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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

A very convenient coincidence

Arecibo Mayor Carlos Ramírez Irizarry

Arecibo will celebrate the Night of San Juan with a taste of jazz

By Richard Gutiérrez

Special to The Star

Arecibo Mayor Carlos “Tito” Ramírez Irizarry invited all residents of Arecibo and visitors to the north of the island to enjoy and celebrate the traditional Night of San Juan (Noches de San Juan) celebration this Friday in “el Paseo de las Damas” Víctor Rojas, and right beside the Atlantic Ocean and the Arecibo River, starting at 8 p.m.

To the surprise of many, this year’s Night of San Juan coincides with another event known as “Noches de Latin Jazz,” which is offered every third Friday of the month. Since this year the night of San Juan is on a Friday, the two events will coincide, and therefore the northern coastal municipality decided to combine them.

“The goal is for us to create a quality event for the entire family, and provide an opportunity to young talented people to have their chance on a stage, such as the group Ritmo Caribe in collaboration with the experimental jazz group Caribbean Latin Jazz,” José Luis González, Arecibo’s municipal culture director, told the STAR.

The mayor also had some words to add regarding the event.

“We have prepared a solid and complete itinerary for family enjoyment, with music from Molina and his band Caribbean Latin Jazz, and we will also have interpretations from Ritmo Caribe,” Ramírez Irizarry said of the event organized by Rumba Events and sponsored by 90.FM Capital of Jazz and Arecibo Home Design, Super K 106 and Cabrera Hermanos. “We will also have a tribute to Lizzette Cubero.”

In Puerto Rico, the night of San Juan is also the official grand celebration of the island’s Capital City, which is celebrated every year on June 23 with beach activities taking place all over the island. Just like in other locations of the world, Puerto Rico holds the celebration in honor of St. John the Baptist. While the Catholic community remembers the saint’s birthday, many people of many different religious backgrounds and beliefs come together in their own events to practice ancient customs that are supposed to ward off bad luck.

The most recognized event is at midnight on June 23-24, where people jump into the water on their backs, whether it’s on a river, in the sea or even at a nearby pool. They do this repeatedly until they’ve accomplished three to nine plunges. The number of times people jump into the water varies from person to person, depending on their own personal beliefs. Some shower them with flowers, while others simply enjoy their time singing and dancing with family and friends.

The team managing the event is more than excited to make it happen, González told the STAR.

“The Noches de Latin Jazz event began at the end of last year,” he said. “Arecibo is rich in terms of its music environment. It is the birthplace of some of the best voices in trios, and the number of orchestras and steel bands that come from the city is astonishing. We are very grateful for the number of young people and not so young people who are assisting through this event and are feeling confident that it’s going to be great.”

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