The event is an international contest for young talent between 16 and 30, in two categories of competition: composition and interpretation. JoJazz began in 1998 and has become one of Cuba’s most popular musical happenings, as well as the breaking ground for many future big name musicians.
The main venue of JoJazz is the Amadeo Roldan Theater in the Vedado district of the capital. Opening night features Jazz Band led by Joaquin Betancourt which won the JoJazz 2007 award. Betancourt is also the head of this year’s jury for best composition.
The incorporation this year of small groups in the competition increases the attraction of the music “duels” in the interpretation category.
Havana Times recommends keeping up on the times and side venues of JoJazz 2008 and to arrive early at the concert halls since the events are well attended and the seating limited.
The winning songs and musicians will join other top contenders to be recorded in an album on the Colibri label. The disc will become part of the El Joven Espiritu del Jazz Cubano collection.
JoJazz 2008 is dedicated to Cuban musician Bobby Carcasses, a local jazz celebrity who has dedicated much effort to promoting jazz in Cuba.
Carcasses has been on the jury of past JoJazz festivals and is also a founder and promoter of Havana’s Jazz Plaza Festival.