Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Next Thursday begins the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival 2010... can't wait...

Each November, the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival provides us with 4 nights of excellent jazz, by world-famous artists. This year the jazz fest begins next Thursday, November 25th and runs through Sunday, November 28th.
The shows are free and open to the public. The event will be held at Mamita’s Beach Club, in Playa del Carmen.

For some great, free, fun under the stars, head over to Mamita’s Beach Club and enjoy the outdoor concerts. Each year, the jazz festival gets more popular, and more crowded. A sample of the cast for this year:

November, 25th.

Mike Stern

Mike Stern. In a career that spans three de-cades and a discography that includes more than a dozen eclectic and innovative re-cordings, six-time GRAMMY nominee Mike Stern has established himself as one of the premier jazz and jazz-fusion guitarists and composers of his generation.

Dave Weckl. Considered “one of the 25 best drummers of all time” by Modern Drummer’s Hall of Fame, Dave Weckl, an internationally renowned musician, began as a teenage pro-digy, escalating him into a celebrated 25 year career. Weckl’s cutting edge technique and innovative use of electric and acoustic drums caught the attention of Diana Ross, Robert Plant and Simon and Garfunkel for collabora-tive projects, leading him to launch a solo career and form the David Weckl Band, which released 5 albums and toured worldwide.

Ivan Lins. The smooth, romantic Brazilian beat that underlies much of contemporary jazz-pop in the United States has often originated with the music of Brazilian singer-songwriter Ivan Lins. A superstar in Brazil with a career stretching back to the classic era of bossa nova music, Lins gained fans in the United States and  Europe as he collaborated with urban contemporary greats George Benson and Quincy Jones in the 1980s and launched an independent American career.

November, 26th.

Troker. Very Mexican smelling Jazz, in the land of mariachi music, Troker presents itself as a band of progres-sive jazz, making always a crazy and original jazz-fusion on stage, there-fore to see them in concert is a unique experience.

Eldar Djangirov. Eldar came to the US from Kyrgyzstan in the former Soviet Union when he was nine. His first performance appearance in the US was at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. He has performed at venues ranging from the Holly-wood Bowl to Carnegie Hall and has played at the most notable jazz venues in the world including Blue Note (NY, Japan, Italy), the Vanguard, Dizzy's, Yoshi's, Jazz Alley, etc.

Al Di Meola. Member of Chick Corea's group, Return to Forever, 1974-76; launched solo career; began touring and recording with Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin, 1980; founded Al Di Meola Pro-ject, 1985; toured with Larry Coryell and Be-relli Lagrene as Super Guitar Trio, 1987; main-tained dual career as electric guitarist and acoustic guitarist, 1991; formed group World Sinfonia, featuring bandoneon player Dino Saluzzi, percussionist Arto Tuncboyaci, and guitarist Christopher Carrington, 1991.

Incognito. An acid jazz project with sur-prisingly deep roots in the 1970s jazz/funk/fusion world, Incognito was originally formed by Jean-Paul Maunick (aka Bluey) and Paul "Tubbs" Williams. Both were lead-ers of the late-'70s disco-funk group Light of the World, who scored several moderate British hits, including a cover of "I Shot the Sheriff."

November, 27th.

George Duke. He has worked as a musician, composer and producer with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Dorham, French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa, Cannonball Adderley, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, fusion power-drummer Billy Cobham, virtuoso bass player Stanley Clarke, singer Al Jarreau, Brazilian instru-mentalist Raoul de Souza, Deniece Wi-lliams, Smokey Robinson, saxophonist George Howard, Miles Jaye, vocalist Diane Reeves, The Pointer Sisters, 101 North, Najee, Jeffrey Osborne, Take 6, Howard Hewett, Chante Moore, Everette Harp, Rachelle Ferrell and, most recently, Gladys Knight, Keith Washington, Filipino star Gary Valenciano, Johnny Gill and Anita Baker. Predictably, the energetic, unstoppable George Duke keeps moving from strength to strength, bringing inven-tion, dimension and texture to music that is alive with person-ality and rich with artistry.

John McLaughlin. The "4th Dimension" is a group that is the culmination of many years of collaboration with
different musicians from different cultures and musical traditions both eastern and western. The music of this group successfully integrates these and other cultural influences, while keeping the spontaneous tradi-tions found in Jazz music.
The Manhattan Transfer

The Manhattan Transfer.  A four-piece band with Tim Hauser, Janis Siegel (alto), Cheryl Bentyne (soprano) and Alan Paul (tenor), who found each other in a series of happy accidents What now, after so many years of suc-cess? Only time will tell of course, but the four singers continue to be partners and certainly an inspiration to all who hear them. Whatever it is, it'll be done as only the Manhattan Transfer can do it!

November, 28th

Yekina Pavon. Celebrating a career of nearly 35 years, Yekina Pavón has been recognized by the media as one of the best voices in Mexico.

