The Cultural Exchange Pavilion spotlights Puerto Rico in 2023

Following the cancellation of its 2020 event, Jazz Fest renews its commitment to celebrate Puerto Rico in 2023 through colorful artist demonstrations, live music and dance showcases, parades, cultural displays, photo exhibits and authentic cuisine. Inspired by Alynda Segarra’s 2017 song “Pa’lante” – a fierce ode to her people’s resilience in the wake of hurricane Maria –- Jazz Fest’s celebration of Puerto Rico Pa’lante Puerto Rico! or Onward Puerto Rico! highlights the vibrant music and culture of the island, which remains strong despite the devastating effects of hurricanes, earthquakes, and the pandemic over the past few years. 

Puerto Rican bomba, plena, salsa and reggaeton rhythms will echo across the Festival grounds with daily parades and live performances on various stages, and inside the Cultural Exchange Pavilion.  Reggaeton artist Farruko headlines the musical line-up with 12 bands ranging from Mayaguez’ traditional bomba ensemble La Raȉz to Loiza’s urban bomba sounds of Tribu de Abrante, and from the traditional jibaro repertoire of Conjunto Típico Samaritano to local techno drum band ÌFÉ. Strolling through the Fair Grounds over both weekends, colorful Vejigantes – Puerto Rico’s iconic masked folk characters – will lead daily parades with  La Casa de La Plena Tito Matos. Another highlight of the presentation includes Hurray for the Riff Raff’s leader Alynda Segarra drawing from her Puerto Rican roots for a special show at the Cultural Exchange Pavilion. 

New this year, the Cultural Exchange Village comes to life outside the performance tent with artist demonstrations, daily parades and samplings of Puerto Rican dishes presented by FOWLMOUTH in collaboration with Carmo Restaurant. Vejigante mask maker Raul Ayala, bomba dress designer Milteri Concepción, and güiro maker Edwin Curbelo will be among a dozen artists and master craftsmen demonstrating their creative process in the Cultural Exchange Village.

While spotlighting Puerto Rico, the Cultural Exchange Pavilion Stage continues to present its signature blend of local and international performers from around the world, with special appearances by Bassekou Kouyate of Mali, Mdou Moctar of Niger, and by Colombian artists Ceferina Banquez and Rey Vellanato & Beto Jamaica.