Music Review: 2014 Zihuatanejo Guitar Fest – A Wonderful Event!

By: Ekaterina Kulganek.

The Zihuatanejo Guitar Festival was held again last month, March 2-9, and celebrated its eleventh year hosting music concerts on the bay. The week was full with seven concerts on the beachfront of La Madera Beach, plus six gala dinners, a special musical presentation, a children’s concert, and a “jam” to close the event. Awesome!

Year after year, the Zihuatanejo Guitar Fest has grown and become more known to tourists and visitors from around the world. The festival requires a lot of preparation on the part of its organizers. This year, there was a volunteer committee of seven, formed by local musician, José Luis Cobo; Miguel Angel Barrera; Jose Luis Noriega; Edilma Coronado Fernandez; Federico Velderrain; Catherine Kratz; and Heidi Nygard. Volunteers help to run the event.

The Zihuatanejo Guitar Fest is classified as a Mexican non-profit organization and is dedicated to creating international cultural events to attract world-class artists to our beautiful Zihuatanejo, Guerrero.

“Our festival is distinctive among other festivals in the country,” said Heidi Nygard. “It is not dedicated exclusively to classical guitar music. Instead, we accept and even look for different genres, and creative and exotic ways to show all possibilities of playing the instrument.”

GuitarfestSingh Katyu

The Zihuatanejo Guitar Fest features different genres and creative ways of playing the instrument. Shown is Chakrapani Singh from India. Photo by: Ekaterina Kulganek

The Zihuatanejo Guitar Fest began in 2004 with eleven artists, but the number of participants has been growing year after year. This year, seventeen players were selected to perform in the festival out of three hundred applications. The musicians, who themselves are volunteers in a way; receive no payment for their performances in the festival. Each participant receives a roundtrip airline ticket, lodging, and free food throughout the week of the event. Many local businesses donate their services. This huge community support makes The International Guitar Festival in Zihuatanejo a reality.

This year, gala dinners with concerts were held each night, followed by a concert on the shores of La Madera Beach in Zihuatanejo. Over 1,000 people attended the evening beach concerts.

Guitarfest 2014 Katyu

The festival included nightly concerts on the shoreline of La Madera Beach in Zihuatanejo. Over 1,000 people attended the concerts. Photo by: Ekaterina Kulganek

The artists this year were:

Adrian Raso (Gypsy and Mediterranean) – Canada

Chakrapani Singh (Classical Indian) – India

Gliese 229 (World Folk) – México

Goh y Kai Kurosawa (World Fusion, Jazz) – Japan

Jimmy Robinson (Acoustical Instrumental) – United States

Josue Taraconte (Flamingo, Popular Muisic, and Instrumental) – Cuba

Mad Flux (Jazz) – Brazil, United States

Maneli Jamal (fingerstyle instrumental) – Canada

Morgan Szimanksi (Classical) – México

Nick Vigarino (Slop Jar Delta Funk) – United States

Paul Pigat (Jazz, Blues) – Canada

Venas Latinas (Latin Fusion) – México

Proceeds from the festival will be used to cover the cost of air tickets for the participating musicians and to support cultural activities in the city.

Hopefully, in the future, even more people will visit the Zihuatanejo Guitar Fest and discover for themselves the full range of global music that we have to offer. We’ll see you next year, during the first week of March on the Zihuatanejo Bay.

Translation by: Patricia Ann Talley

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