San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Percussion fest brings the beat to Costa Rica

The second International Percussion Ensemble Festival comes to San José next week, bringing a unique compilation of percussion instruments ranging from the xylophone to the conga. World-renowned experts will give live shows and expert advice via videoconference, and play with percussion enthusiasts.

International percussion groups from Spain, the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica will each play during one night of the festival at the National Theater in downtown San José. The event will culminate with an international ensemble of all festival musicians performing June 4.

Bismarck Fernández, director of the festival, said this year extension concerts will be held free of charge in Heredia, north of San José, in the Caribbean-slope town of Turrialba, and in Palmares, northwest of the capital.

The festival is being put on by the Costa Rican Percussion Ensemble, the National Theater and the National Music Institute.

The concert schedule at the National Theater is as follows: June 1, Tambuco percussion group from Mexico; June 2, PerKu-Va of Spain; June 3, Panoramic from the United States; and June 4, closing concert featuring all festival artists. Concerts start at 8 p.m. Tickets cost ₡5,000 ($10) for general admission and ₡3,500 ($7) for students and seniors, and may be purchased through the National Theater box office (2221-5341).

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