The best music in the Mexican Caribbean at Riviera Maya Jazz Festival 2016


Playa Del Carmen has it all to welcome one of the jazz festivals that is gradually gaining a foothold as one of the country’s best. A cosmopolitan and touristic city that has become a focal point for art as it allow you to move easily to any location in the Riviera Maya. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy excellent music in an outdoor setting, with Playa Mamitas acting as the HQ for the festival.

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival is now in its 5th year and getting stronger each year with its excellent programme presenting top quality artists from all over the world. Also known as the RMJF, it’s held on an open stage, and although in other editions it was held at the end of November, this year the festival takes place during the first three days in December. Some of the artists who have played in the past include Chick Corea, Frank Gambale, Natalia Lafourcade, John McLaughlin, Virgil Donati and a long, etc. One of the festival’s main characteristics is that it offers an extensive range of musical rhythms linked to jazz, making it quite eclectic and perfect for all audiences, ranging from those searching for a particular sound to others who wish to hear more variety.

Here’s the line-up for the three days of the event:

For the first day, December 1st, one of the highlights has to be Steve Gadd and his band. Steve has been the drummer for Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Chick Corea, Al Di Meola, Paul Simon and many others and is considered one of the top 10 drummers in the world. We can also hear Kevin Hays, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Landau and Walt Fawler on the opening day.

On December 2nd, we’ll be treated to a blend of funk, jazz, hip hop and rock from the Fiusha Funk Band. We’ll also have Antonio Sánchez, the Mexican drummer and five times Grammy Award winner, including the best soundtrack for the movie Birdman. He’s a world-class musician and composer who has completed more than 30 tours around the world to date, making him one of the musicians we must check out at this year’s edition of the Jazz Festival. At the end of the day, the rock band Blood Sweat and Tears will perform on stage.

To bring things to a close on December 3rd, we also have another “must”, the Grammy Award winner, saxophonist Bill Evans, who made his debut with Miles Davis at the age of 21. His style is described as jazz fusion, which moves from a smooth sound to a more funk style. The Mexican band Aguamala and the Swedish group Dirty Loops will also play on the last day of the festival.

So, whether you’re travelling alone or in company, make the most of your stay in the Mexican Caribbean by feasting your ears on some great music. You’ll be delighted that you visited the festival and want to return next year.

And if you’re worried about where to stay, relax, BlueBay Grand Esmeralda, and Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel and two of the best options located just 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen. Get ready to enjoy great music in an idyllic setting.


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