Jazz Festival in Panama

By Juliette Darmon

For the 14th edition, the Jazz Festival takes place in Panama City, from the 10th to the 14th of January 2017.

This celebration is a cultural project where the creativity, exchange, talent and inspiration made of this event a real international reference which welcomes more than 20 thousand people each year.

For 2017, the festival is proud to dedicate the event to the famous singer Violeta Green, for its contribution. Thanks to the help of the government, private companies, non-governmental organizations and a large public, the capital of Panama becomes the backdrop of world jazz for 4 days.

It is the most important event of the year that the Danilo Pérez Foundation undertakes.

So book your tickets online NOW, join this event and enjoy the 25 artists of this festival!

Few words about the Panama Jazz Festival’ story:

Everything began in 1965 when Danilo Pérez Urriola (father) decided to use the music for young people in troubles, in the province of Colón. He wrote a thesis about how the music can help these young to practice their creativity and becoming good citizens.

Afterwards, his son, the famous jazz pianist Danilo Pérez Samudio, decided to create some free music classes for young people and, after some studies in the United States, he became a prominent Jazz figure and established the famous music program Jamboree Juventud de Panamá in 1980.

After various helps in some Jazz programs and many concerts and master classes in Panama and all over the world, he decided to start the International Jazz Festival in 2003. He also finally founded the Danilo Perez Foundation in 2004, in order to organize educational events and doing of these programs, a sustainable project that can reach all the country.

He wants to make of this event, a real international jazz festival of the highest category. The first year, the Festival welcomed over 8 thousand people and more than 200 music students.

On the 11th edition, the Festival attracted more than 25 thousand people and over 2 thousand students from all over the world.

Since its beginning, they have counted more than 220 000 persons worldwide.

The Panama Jazz Festival is made of music lessons during the week from 9am to 4pm, followed by various concerts in different parts of Panama City.

From 4 to 6pm: Afternoon family concerts

From 7 to 11pm: Concerts in the Ateneo Theater

From 9pm to 2am: Jam sessions at Danilo’s Jazz Club

The music lessons are made up of instruments, composition, folklore, classical music, improvisation, musical therapy, and many other topics directly linked to music.

The professors who teach the lessons are the best students and teachers of the music schools, in partnership with the festival.

Furthermore, since the 11th edition, the total amount announced in grants during the Panama Jazz Festival, exceeds 3,5 billions of dollars.

Take part of this unique moment that is this Panamanian Festival.

Simple amateur or a big fan of Jazz, you will spend such a good time listening the 25 artists, dancing with your friends, meeting people and sharing your passion for music.

More than just a Festival, go to learn more about its story, enjoying the knowledge of its teachers and so more…

You won’t be disappointed, that’s for sure!

When the artists take the city: Panama’s visual arts awakening

This month of May Panama City is experiencing the first Bienal del Sur, an international art project that aims to stimulate cultural development and promote new trends in the visual arts. Under the slogan “Summoning Worlds” artists from over 160 different countries have taken over the city, transformed public spaces with installations and colors, and invited locals and visitors alike to come and see things a bit differently.

Five hundred years ago, Vasco Núñez de Balboa spied the South Sea and made a discovery for humanity. Likewise, today the founders of this project hope that through the medium of visual art they can create new insights to the world and new spaces to hold encounters for constructive creativity and culture.

The Bienal del Sur is just one of many creative projects happening here these days: The city where the oceans meet is becoming a meeting point for young artists and creative projects, reflecting on the cosmopolitan spirit and intercultural nature of Panama

We at EcoCiruitos have followed this development with much excitement, and are happy to share the creative side of our city with our visitors: Through the new “Panama City and Art tour”. During this tour you will explore the City of Panama, its museum of Contemporary Art, discover examples of art in public spaces and visit a Panamanian Gallery/Art school.

Here you can discover the works of such renowned artists as Achu, who combines his Kuna heritage with contemporary styles.

As he himself explains:

“As a human being of the 21st century with deep roots in Kuna ancestral culture, I integrate symbols from many different communities and realities into my work. My process is one of fusion: I fuse the sacred symbols found in Kuna pictographs, traditional rites and ceremonies with those found in other indigenous
cultures and also in urban culture, recodifying them to create my own visual language… to communicate the chaos and environmental and visual contamination
we face today.”

Your tour will finish with the possibility to express your impressions of Panama City in the way of the artists as you are invited to take a painting class with the experienced instructors and artists of the Huellas Gallery and Painting School.


