era for enjoying our downtown to the fullest. Due to the partnership we enjoy with the Brownsville Historical Association (BHA), it will be our pleasure to bring you this event for a very affordable $10.00 cover charge. No tickets, online or otherwise... just pay your cover charge at either of the two entrances to the Market Square area. There will be no comps, no discounts except for kids 16 or under that get in free. We have very few "Reserved Salitas", outdoor couches with a small table that will very comfortably accommodate ten persons, just call 956-831-9590 or one of the organizers to make arrangements. Plenty of free seating on chairs, tables and the bleachers and great food and drinks will be on sale by the ubiquitous Cobblehead's. We're absolutely sure you're going to love it!

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We are most pleased to present as the headline act for our popular Capitol Theatre Street Party what is, without a doubt, the top Salsa and Tropical music band in Houston. Led by maestro Jorge "CroCro" Orta, his band, CROCRO Y SU TUMBAKÁ, echoes the sound of classic Latin Jazz, percussion solos, batá, son, charangas, güarachas and even opera/salsa (!) resulting in a wealth of musical colors.

Jorge "CroCro" OrtaA gifted percussionist, originally from Venezuela, CroCro has toured with the top acts in the industry for more than twenty years. Tumbaká’s members also include bongo player Orlando Andrade (Colombia), in timbales Rhumer Mora (Venezuela), keyboard player Rafael Miliano (Dominican Republic), pianist Luigi Lazareno (Mexico ), bass player Anthony McKenny (USA), trombone players Yankar González (Cuba), Bryan Logan (USA), and Juan Carlos Delgado (Puerto Rico), vocalists Kevin Castillo (Puerto Rico), Julio Rodriguez (Cuba) and Valeria Denis (Uruguay).  

CroCro was selected to be the Musical Director of Salsa y Salud, the first event of its kind in the country and currently the largest show of Salsa and Health in Texas. He was Musical Director of the first Salsa Festival in Houston and recently honored by the City of Houston with a Proclamation for using an interactive performance as a vehicle to positively impact the community.

Words cannot describe CROCRO Y SU TUMBAKÁ, just check out his music in the video below:

ADDITIONAL PERFORMERS during the CAPITOL THEATRE STREET PARTY also include some of the very best Latin Jazz and Salsa bands in the the Rio Grande Valley. They include: THE UTRGV JAZZ BAND, THE JOE CHAPA GROUP w/ CLAY MOORE, IRAM REYES' JUICE and SON MONTUNO!

As everyone that enjoys dancing knows, the Festival always features a spectacular array of SALSA SHOWCASES by the very best amateur and professional Salsa dancers and teachers produced by our very talented Salsa Director, OMAR OROPEZA. Please inquire with Omar or with us about the time and place of our FREE MASTER CLASSES by the professional dance champions that will be performing.

Support the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival and the
Revitalization of Brownsville's Historic Downtown District!

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Schedules, lineups and performers are subject to change without previous notice. Check back to this page for the latest information. You can contact us at anytime or call during regular business hours at 956-831-9590. Thank you for your support!

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