The association initially took jazz to the streets and squares of Menorca’s towns to gain greater public awareness and promote its concerts as well as simply the enjoyment of playing music in public areas to brighten up people’s lives. Since then, an increasing number of local bands and groups have often participated in these jazz sessions. Also since its second year, the Festival has been open to all Menorcan towns and villages, Ciutadella and Maó being those that have hosted the main concerts.
Right from the start, Jazz Obert was convinced that what it offered had to be of highest quality, and believes this has been achieved through the talents of its invited musicians which have included renowned international artists as well as a long list of national musicians who have taken part in the Festival over the years.
However, the Festival cannot survive through its concerts alone. During the annual event, which lasts around one and a half months, Jazz Obert’s intention is for the majority of Menorca’s cultural life to breathe jazz. To do this, and together with other associations, the association organises various activities to complement the concerts, for example there is a poster contest, film shows, exhibitions, conferences and a ‘musical picnic’.
Jazz al Carrer
During the Festival, there is an alternative programme of concerts, Jazz al Carrer (Jazz in the Streets), which aims to bring jazz music closer to the people, with free concerts and parades in various public places in selected towns around the island, as well as to give local jazz musicians a chance to play in front of an audience.
One of these activities is the now traditional Vega Jazz, a sort of musical picnic which takes place every year at the palm grove of Cala en Blanes, where people can come along and enjoy concerts by local musicians for free in a relaxed atmosphere where jazz is the focus.
Now in its 8th year, the Gathering of Dixieland-New Orleans has become another regular fixture. Jazz Obert had the idea to create a mini-festival to take place during the main Festival, where a number of Dixieland music bands got together for four days and put on several shows in the streets and music venues around the island. The highlight of this mini-festival is a jam session involving all the bands who have taken part in the ‘Gathering’.
Menorca’s 13th International Jazz Festival takes place between 23 April and 3 June 2011. The Programme of Events can be found on the website in the What’s On: Exhibitions, Concerts and Shows section.
Jazz Obert is legally incorporated non-profit association, supported by grants and sponsorship. Its cooperation with other associations, such as Joventuts Musicals de Ciutadella, Cine-Club, Líthica, AMIC (the local musicians’ association) and Escola Municipal de Música (the local music school), have all proved beneficial. Jazz Obert also has the support of public institutions such as the island’s city councils, the Consell Insular de Menorca (the regional government of Menorca), IBATUR, the Government of the Balearic Islands as well as a small group of private companies. Its members are at the heart of everything it does and being part of subsidised culture is inevitable and one that Jazz Obert is very grateful for to enable it to continue its work and create musical concerts for all to enjoy.
Since its second year, by request of Consell Insular de Menorca, the Festival has been included as part of ‘Menorca tot l’any’, a programme to promote tourism and aims to offer cultural events all year round, something that was previously offered only during the summer months.
Jazz Obert Tel: 971 482 933 / 666 373 961 or visit: www.jazzobert.com.