Colombia Embassy Dazzles on its National Day Celebration at Diligentia Theatre in The Hague. On the picture H. E. Juan José Quintana and spouse, Maria Rosario Navia.
By Viviana Knorr.
On Wednesday, 20 July at 7 p. m., H. E. Juan José Quintana, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to the Netherlands and Maria Rosario Navia transformed Diligentia Theatre in The Hague, into an intimate setting for Colombian Jazz to celebrate their national day.
Ambassador Quintana remarked in his welcoming speech the importance of this year’s celebration as the country is about to end its war against FARC, “Something many Colombians for five generations are really looking forward to end.”
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The concert’s program directed by Juan García-Herreros with the performance of his Colombian Jazz ensemble explored for the first time in the Netherlands, their own new arrangements transforming the evening into an original one surrounded by a distinguished audience as the Ambassadors from Mexico, Peru, Chile, Ukraine, El Salvador, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Malaysia, Costa Rica and many others.
The ensemble opened up with a colourful lively performance called “Pequeña Samba” by García-Herreros. The following piece “Amo” by Juan José Quintana, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia literally breathed life and sentiment.
Through the entire performance the musicians gave an outstanding show capturing the audience emotion as each musician played with an almost tangible energy transmitting it to the spectators.
The next pieces were a mixed of mellow slower tempos with unique rhythmic variations. A highlight of the evening was the mini-duet between the bass and drums yet all musicians made creative use of each instrument playing as one. In the piece, “Balada para mis hijas,” García-Herreros flexed his own playing abilities where listeners could be seen enjoying the rhythms. The voice, flute, and organist also gave an impressive solo each one.
The audience was surprised with a far from smooth transition into the “Colombian National Anthem” to wrap up the show as it opened with a flawless performance by Juan García-Herreros and his bass teasing the audience with quick changes in tempo and rhythm, repeatedly speeding up, and then slowing only to give the anthem rhythm. Truly an exciting performance.
Overall the celebration was full of sentiment, colourful, and musical, but that should be expected in a Colombian National Day.
A finger food reception followed the show.