Patricia Zárate | Executive Director Panamá Jazz Festival
This episode is about music and about people that want to change the world.
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 Rivera, 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 Danny had in Panama, a young teen 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 andasking to have the kid be taken out, 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 with Dad 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, educator, wife, mother and her role as executive director.
Music is all about timing and this week’s synchronicity is nothing short of poeticand music is its crux. This podcast plays three days after I worked 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 the musical 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 the back-to-back force of music reverberating inside me this morning leaves me with a concrete takeaway, I too believe that music can change the world.