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Destination: music.

Sizzling salsa under the stars by Acapulco Bay. Hot jazz in the shade of Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro. Blazing big bands aboard an elegant cruise ship charting the waters of the Eastern Caribbean. Promoters are discovering that the paring of major international talent with striking settings is producing a hit with music festival fan throughout the Hemisphere. This year alone, almost a dozen major festivals in the Caribbean and South America will bank on this sure-fire combination of great talent and singular surroundings.

The Acapulco World Music Festival, a new venture this year, featured 30 world class artists in five venues for a week-long extravaganza beginning June 7. Spotlighted were jazz artists such as Dizzy Gillespie and Ramsey Lewis; Latin music luminaries Michel Camilo and Ray Barretto; and pop performers Michael McDonald and Angela Bofill, among many others. Because of Alcapulco's proximity to the United States and its exceptional recreational opportunities, the festival's promoters believe it will grow to become Mexico's largest festival, with the potential of attracting close to 50,000 visitors.

Turning toward the Caribbean, hot music festivals are hosted annually by Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Bridgetown, Barbados. Aruba's Jazz and Latin Music Festival, now in its sixth year, is one of many which benefits directly from the partisan promotional efforts of its country's official tourism agency.

Meanwhile, still largely undiscovered by the international tourist is Brazil's annual late summer Free Jazz Festival. Split between Rio and Sao Paulo, the popular series of concerts features big name foreign and Brazilian talent.

For those who prefer the amenities of shipboard travel, the 1950s vintage S.S. Norway turns its 500-seat theater and three largest public rooms into settings for non-stop jazz performances for the ship's annual October Floating Jazz Festival, this year observing its tenth anniversary with major talent such as clarinetist Eddie Daniels, vocalist Anita O'Day and drummer Louie Bellson.

Not to be forgotten are other musical events that stretch from the Galveston Island, Texas annual Jazz Festival in November to Cartagena, Colombia's mammoth salsa festival, which features over 50 groups from throughout the world each September. Pick your favorite style of music, see your travel agent, and prepare for the musical vacation of a lifetime.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Latin American music festivals
Author:Holston, Mark
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Date:May 1, 1992
Previous Article:Unveiling an indomitable culture.
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