Eugenia Leon. With a career of more than 30 years, she has recorded 24 albums. Her capacity to work, her imagination and per-formance quality have given memorable concerts at the most important venues in Mexico. She is appreciated nationally and interna-tionally for the strength, versatility and quality of her voice, as well as the elabo-rate cultural offerings to her proposal. She is therefore identified as one of the most recognized and representative Mexican singers.
Armando Manzanero

Armando Manzanero. Manzanero was born in the city of Merida, capital of Yucatan, Mexico, the birthplace of many songwriters and troubadours. Long way from there to the living legend, the songwriter, record producer from Grammy Award winners, he is well con-sidered as one of the leading exponents of Latin music and modern bolero. Manzanero is the essence, the same com-poser and author at the piano, his voice, gently whispers the lyrics of his songs, so intimate that anyone who hears them can sometimes imagine that they were written specially for them. "The best languages for love are songs" said Armando Man-zanero. Not surprisingly, to date he has written over 400 songs, 50 of which have gained international fame. In addition, his songs translated or not, have been performed by voices like those of Eddie Gorme, Johnny Mathis, Paul Muriat, Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ellis Regina, Andrea Bochelli, Il Divo and Placido Domingo.

No doubt this year the festival will be something to remember.

Friday, November 19, 2010

This next weekend: "Taste of Playa 2010"

Taste of Playa is an annual culinary event in Playa del Carmen that celebrates the creativity and cultural in­fluences of chefs throughout the Riviera Maya. The event promotes the unique culinary perspectives of local chefs, highlights new event venues and coordinates the efforts of local businesses and municipal governments.
In 2009, Taste of Playa captured the attention of national and international media and showed the spirit of multicultural cooperation that defines the modern Riviera Maya.

International culinary festivals are held throughout the world, with each host city highlighting the chefs, restaurants and retail food outlets that dene the culture of the area. Playa del Carmen is renowned for its diversity, its international infl­uences, its culinary expertise and its Caribbean lifestyle. The restaurants and food industry have played a major part in the development and definition of the Riviera Maya. This event provides local businesses with an opportunity to showcase the expertise of their talented chefs.

Famous for its pristine beaches, clear blue waters, and Caribbean lifestyle, Playa del Carmen is a place for those in search of an extraordinary vacation destination. The friendly people, the vibrant indigenous culture, and the remarkable biodiversity all contribute to a unique travel experience that will stay with visitors long after their suntan fades. Once a quiet seaside fishing village, Playa del Carmen has doubled its population in the past decade, attracting new residents from around the globe. Europeans, South Americans, Americans and Canadians have discovered this little slice of paradise, and have set up permanent homes as well as a myriad of internationally infl­uenced businesses.

The event location, Parque Fundadores, commemorates the Founders of Playa del Carmen and is a significant historical location within the city. Originally a community gathering spot where residents obtained their water, food and basic living essentials, this seaside location was the market hub for the then small village. As the population grew and the city expanded, the park evolved into a center for entertainment and events, with local businesses and vendors setting up shop around this central point. 

The event is scheduled for November 21, 2010. Local businesses and sponsors are supporting the operations of this food focused event, leaving chefs free to concentrate on the execution of their creations. Government and media support will promote this festival to local residents and tourists alike, inviting everyone to sample creations that normally they may not have the means or opportunity to enjoy.

Admission to Taste of Playa is free to the public with all inclusive VIP Passports and “Taste of Playa Pesos” available for sale. The Taste of Playa Pesos are used to purchase the signature dishes offered. Samples will have a value of 1 or 2 Taste of Playa Pesos (10 to 20 pesos in value). Taste of Playa Pesos and VIP Passports may be purchased at the event, ordered in advance or purchased online.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mexico’s Inch In The Field Of Tourism And Travel

 According to a recent World Tourism Organization study, Mexico gets the thumbs up as having some of the worlds favorite tourism spots. By 2005 Mexico was ranked seventh amongst all the global tourist destinations.

Even now, Mexico is the sole South American nation that will rank within the top twenty-five destinations in the world. There is also observation that the lower and middle class citizens in the country travel locally (domestic tourism) much more than the high-class few who travel outside the country.

The destinations that the upper classes of the Mexican citizens prefer traveling to include the United States and other European destinations. A good number of these same tourists also travel to Asia tourism spots just for some adventure. This is the reason why Mexico is ranked the 23rd largest spender when it comes to tourism related issues.

In the tourism industry, Mexico is therefore a respected name. If you are planning to go to Mexico, you should think about visiting the breath taking beaches and visit the Meso American ruins that have existed from ancient times.

Mexico is gifted with an enjoyable temperate weather. The rich culture is also an icing of the cake. The culture credits its origins from the mainly Spanish and Meso-American culture. The times of the year when you may want to be in Mexico are during the summer and through winter.

The activities and fun things to do keep improving and spring break events are many, more so during the final week before Easter. Many college students from the USA choose Mexico for the spring break.
In all of 2006, there was reported over 20 million tourists who came from nations abroad. The World Tourism Organization is the one behind this study.