Articel by Meret Schueschke

Bits & Pieces: The Polleras Of Panama

by:  Louie Celerier

The traditional dress for women in Panama is the “Pollera”. This is a richly decorated dress with needlework in many designs, styles and colors. The woman wearing the pollera is further ornamented with gold and pearl jewelry. Naturally this is not every day wear but one used for special occasions. As with other national dresses in Latin America, the pollera has its origin in Spain of the 16th and 17th centuries. However, as in other parts of Latin America, in Panama it evolved into what it is today. A study as to where in Spain it originated has failed to reveal any particular location in the old country. The important fact is that its uniqueness developed in Panama and compares to no other national dress in the Americas. How did the pollera come to be the dress it is today?

a girl with Pollera in Pedasi, Azuero Peninsula, Panama

The provinces of Los Santos and Herrera jealously guard the pollera tradition, but this has not prevented the model to be adopted by all regions of the Republic. Yet, anyone who wants an “original pollera” will not wear one which is not made by the seamstresses of the two central provinces. One can appreciate the pride of a woman dressed in a pollera made in one of the two provinces and her knowledge that the outfit follows all aspects of tradition and workmanship. While no one can say for sure when the Pollera became the traditional dress of Panama, there is evidence that as early as 1846 the term was already being used. Armand Recluse, a French Naval Officer exploring the isthmus, and Darien in particular, in 1876 through 1878, mentions the “poyera” as being the dress the women of color were wearing during the Independence Day (from Spain) in 1876. He described it in the following manner, “The colored ladies wear the poyera, a skirt gathered tightly at the waist and flaring greatly at the bottom.” Later, reviewing his experiences in the Darien, he added, “the women wear the old dress of the criollas, that is, a white petticoat made of lightweight cotton, adorned with one or more ruffles on which are stamped brightly colored floral designs. Over the short sleeved blouse are three ruffles similar in appearance but so low that the upper chest and back are left practically nude.” The hair style worn with the pollera is very important. Three variations are customarily seen: one using a typical hat; one using combs; and one using tembleques, combs and other jewelry. In all three cases, the hair is parted down the middle, combed to each side and braided. Left: Pollera. Right: Montuna As to the pollera itself, there are two types: The “Pollera Montuna” has a white cotton blouse with or without needlework and a long skirt made of flowered percale chintz. The woman wearing this outfit will usually wear a “montuno” hat from Ocu or La Pintada. The “Pollera de Gala”, is the fancy one with very full skirt, beautiful handmade embroidery and Left: Pollera. Right: Montuno and Montuna colorful designs on a white background. The head adornments vary according to the wealth of the person and include fancy combs with gold and pearls and gold tembleques along with gold bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Left: Pollera. Left: Montunos and Montunas dancing. To fully appreciate the beauty of the Panamanian typical dress it is necessary to see carnival in Las Tablas when the streets of that city are full with attractive women dressed in their “Polleras” and “Montunas”. Sources: La Pollera de Panama, by Dora P. De Zarate, 1973; Explorations Of The Isthmus Of Panama And Darien In 1876, 1877 And 1878, by Armand Reclus, Officer of the French Navy.

Panama City will host 2012 Ironman Triathlon

Panama City will host an Ironman Triathlon on February 12, 2012.  Organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC).  These grueling competitions are famous for their television coverage.  This first-ever event for Panama will be a 70.3 mile half triathlon.  Racers and spectators will see a lot of what Panama City is about through the event.

Athletes will swim 1.2 miles (1.9 km) in the Pacific Ocean at the entrance to the Panama Canal then bike 56 miles (90 km), crossing the Bridge of the Americas en route to the Inter American Highway.  The 13.1 mile (21km) double-loop running course will take athletes along the Amador Causeay.  “We are thrilled to launch the Latin American Pro Championship race with Ironman 70.3 Panama@, said Steve Meckfessel, chief operations officer for WTC.  “Panama provides breathtaking natural and historic beauty, high profile race routes and easy accessibility from the U.S. and major international markets.  Ironman 70.3 Panama will complement our existing events in the region, including 70.3 races in Miami, San Juan, Cancun and St. Croix.”

From the The Visitor, 2011

Biomuseo celebrates Biodiversity day in Panama

The Biomuseo design by Frank Gehry  is currently under construction on the Amador Causeway, but it is already celebrating international Biodiversity day with an outdoor fair called “El Suelo Está Vivo” (The Soil is Alive) on Sunday, May 22 from 10.00AM to 4.00PM


Old Officers Club, Amador Causeway, Panama City, Panama.

For children from 2 to 99 years old will have many fun activities with which you will learn how you can support the natural cycles of nutrient recycling:

The secret life of ants
Take advantage of the recent rioting that scientists have discovered the Smithsonian about these extraordinary insects.

The worms that make soil
The Boys in the Chinese-Panamanian School will show us the work they do with composting worms.

Painted with colors of nature
… Literally. We use flowers, leaves and seeds instead of crayons.

Tales of bugs
With the storytellers of the Panamanian Red storytellers in our beloved Corotú.

Organic market
Where you all kinds of organic products: soaps, herbs, ointments, vegetables, ginger candy, chocolate, pastries, eggs and fertilizer from regions as Zapayal (Darien), Cuculo (Los Santos), the waggish (Veraguas). Darien will also have crafts Tuira region and Jaque.

What is all this fuss of organic?
If you do not know what all the fuss with the organic, do not miss our talks about where you explain how it relates to our biodiversity.

