Costa Rica is holding its first-ever International Songwriters Festival this week at the Melico Salazar Theater in downtown San José, allowing the public to watch participants from nine countries present their original compositions and compete for a $5,000 prize.
The festival, which kicked off last night with an opening ceremony featuring Peruvian singer-songwriter Julie Freundt and Costa Rican songwriter Humberto Vargas, will conclude on July 7, when the winner will be announced and a concert will be offered by Carlos Mejía Godoy and the Palacaguinas (Nicaragua) and Adrián Goizueta (Argentina).
Susana Poveda, executive directorof the Festival, told The Tico Times that Costa Rica’s entry in the competition was chosen during ast year’s Transitarte festival.
“Immediately afterwards, the international call for participants took place,” Poveda said. “We received many proposals from many different countries. Winners were selected from 1500 participants.”
The contest will feature ten participants from nine different countries, who will be defending their original creations. The participants are Rosalía León (Mexico), Wahari Meléndez (Venezuela), Covi Quintana (Dominican Republic), Solo Valencia (Colombia), Jesús Gárriga (Spain), Oscar Sandoval (El Salvador), Tamela Hedstron (Sweden), Oscar Pino (Costa Rica), Mariana Poblete (Argentina), and Rodrigo Carazo (Argentina).
The jury is composed of Goizueta; Julie Freundt and Javier Malca from Peru; Chico Luis Mejía from Nicaragua; Adrián Goizueta; Miguel Inzunza from Mexico; and two Costa Ricans, the poet Osvaldo Sauma and Grammy award-winner Walter Flores.
Several activities will be taking place through July 10:
Finale of the contest, announcement of the winner and a concert by Carlos Mejía Godoy and the Palacaguina, and Adrián Goizueta.
Melico Salazar Theater, downtown San José. 8 p.m. ₡5,000 – 15,000 ($10 – 30). Tickets on sale at Eticket.com or at the theater ticket office.
Contest participants and Dionisio Cabal sing for peace. Teatro 1887, Cenac, downtown San José. 10 a.m. Free.
Songwriting workshop with Miguel Inzunza and Rosalía León from Mexico, and Natalia Esquivel and Yessenia Calvo from Costa Rica. At Mexican Institute, Los Yoses. 3 p.m. Free.
Concert with Jesús Garriga, Covi Quintana, Oscar Sandoval, and Solo Valencia. At Spain Cultural Center El Farolito, San José. 7 p.m. Free.
Concert with Christian Porras, Alejo García, Wahari Melendez, Rodrigo Carazo, and Mariana Poblete. At El Sótano, San José. 9 p.m.
Concert with Julie Freudt and Oscar Pino. At Jazz Café Escazú. 9 p.m.
Concert with Miguel Inzunza and Bernardo Quesada. At Jazz Café San Pedro. 9 p.m.
Concert with all contest participants. At Multiplaza Escazú, in front of Brunos Restaurant. 4 p.m. Free.
Find more info at the International Songwriters Festival of Costa Rica website.