The bulk of the tourists who flock Mexico are normally American or Canadian. The lesser numbers are from those who travel from surrounding Latin American countries.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Carlos Coste - Guinness Record Apnea in a Cave

Posted By Francesca Koe on Thursday Nov 4, 2010 in Freediving

Quintana Roo, Mexico -- Venezuelan champion freediver Carlos Coste has achieved a new Guinness record "The Longest Apnea in a Cave." Carlos achieved his new record apnea in an underwater cave with a linear swim of 150 meters dynamic, that took 2 minutes and :32 seconds to complete in the Cenote Dos Ojos.

Dos Ojos is a flooded cave system located south of Playa Del Carmen and north of Tulum, on the Caribbean coast, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. 

The exploration of Dos Ojos began in 1986 and to the extent that it has been documented underwater, it is at least 61 km long. Dos Ojos contains the deepest known cave passage in Quintana Roo with 118 meters / 396 feet of depth located at The Cenote Pit.

Carlos Coste World record Freediver in a Cave in Mexico 2010 from Dan Burton Photography on Vimeo.
Carlos Coste is a multiple record-holding freediver and boasts a seven minute breath-hold. Coste had been planning this cave dive for over three years, "I have been doing competitive diving for 10 years and this is by far the most bizarre run I have ever made."

Coste has a history of "firsts" as he became the first person to decend to more than 100m on a free immersion dive back in October of 2003, and this Guinness Record heralds the first time a freediving record was attempted in underwater caves. "To achieve this is a dream come true for me. I have been interested in speleology [the study of caves] since I was a little boy and to combine this with my profession as a freediver was amazing" said Coste.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Amazing Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos - the state's oldest natural port - is one of the Riviera Maya's ecoturistic paradises. To some extent, it has been able to preserve it's peaceful fishing village atmosphere, in the midst of big tourist developments. Its hotel zone (made up of nine deluxe hotels), its small hotels , its quiant inns, villas and campsites, combine to make the perfect formula for tourists looking to get away from the hustle and bustle and for retired expats who prefer the serenity of this place located 32 kms. (just over 20 miles) north of Playa del Carmen.

Puerto Morelos is protected  by the most important barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, which makes it ideal for enjoying water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling and scuba diving practiced outside of the reef in the National Marine Park spots like "Cuevones", "La Bocana", "El Túnel", "Los Jardines", "El Puente" and "La Pared".

At its "Alfredo Barrera Marin" Botanical Garden, the largest of its kind  (65 ha. or 160 acres) in the country - visitors can get to know the ornamental, medicinal, cacti, ferns and aquatic plants of the region, and come into contact with nature.

The garden also boasts a "chicle" or gum camp and a small archaeological site. Here it isn't uncommon to come across animals from the region like families of coatimundi or spider monkeys.

Other suggested activities for Puerto Morelos are a visit to the crocodile zoo, horseback riding, a visit to the town's small museum or Collective Handicraft Center, an ATV tour along the cenote route, a polo game, mauntain biking or just enjoying a sweet treat next to the town's landmark, the leaning lighthouse. In the past few years , Puerto Morelos has become a favorite destination for yoga and meditation groups. The area restaurants serve excellent regional, national and international food.

On certain occasions, festivals are held in the town's main square with local music as well as some featuring foreign musical artists.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Riviera Maya November Activities

 If you need more information about these events, please feel free to write to liliana@casaplayafina.com

 Life and Death Traditions Festival  
November 1st. & 2nd. 
This year the festival the is a real treat…trick or treat that is! Artistic and cultural activities where the Dearly Departed, offerings, rituals and oral traditions, culinary treats, theater, music and visual arts, handcrafts, children`s workshops and much more. Xcaret Park / Playa del Carmen

Investment Forum Riviera Maya. 
7th, 8th. & 9th
Toward a new era in the Riviera  Maya  Investment: diversification, sustentability, balance, respect.

French Film Festival in Playa del Carmen.  
The best films of the year

Sprint Xel-Há Triathlon
2nd. Xel- Natural Wonder of Mexico with the support of the Mexican Triathlon Federation, in coordination with the Youth and Sports Institution of the Municipality of Tulum and Cozumel, invite all triathletes, cyclists, swimmers and other great athletes to join this event. 

Golf PARa Todos (Golf for everyone)
Aims to create a fun-filled, diverse and educational program that teaches about the game of golf and its ideals. Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival
25th, 26th, 27th, 28, 29 & 30
International Jazz/ Playa del Carmen

Taste of Playa 2010
This is a culinary event in Playa del  Carmen that promotes the unique culinary perspectives of local chefs.

Think Green Expo
27th. & 28th. 
Explore the services and products available in Mexico to start or continue living an eco friendly lifestyle. 

United Nation Climate Change Conference - COP16
November 29th. to 10th. Dec 
Riviera Maya welcomes the delegates of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, observers, international officials, media representatives and participants from organized civil society. Mexico will encourage a plural and inclusive conference allowing for the building of understandings among Parties in order to face the global challenge of climate change.