The Department of Culture, Tourism and Sport has presented a new edition of the International Jazz Festival of Madrid

JAZZMADRID will bring key exponents of this musical genre to the capital this autumn

Presentación del Festival Internacional de Jazz, Jazz Madrid 2023
Presentación del Festival Internacional de Jazz, Jazz Madrid 2023

From 8 October to 30 November, the International Jazz Festival of Madrid, JAZZMADRID, will turn the city into the European nerve centre of this musical genre, with an official programme of 70 concerts and an agenda of more than 200 events that will attract the most essential figures on the scene today. The festival's artistic director, Luis Martín, unveiled the programme for the new edition of this major autumn musical event in the capital at an event held today at the Teatro Fernán Gómez-Centro Cultural de la Villa.

Also present were Julio Martí, artistic director of Villanos del Jazz, and Roberto Rey, director of the Sala Villanos, the headquarters of Villanos del Jazz, which for the third consecutive year is part of the official programme of JAZZMADRID, a strategic alliance that has given the festival, organised by the Department of Culture, Tourism and Sport, the support it needs to become one of the most important in Spain and Europe, both in terms of both quality and quantity.

A perfect combination

The artistic director emphasised that this combination of public and private offerings, which is very much de rigueur at prestigious European festivals, has put JAZZMADRID “on the map of the best jazz festivals in Europe”. This year's programme is once again a perfect combination of big names, classical jazz, contemporary jazz, musicians working on the fringes of jazz in search of new formulas, and artists intent on adapting their ethnic rhythms to the jazz idiom.

“A festival of the city and for the city”, thanks to the diversity of its venues. The official programme will take place at various municipal venues: the Teatro Fernán Gómez-Centro Cultural de la Villa, CentroCentro, the Condeduque Centre for Contemporary Culture and  Cineteca Madrid, as well as at the Teatro Pavón, Sala Villanos (where 54 concerts will be held), La Riviera and the Teatros del Canal. Some of the concerts in this section enjoy the collaboration of AIE En Ruta Jazz, the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Zaragoza Jazz Festival.

Other collaborations that complete this important jazz jamboree will take place at the Spanish National Library, the Círculo de Bellas Artes, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Hotel AC Recoletos. And nor should we forget the three other festivals that will be running in parallel to JAZZMADRID, the Ciudad Lineal Jazz Festival, Jazz in the Districts (an initiative of 21distritos) and Jazz con Sabor a Club (Club-flavoured Jazz - an initiative of Madrid en Vivo). , To see the full programmes for all three festivals please visit In addition, the official media of the festival will once again be Radio Clásica, from Radio Televisión Española.

Some of the big names on the bill for audiences to enjoy include Ron Carter (one of the festival's greatest artists, on his farewell tour), Mike Stern, Billy Cobham, Patricia Barber, Ralph Towner, Bebel Gilberto, Charles Lloyd and Tigran Hamasyan. Emerging voices include Samara Joy and Madison McFerrin as well as established names such as Stacy Kent and Cécile McLorin. You can discover young musicians on the fringes of jazz such as Alpha Mist and Kaki King or the exotic rhythms of Rabih Abou Khalil, Azymuth (making his first Spanish appearance), Fatoumata Diawara, Mayra Andrade and Mulatu Astatke. And, of course, we couldn't leave out some of the established names and new talents on the Spanish scene, such as Pepe Rivero and Ángela Cervantes, saxophonists Juan Saiz and Irene Reig, pianist Moisés P. Sánchez, drummer Eva Catalá and trumpeter and singer Andrea Motis, who will be presenting her new album exclusively in Madrid, together with the members of the Camerata del Conservatori del Liceu.

8 October, the first concert

Villanos del Jazz will open this year's edition on 8 October with Immanuel Wilkins at the Sala Villanos. The Villanos del Jazz line-up includes such attractive names as Bebel Gilberto, Corinne Bailey Rae, The Cookers, Alfredo Rodríguez, Birélli Lagrène, Tigran Hamasyan, Ibrahim Maalouf, Azymuth, Dhafer Youssef, Antonio Lizana, Jose James, Billy Cobham, Mark Guiliana, Harold López-Nussa and Benny Sings. 

In addition and in collaboration with Villanos, there will be concerts at the Teatro Fernán Gómez  Centro Cultural de la Villa, such as those by Alfa Mist, Stacy Kent, Ron Carter, Mulatu Astatke, Avishai Cohen, Mayra Andrade, Céline McLorin and Andrea Motis.

