Rock, jazz reunion mark opening of XI Paiz International Festival of Art and Culture

The 11th annual Paiz International Festival of Art and Culture—a nearly year-long series of music, dance and art—opens in spectacular fashion on Friday, Feb. 11, when two legendary groups perform together for the first time in more than a decade.

The Guatemalan rock group Alux Nahual and Éditus, the Grammy-winning jazz group from Costa Rica, will reunite in a not-to-be-missed concert at 8 p.m. at Ermita de Santa Cruz in La Antigua.

According to Alux Nahual drummer Lenin Fernandez, the previous joint concert, also in Antigua, was a risky experiment since the groups hadn’t played together before—they didn’t even rehearse.

“The idea was to jam,” Fernandez recalled. “It was a fantastic, magical event. We achieved a great fusion. Appearing with them was a complete success as far as the audience was concerned. We haven’t repeated it since.

“We want to achieve what we did the last time, where the audience feels that they are witnessing a jam session—some improvisation, not too studied—which features the musicians’ artistry. And especially with these three from Éditus, who have had an amazing career, winning two Latin Grammy’s. Jamming is definitely where we want to go,” Fernandez said.

With the festival’s emphasis on promoting music and arts in youth, Alux Nahual and Éditus are also conducting music workshops for young music students Feb. 8-10 at El Sitio in Antigua. (For more information on the workshops call 2485-9929.)

Festival events continue at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, with the opening of a retrospective of artist Carlos Mérida (1891-1984) at Casa Santo Domingo in the Galería Quiroa. 

At 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, Ermita de Santa Cruz will be rocked by power pianist Jorge Gomez and his Grammy-nominated Cuban timba group, Tiempo Libre, accompanied by La Orquesta Sinfonica Juvenil.

The following weekend, Feb. 19-20, the hilarious international sensation Les Ballet Trockaderos de Montecarlo will perform at 8 p.m. at La Ermita de la Santa Cruz. The festival’s opening month wraps up Feb. 26-27 with Ballet Hispánico, also at La Ermita de la Santa Cruz.

And this is just the first month of the annual Paiz International Festival of Art and Culture—events continue every month throughout the year!

Tickets to all performances are on sale at TodoTicket.com. For more information about Fundación Paiz, visit www.fundacionpaiz.org.gt

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