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Jose Luis QuintanaPopular Cuban percussionist Jose Luis Quintana (aka Changuito) was honored in Panama City during the gala of the First Central American Percussion Festival, the first festival of is kind in Central America, on August 11, 2012, held under the auspices of the Danilo Perez Foundation.

A member of the Grammy winner Los Van Van band and credited as the creator of the Songo rhythm, Changuito received the Percuaction Lifetime Achievement Award, the first of its kind by the institution.

Renowned Colombian percussionist Tupac Mantilla, director of the Tekeye experimental group, presented Changuito with the trophy "in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the world of percussion and world music in general, and his tireless work as a teacher and player."

Danilo Perez, creator of Panama Jazz Productions and of the annual festivals of this music genre, had words of praise for the Cuban maestro, who expressed his appreciation for his participation in the Festival and in the lectures given at clinics and music workshops.


Panama Jazz Production, the company that organizes the Panama Jazz Festival, hosted the first Central American Festival of Percussion (FEPECE), held on August 11, 2012, in Panama City. The festival was an academic, cultural and artistic event, with musical clinics at the Danilo Perez Foundation, musical performances at the City of Knowledge Ateneo, and groups representing Panama, Colombia, United States, Spain and Chile.

The festival is made possible by Panama Jazz Production, in collaboration with Percuactionand the Berklee Global Jazz Institute of the Berklee College of Music. With the participation of renowned Colombian group TEKEYE, led by Professor Tupac Mantilla, founder of the Global Percussion Network: Percuaction.

"The mission of our festivals is to provide first class artistic and educational events. Our goal is to create positive change in our society through concrete and sustainable actions such as training in the area of production and education, and access to cultural events of the highest quality for people of all ages and social conditions," said Patricia Zárate, Executive Director of Panama Jazz Production.

Among the highlights of the festival there is the presentation of the Danilo Perez Foundation Percussion Group led by Oscar Cruz and Chale Icaza, two prominent Panamanians percussionists that have been supporting the work of the Foundation during the year and represent an important sector of the country's popular music. On the other hand, representing the traditional music, we have the percussion master Ricaurte Villareal and his Panamanian Drums group.  Also, Chilean Ella Ponce’s group, and the Berklee Global Jazz Institute of Boston, with special guest Spanish percussionist Sergio Martinez.


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