32 minutes | Oct 15, 2016

NFAND Episode 17 - Patricia Zárate, Executive Director Panama Jazz Festival

I have the good fortune of knowing people that act and live in accordance to the greatest dream of all, to make the world a better place. Beginning with my dad, Danny, who has devoted years to good causes unbeknownst to most, moving about with his underlying tactic, music. I’ll get to talk to him at some point in the near future, but for now, the long story short is that Danny takes chances on the young. A consistent small gesture that plays a big part in his pursuit of that grand dream. Many years ago, right before a rehearsal was to start for a concert date he had in Panama, a kid pianist was brought on last minute to play the concert date because at the very last minute, the adult musician was unable to play the gig. Danny hadn’t arrived yet and the promoter was freaking out and asking that to have the kid removed from the piano, when Danny walked in and said, “the kid stays.” That kid was Danilo Pérez. Almost thirty years later, Danilo invited Danny to be part of his festival, the Panama Jazz Festival. At the press conference, Danilo shared this story, and I paraphrase but the gist was that Danny’s gesture made all the difference in the world, because he was validated. The Panama Jazz Festival, aside from being a performance platform of the highest caliber, is also a music project meant to change the world. The Executive Director of the Panama Jazz Festival is a woman, the fierce Patricia Zárate. When I say fierce, I mean to the 10th power. She believes music can change the world. And, the silver lining is that indeed the festival’s impact is doing just that, transforming lives, my own included. I was there this January and saw Patricia Zárate and Danilo Pérez, her husband, in action. On September 5th, 2016, the Panama Jazz Festival became Law 312. Patricia and I talk about her journey as a musician, student, wife, mother and executive director. Music is all about timing. This week’s synchronicity is nothing short of poetic and music is its crux. This podcast plays three days after working the 2016 Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame LA MUSA AWARDS, two nights after catching the music giants Gilberto Santa Rosa and Sergio George in the audience of I Like It Like That, and the night after I went to see Danilo Perez’s Jazz 100: The Music of Dizzy, Ella, Mongo & Monk gig at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. I did not plan it this way but I do have a concrete takeaway, I too believe that mus
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