Have we broken the cornucopia? What is wrong with the way we produce food. – José Manuel Pérez (UNDP).
Time: 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

Organic, sustainable and local. – Eylon Israel (Coriander Red).
Time: 1:00 pm

The Museum
Finally, take the opportunity to visit Biomuseo construction, a unique opportunity to work in this class, and participate in our presentations to find out what you’ll find inside.  Even Brad Pitt and Al Gore are some personalities that already visited, what you are waiting for?

Biomuseo is the first building design by Frank Gehry in Latin America.

For more information:  http://www.biomuseopanama.org/

Panama Jazz Festival – 2011

Panama Jazz FestivalPanama’s annual cornerstone cultural event, the 8th Panama Jazz Festival will be held January 10-15, 2011. With upwards of 100,000 people in attendance since the festivals 2003 inception, this year’s edition is dedicated to Panamanian pianist, Victor Nicolás “Vitín” Paz, one of the great trumpeters in the history of Latin music and one of the most remarkable musicians in the history of Panamanian popular music. Some of the artist that will be participating in this version of the festival are Claudia Acuña, Bryan Lynch, Ricardo del Fla, Harlem String Quartet, Isabel Julve, Osvaldo Jorge, Jose Antonio Sanchez and the organizer and panamanian Pianist, composer, educator and social activist, Danilo Pérez who is one of the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time.

For information and reservations, please contact us at info@ecocircuitos.com

The Belly bottom of the Americas

Panama is a true biological bridge between North America and South America. The country has a concentration of animals and plants species among the richest in the world and is one of the countries in Central America with more biodiversity.

Barro Colorado
Barro Colorado Island, Panama

This time, we will focus on one of its jewels of this country: the Barro Colorado Island. This extraordinary biodiversity will delight the nature lovers. The Barro Colorado Island (BCNM) is the highest Island in the waters of Gatun Lake. It is located in the Isthmus of Panama and is one of the first protected areas of America. Barro Colorado Island’s unique location and history have made it what may be the most intensively studied piece of tropical forest in the world.
Before the filing of Artificial Gatun Lake, Barro Colorado Island was a hill, full of trees and animals. The needs of the Panama canal, converted the Barro Colorado in a shelter island to the animals in this flooded valley. Very quickly, biologists realized the scientific importance of this tropical sanctuary.

Founded in 1923, the Barro Colorado island has been recognized as a nature reserve in 1979. This preserved ecosystem attracts scientist who study the evolution of the fauna and the flora of the neotropics. On the island live thousands of insects of all kinds, but also 120 species of mammals, half of which are bats. This marvel of biodiversity host more species than all Europe, there are more of 1.200 different plants.
EcoCircuitos propose a Historical and natural Tour, which offers the opportunity to admire a great variety of this wild forest.
The adventure begins at 6:30 AM at your hotel in Panama City, with a car ride through the tropical rainforest towards the small town of Gamboa where a boat is waiting for us in the STRI dock. From there you go on a 45 min – 1 hour boat ride to the Barro Colorado Natural Monument (BCNM), administered by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. You will discover the splendor of the tropical rainforest in Barro Colorado, the largest forested island in the Panama Canal waterway. You will learn about research in progress and the rich natural history of the BCNM.
You will go on a 2-3 hour walk along the trail on Barro Colorado Island. The walk ends at the Visitor Center, where you will find an exhibition regarding BCNM. After the Visitors Center you will head to the cafeteria to have lunch in a student atmosphere. Next time in Panama don´t miss this great adventure tour. For more information, contact us at sales@ecocircuitos.com or call us at + 507 3140068

Workshops in Europe

Based in Panama City, EcoCircuitos Panama was found in 1999 as a sustainable oriented tour operator that specializes in personal travel planning for small groups, individuals, families and couples throughout the Republic of Panama. Offering custom-made travel packages we are recognized as a pioneer in Panama in the green tourism industry for the high quality of our services and our commitment with the environment, conservation and locals communities of Panama.

Recently we conduct a series of seminars and workshops for travel agents. We have more than 200 participants and most important, we are sure that this private effort will bring more clients to Panama and our partners!

We are committed to fulfill the expectations of our clients and we guarantee an unforgettable experience in Panama!

Ecocircuitos Panama… Get Intimate with Nature…

Panama Jazz Festival (Jan 11 – 16th, 2010)

Visit Panama in January (11 – 16th) during a one-week of pure jazz music, with musical auditions, artistic workshops, and some live free performances in the Old Quarter and National Theater at the rhythm of piano and saxophone with Danilo Peréz as the creator and organizer of this festival. American jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter’s acclaimed quartet with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade, and the legendary Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes are among the headliners at past Panama Jazz Festival. The Boston-based Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez, who founded the festival in 2003 and whose Foundation coordinates its educational component, anticipates more than 16,000 attendees. Main Concert in Plaza Catedral is free. Schedule and performers artist will be available in October. For more information about this event and packages and tours during this week, please contact us at sales@ecocircuitos.com