Galicia Stage at the Rochester International Jazz Fest
A proposal to bring Galician musicians to the Rochester International Jazz Fest 2024
We would like to propose a Galicia Stage for the 2024 Rochester International Jazz Fest. Nine carefully curated, fascinating, exciting, powerful, moving acts, each to perform two shows, a different act each night of the festival, plus two outstanding standby acts in case of emergency cancellations.
To enrich the experience for Jazz Fest attendees and help give a more well-rounded understanding of this fascinating culture, we propose to include a photography exhibit with images of Galicia, a multimedia presentation of song lyric translations as they are performed by each artist, and 5 members of Santiago de Compostela’s beloved Tuna de Derecho, a roving band of musicians dressed in traditional clothing and playing traditional instruments, singing songs of Spain and Galicia and spreading joy and good humor wherever they go.
The proposal includes 35 musicians, two standby acts in case of emergency cancellations, three support people, and one dedicated translator.
Cost to the RIJF is $25,000 and accommodations. This represents approximately 1/3 of the cost, the rest of which will be subsidized by entities within Spain.
Galicia is rich with innovative musical artists who are interpreting contemporary music through the very unique Galician lens. Jazz, folk, and fusion acts often incorporate traditional instruments that carry the spirit of their ancestors. Melodies are incorporated that were written a thousand years ago, to the rhythm of the water-driven mills that ground the corn and chestnuts to flour. Vocal timbres and patterns are reminiscent of voices raised around ritualistic fires in days when nature was the only religion. Themes of the sea, forest, land, longing, joy and strength are woven through lyrics and musical phrases.
Galicia, an autonomous region in Northwestern Spain, is little-known globally although its culture is rich and rewarding. Through the lens of Galician literature, music, and history, we can see a record of a long, complex culture and how it has been safeguarded and passed on by generations determined to conserve it. The potent beauty of the land and seas, and the interaction of the native people with their home through the ages is woven through the music, the poetry, the prose, and literally carved into the bedrock through ancient petroglyphs. This concept of a very old, rich, and established culture and the way that the past is visible alongside the present is potent and informative, and it is also novel to the United States and Canada, whose dominant cultures are extremely young in comparison.
As the world began to become more multicultural through international travel and the magic of television and movies, Spain was just entering a lengthy dictatorship that saw it, and particularly Galicia, largely cut off from the rest of the world. This only served to distill that unique culture into an even more potent brew.
Our coordinator in Rochester: Octavio Vazquez
The music of Octavio Vazquez has been performed throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the National Auditorium of Spain, Cologne’s Philharmonie, and the Big Hall of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He has also written for film and collaborated with world-music artists as an arranger, orchestrator and producer, including with fellow Galician and Grammy Award winner Cristina Pato.
He currently holds the position of Director of the Music Composition Undergraduate Program at Rochester's Nazareth University.
Our coordinators in Spain: Sarah Long Hendershot and Jones Hendershot
Sarah Long Hendershot is a lifelong musician who has appeared with artists such as Randy Travis, Bill Monroe, Trisha Yearwood, George Jones and others. She has made appearances on The Nashville Network, Good Morning America, and Galician National TV. She is also a writer and a storyteller on the RISK! podcast, where her true stories have had millions of listens. She is “Jane” of the Jane in Spain YouTube channel.
Jones Hendershot is an internationally known fine arts photographer who has been featured in myriad books and fine art photography journals. When he's not pointing a camera, he's behind a sound board, recording or mixing sound, live or in the studio. Jones is the other half of the Jane in Spain YouTube channel.
Sarah and Jones have a deep love for Rochester, where they were active members of the music community for many years, and also for Galicia, where they currently live and are developing a retreat center for cross-cultural artistic exchange.
Sarah Long Hendershot
+34 619 70 75 52