Wednesday, 18 July 2012 23:40
In Santiago, a wave of young musicians forms a blossoming jazz community.
It’s 9:00 on Friday night, and Calle Bombero Núñez in Bellavista, Santiago, looks deserted. But walk past the shuttered windows and into an entrance with a small, inconspicuous sign that simply reads “jazz” to find the club Thelonious, live and kicking. All of its small wooden tables are filled up with animated patrons. Latecomers mingle around the bar, admiring the sepia-toned portraits of musicians that line the walls. Soon, the lights dim and a young trio takes the stage, launching into a classic John Coltrane tune at a blistering pace.
, with its nearly invisible exterior yet lively crowd, mirrors the current state of jazz in Chile. While global pop stars take the spotlight — Jennifer Lopez, Hugh Laurie and New Kids on the Block have recently sold out Movistar Arena with ease — the jazz musicians of Chile take satisfaction in a tight community, an avid fanbase, and of course, the sharp swing of the music.
“A new breed is populating the jazz scene here,” Robert Barahona, director of the radio program PuroJazz
, said. “There are young, amazing musicians under 30 with technical knowledge and knowledge of the style.”
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About the writer
Andrew Chow is a rising junior at Harvard College studying History and Literature. He is in Santiago for two months on an internship program and is hoping to improve his Spanish and immerse himself in Chilean culture.