September 30, 2003
  • Julio Iglesias loves the DR
  • Malecon Center ready for November
  • US AIR non-stop to La Romana
  • Another reason to visit Pat’e Palo
  • Puerto Plata Jazz Festival
  • International Theater Festival
  • Presidente Latin Festival also in October
Julio Iglesias loves the DR
A front-page story in Monday, 29 September Listín Diario says that singer Julio Iglesias feels the Dominican Republic is “an undiscovered continent for international tourism.” As an investor in the area of Punta Cana, the 60-year-old entertainer is very satisfied with his connection to local tourism and the success of Punta Cana’s airport, which has made it one of the three most important airports in the region. In his interview with reporter Florentino Durán, Iglesias gushed that he knows the country from end to end, and that “universal tourism does not know the Dominican Republic, does not know Duarte (the highest mountain in the Caribbean), does not know Jarabacoa, or the Southwest…” Iglesias pointed to the level of safety of the country, its natural resources and the human element, which create the greatest impression on visitors.
Malecon Center ready for November
Engineer Jesús Rodríguez Sandoval announced the Malecón Center will be open to the general public in November. The landmark 194,000 square meter residential, commercial and high rise hotel complex is located on the Malecón in three 30-story towers and a sea-fronting terrace. The Malecón Center features 5 movie halls, 175 store locations, office space and restaurants. Hilton will be operating a 22-floor, 228-hotel room city hotel in the complex, with gymnasium, casino, and meeting rooms with capacity for 1,300 persons. Rodríguez Sandoval announced the apartments will be delivered to purchasers starting January 2004. Those visiting the complex may also delight in the sculpture by Colombian Fernando Botero and a mural by Dominican Amaya Salazar.
US AIR non-stop to La Romana
US Airways announces nonstop service between La Romana and Charlotte beginning 13 December 2003. As reported in DR1 Airline Forum, US Airways will initiate once a week non-stop service to La Romana International (LRM) from their hub in Charlotte, North Carolina. This will be the first scheduled connection for the Dominican Republic to the south central US. Flight 187 begins 13 December and will enable travelers to connect to over 70 cities. Flights will operate every Saturday and arrivals and/or departures may be combined with US Airways service into nearby Las Americas International (SDQ) or Punta Cana International (PUJ) airports. The flight will depart Charlotte at 10:30 am, arriving to La Romana at 2:45 pm. The return flight departs La Romana at 4:05 pm with a scheduled 6:41 pm landing in Charlotte.
Another reason to visit Pat’e Palo
Pat’e Palo, the Colonial City European brasserie facing the Alcazar Palace is inviting to the exhibition by French artist Celine Courroy. In this her second exhibition, she focuses on “the magic of the Caribbean”. Paintings, sculptures, drawings and other works are exhibited at the colonial city restaurant.
Puerto Plata Jazz Festival
The first five days of October will be taken over by the sounds of the Dominican Republic’s Jazz Festival, whose stages will be set in Playa Dorada, Sosúa, Cabarete and Santiago. World famous musicians such as Chuck Mangione, Arturo Sandoval and Bobby Sanabia are just a few of the names to participate in the festival. Percussionists “Chichí” Peralta, a veteran member of Juan Luis Guerra’s group 4-40, and Guarionex Aquino will be performing in Playa Dorada. And, of course, the great Jesús “Chucho” Valdés, named “the world’s most complete pianist” by Jazzist magazine is scheduled to play on Saturday at Casa Marina in Sosúa. Arturo Sandoval will be in concert on the festival’s closing day, Sunday, 5 October at the Great Cibao Theater in Santiago.
The festival is much needed relief after all the stress brought to the area by the Monday, 22 September 6.5 earthquake and the multiple smaller aftershocks that have followed. http://drjazzfestival.com
International Theater Festival
The Ministry of Culture is backing the celebration of the Vth International Theater Festival from 9-22 October. Participants are coming from 12 countries – Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Slovenia, Spain, Italy, Uruguay, Venezuela and Puerto Rico, among others. The festival this year is dedicated to Puerto Rican theater, and to playwrights Franklin Domínguez and Luis Rafael Sánchez.
Presentations this year will be staged at the Sala Eduardo Brito and Sala Ravelo of the National Theater. Also at the Máximo Avilés Blonda hall and Manuel Rueda hall of Bellas Artes. At Plaza de la Cultura’s Cinemateca (Historia Natural pavilion). And the National Music Conservatory. Other performances will be staged at the Sala Restauración of the Gran Teatro Cibao and the Héctor Inchaustegui Cabral hall of the Centro de la Cultura de Santiago. This year the theater festival also goes south, with a presentation at the Ateneo de Azua, and to Puerto Plata for a presentation at the Centro de la Cultura.
Presidente Latin Festival also in October
The organizers of the Presidente Latin Music Festival have booked three evenings of Latin music for the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Stadium. Expect life to center around evenings at the stadium, from 17-19 October. Big name artists such as Bacilos, Rosario Flores, Juanes, Ricardo Montaner, La Ley, Ricardo Arjona, Gilberto Santa Rosa and many others are sure to fill the stadium evening after evening.
For more information and schedules on the Jazz, Theater & Latin Music Festivals, see http://www.dr1.com/calendar

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