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Inaugurated in 1997 by the late great "King of Latin Music" Tito Puente, the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival has presented dozens of artists of the highest caliber, advanced our cultural diversity, influenced our young performers, generated tourism, entertained thousands and improved quality of life in our community. Many consider us THE Latin Jazz Festival of Texas and one of the best in the country. It's well regarded as a small festival that has preserved its quality, authenticity and identity for nearly two decades.

Recognizing this achievement, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded the Festival prestigious grants for nine years in a row. Likewise, the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) has supported us for almost 15 years. None of this would be possible without support from our audience and the City of Brownsville, to whom we are most grateful.

It is our pleasure to share this wonderful music with you. Latin Jazz 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 and dance they'll remember us by.

Here is what we've got for you on our 19th year... enjoy every bit of it!

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.

Visit Clay Moore's website!Responsible for producing much of the Festival's education outreach during the last decade is our talented friend and Jazz guitar master, Clay Moore. This year, he's recruited an impressive array of veteran jazz musicians, his colleagues from way back in the day when they shared the stage of The Elephant Room, known for decades as the hub of Jazz in a city known for live music, Austin, Texas.

The suitably dubbed Los Elefantes del Jazz led by Clay 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, Tomas Ramirez, on saxophones.

On their first set, they'll honor the legacy of Jazz masters we've presented or paid tribute to in the past, including the great timbalero Tito Puente, vibraphonist Cal Tjader, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and percussionist Chano Pozo, Bossa Nova founder Antonio Carlos Jobim, pianist Chick Corea, percussionist Mongo Santamaria, guitarist Wes Montgomery and pianist Horace Silver. They'll play a tune by each of the honored artists, allowing each of the group's musicians to showcase their unique talents.

On their second set Los Elefantes del Jazz will pay tribute to saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Paquito D'Rivera. Born and raised in Cuba, D'Rivera is a true renaissance man of music, equally at home in straight ahead jazz, classical music, multitude musical styles of his native Cuba and the Caribbean, and the music of Central and South America. In 2005 D'Rivera was honored as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, he's won fourteen GRAMMY Awards and recorded over 30 solo albums.

Check out this Danzón with Paquito on YouTube called "Siguelo Si Puedes, Ayá Tú" also featuring the great bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez.

The songs of Beto and the Fairlanes, our headline act, 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 ensemble, including horns, guitars, drums, percussion, bass, and keys. For a taste of their spicy, powerful music, 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. Thanks to the cooperative spirit of the Brownsville Historical Association (BHA), we'll be able to bring you our headline act for a very affordable $10.00 cover charge. Click here for more information!

We are all looking forward to the popular Capitol Theatre Street Party... a free, outdoor happening like no other in Brownsville! Everyone settles in for an afternoon and early evening party full of music, dancing, great food, cool drinks, art exhibits, all of your family, most of your friends and the best cultural entertainment of the year.

In addition to our headliner, you'll enjoy some of the best Latin Jazz and Salsa in the RGV, including: the brand spanking new UTRGV JAZZ BAND, the JOE CHAPA GROUP ft. Clay Moore, Iram Reyes and his big wild jazz band JUICE and Brownsville's #1 Salsa band... SON MONTUNO, who'll bring the Festival to a close!

Dance aficionados that know the Festival can hardly wait for our spectacular SALSA SHOWCASES a production of amateur and professional dancers produced by our very talented Salsa Director, Omar Oropeza.

If you're anxious to learn the latest moves from professional dance masters, teachers and champions performing, don't miss our FREE MASTER DANCE CLASSES. More dance related information will be available on this page soon but contact Omar now if you want to be the first to know.

To wrap up what is certain to be a memorable Festival, we are extremely pleased to present for your dancing pleasure, at 7:00PM, none other than the greatest Salsa and Tropical orchestra in Texas:

Led by maestro Jorge "CroCro" Orta, they echo 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, now residing in Houston, CroCro has toured with the top acts in the industry for more than twenty years. Tumbaká’s members include bongo player Orlando Andrade (Colombia), Rhumer Mora on timbales (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 as 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 recently honored by the City of Houston with a Proclamation recognizing his use of an interactive performance to positively impact the community. Words alone cannot describe them, just check out their music in the video below:


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

Schedules, lineups and performers are subject to change without previous notice. In case of inclement weather, 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.

Contact us! BSPA ( Support BHA! Shenanigans Contact Omar Oropeza