The programmes of the Teatro Fernán Gómez-Centro Cultural de la Villa, the Centro Cultural Condeduque and CentroCentro reserve surprises of an “undeniably borderline or, if you prefer, adventurous nature”, with some of the artists already mentioned joining the likes of James Brandon Lewis, Mike Stern, Baptiste Trotignont, Nils Petter Molvaer and Donny McCaslin. Luis Martín explained at the presentation that “the last two artists are responsible for an entire sonic philosophy and their return to our stages has been demanded by a large part of the audience since they appeared in this festival five years ago”.

The shared home of the blues

As the artistic director pointed out, “another of the surprises on the line-up is the fact that the blues are still very much part of the festival programme. This musical style, which always attracts an enthusiastic and loyal audience, boasts an exceptional protagonist this time in the figure of Elliott Sharp”. As Luis Martín explained, “Sharp's origins are his endorsement: the New York experimental scene that has John Zorn at the helm”. His concerts are more or less akin to witnessing the birthing of art at the very moment the author is himself discovering it”.

He also emphasised the presence of British guitarist Kaki King, “whose engaging and completely unorthodox style has already attracted a host of fans who follow her adventures avidly. And although her style is radically different, the same goes for Cape Verdean singer Mayra Andrade who is also on the bill. She is considered by many to be the successor of Cesária Évora.

Jazz divas and emerging artists

The director also pointed out that women account for “just over a third” of the festival's line-up: Cyrille Aimée, the aforementioned Bebel Gilberto and Corinne Bailey Rae, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Andrea Motis, Patricia Barber and Ángela Cervantes, among many others, all of them artists with a sufficiently consolidated musical standing. In addition, in this selection and, as is the case with the men, “another factor has been taken into account, apart from quality, of course, and that is the youth of the participants”.

Once again, large ensembles will be taking part, such as the Arturo Soria Big Band and the Creativa Grand Ensemble, both of which are made up of musicians drawn from the respective classrooms of the Arturo Soria Conservatory and the School of Creative Music. “At JAZZMADRID, these performers, along with others such as the Soler Jazz Band from the Father Antonio Soler Integrated Music Centre, in San Lorenzo de El Escorial; the winning project of the Conde Duque Jazz Residency, with drummer  Eva Catalá very much to the fore, and the two artists presented by the AIE, Irene Reig and Juan Sáiz, will find somewhere they can demonstrate that their technique is not the only measure of their talent”, Martín stated.

Eclecticism and World Jazz

Another of the characteristics that embellish the JAZZMADRID programme line-up is undoubtedly its eclecticism. This is evident in the concerts that will feature the British producer and composer Alfa Mist, the aforementioned singers Mayra Andrade and Samara Joy (who has just won a Grammy, by the way), the Rembrandt Trio from the Netherlands, and the guitarist and pianist Ralph Towner, “proponent of a sonic philosophy that, on the fiftieth anniversary of its creation, continues to inspire and nourish the work of Oregon, probably the most influential formation that chamber jazz has ever seen”.

But there is still room in the programme for a number of creators who , belong to that model of jazz that lends sonic freedom to popular music from every corner of the planet, allowing them to express their most recent concerns. A unique opportunity to discover the quality of the Arabic evocations that adorn the music of the band led by the Lebanese lute player Rabih Abou Khalil, the African ones of the Ethiopian multi-instrumentalist Mulatu Astatke, or the Caribbean ones of the Cuban pianist Pepe Rivero, who will be performing as part of a duo with the singer Ángela Cervantes.

Classicism: evergreens of modern jazz

However, if you want to savour the sounds and flavours of classical jazz, then there’s no doubt about it: what you need to do is attend a concert by, for example, double bassist Ron Carter, pianist and vocalist Patricia Barber, the Municipal Symphonic Band of Madrid, or the members of the group that has decided to pay tribute this year to the late great pianist Tete Montoliú. Taken together, these performances are a perfect illustration of the intention behind this festival from day one: essentially, that classical jazz, past and present, should no longer just pass through festivals without leaving any trace other than that of an exotic memory.

The glamour of the closing night

Finally, and as a declaration of principle, the official part of the festival will draw to a close at Fernán Gómez with a grand concert featuring trumpeter and singer Andrea Motis, who has been given carte blanche to assemble the orchestra she considers most appropriate for a performance in which she will present her latest recordings. A wonderful way to bring the festival to an end with an artist who is currently enjoying great and sustained international acclaim.

Tickets on sale

Tickets for the concerts included in the official JAZZMADRID23 programme can be purchased on the website  Tickets for Villanos del Jazz are also on sale at y