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I went to the Panama Jazz Festival two years ago when it was held in Casco Viejo and really enjoyed the event.  The ambience of colonial architecture and crowds of people listening to jazz music and drinking in the main plazas was something I don’t see everyday in Casco.  But since they started the festival it has grown so big that Casco Viejo couldn’t hold the amount of people going to it.  Last year it was moved to the City of Knowledge in Clayton for the first time and I missed going to it but had the opportunity to go this year.

We arrived to the City of Knowledge around 5:30 pm for the festival and the line was huge to get in.  The festival was completely free but they were putting bracelets on people as they entered which was causing a hold up (not sure what the point was of bracelets for a free event).  It’s good they moved the event outside of Casco Viejo because there were a ton people, no way we would have all fit in one of Casco’s plazas.

Everyone brought chairs and blankets and were sitting around drinking while musicians played jazz music on a big stage at the front.  We staked a spot near the back a little away from the main crowd since none of us were hardcore jazz fans but were mostly there to enjoy something different to do.

I had a really good time at the festival and found it much more relaxed than when it was held in Casco, but I don’t think it had the same ambience that I enjoyed the first time I went.  I hope next year they decide to do a day or two is Casco Viejo.

Here’s a video I took of the festival while Lucy & The Soul Brokers were performing:

Experience Panama


I'm Joey, a guy from Louisville, Kentucky that packed up and studied abroad in Panamá at the age of 20 and haven't moved back since. What started as a semester trip to Panamá has turned into 10+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. I now rotate between living in Panama City, Bogotá, and Lima. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!

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