Traditional Spring Jazz Festival, XXVIII Edition At Cuates Y Cuetes Restaurant.

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A tribute to Willow Brizio for her artistic career.


For decades warmly welcomed, with a full house and framed by dreamy sunsets, such as those that the Mexican Pacific generously offers in this cosmopolitan tourist destination, the XXVIII Spring Jazz Festival 2024 was celebrated. The venue? Cuates y Cuetes Restaurant Bar Café, of course. Promoting and fostering Jazz since its beginnings in 1993, at Playa Los Muertos.

The individual, the collective, camaraderie, and of course improvisation, all coalesced in the set, as part of the ambiance that Jazz creates. Unusual instrumental timbres, rhythmic insistence, syncopated sounds, and special voices were present daily from March 18th to 22nd, from 4 p.m. until nightfall. To avoid omitting anyone, from the long list of participants, I prefer to tell you that magnificent duets, trios, ensembles, and collectives from the United States, Canada, France, Argentina, and Cuba were heard. From Mexico, they came from Guadalajara, Monterrey, Los Cabos, Guerrero, and Chiapas. And of course, the talented local musicians from Bahía de Banderas. A considerable number of these last ones are part of the repertoire of regular artists at Cuates y Cuetes, a fervent space for live music, much to the delight of its customers. All of them formed the rich musical lineup that delighted tourists, locals, and Jazz-loving residents daily.

As is tradition, March 21st is the main day of the Festival, on the occasion of the beginning of Spring, celebrated with a concert on the beach. Teté, an enthusiastic promoter of the local music community and especially of Jazz, adds another successful year celebrating a massive live event, deeply rooted and acclaimed, from her restaurant. The valuable and hard work of her loyal team of collaborators in each and every area was outstanding, also noticeable in the service provided to the attendees.

As the evening fell by the seaside, drums sounded, the breeze scattered copal incense around the area and its surroundings, a small group of men and women dancers dressed in colorful ceremonial attire, reminiscent of the pre-Hispanic cultures in our country hundreds of years ago. The atmosphere was filled with tradition, mysticism, and solemnity with the ritual of purification and welcoming of Spring. The conch shell sounded, elderly women, adults, and young women made offerings towards the four cardinal points until the sun said goodbye. Retreating at its own pace, slowly extinguishing the day of March 21st, 2024, at Playa de los Muertos. In the background, as an imposing witness, the splendid and curvilinear Muelle de Olas Altas, with its renewed multicolored lights, stood, a contemporary distinctive symbol of that area of Old Vallarta.

An emblematic night, a night of regional and foreign artists on the same wavelength: the love for Jazz. They illuminated the Vallartense sky, playing chords of guitar, double bass, drums, trumpet, and saxophone with their personal interpretative seal of the classic and universal melodies of this genre. Jazz combines a range of sincopated sounds, blues inflections and the so-called soul of jazz, swing. From those rhythms with African backgrounds, recognized as a musical fusion of the United States and Europe. The female presence of the evening, Beverly and Liliana, with their velvety and well-tempered voices, made the audience vibrate deeply.

Likewise, a tribute was paid to Willow Brizio for her artistic career. The proceeds from T-shirts sold and the tickets for the raffle of two guitars would be the contribution of her fellow musicians as well as the present audience. Her wife Beverly and daughter were the ones who drew the winning tickets from the tombola. This cooperative and appreciative view of live music is well worth multiplying to spread its innate purposes of mental and physical well-being that listening to it provides. In the case of Jazz, it fosters empathy, versatility, and tolerance, as well as generating tranquility and relaxation.

Practically a week framed by splendid sunsets, food and drink to taste, friends, family, or partners mingling. An infinite sea and sky, patient companions during 28 years of the provocative magic of Jazz generated from Cuates y Cuetes Restaurant Bar Café for Puerto Vallarta and the world, perhaps under the satisfying and distant listening of the legendary and unforgettable Miles and Armstrong.