NORTHERN LIGHTS MUSIC FESTIVAL —Wins Sponsorship from the State of Jalisco


—Wins Sponsorship from the State of Jalisco

By Jim Cooper


Manhattan Chamber Players 2

The annual Northern Lights Music Festival each February has become perhaps the largest and most anticipated cultural event in Ajijic. For fourteen years over twenty-five world class musicians have been packing their violins, flutes, and cellos, and trekking to Ajijic. For the last six years their major sponsor Scotiabank, has generously donated their airfares but this year it has turned its marketing efforts more towards sporting events. The Festival has, however, just recently been awarded a substantial grant from “Cultura Jalisco” for which it is extremely grateful. This has precipitated a name change for the Festival.  It will now be known as Northern Lights Festival de Febrero and eventually as simply Festival de Febrero.

The Northern Lights Music Festival has, since its inception, been committed to the development of classical music in Mexico, especially through Mexican youth. Throughout the Festival, Guadalajara’s up and coming musicians attend rehearsals and concerts put on by the Festival musicians. They are given free master classes and view this as an opportunity to study with some of the world’s best musicians.  The Festival also brings down an excellent Luthier from Toronto.  During the two weeks of the Festival he adjusts tunes and repairs over 100 instruments for free to the musical community. 

The fourteenth annual Northern Lights Music Festival takes place from February 20 to March 4, 2016.  The programming this season is outstanding. If any of you saw Tracy Silverman a couple of years ago you will be delighted to know that he is returning this year with his seven stringed electric violin.  He just finished a concert at Carnegie Hall with next stop Ajijic! Ben Bowman who is concert master at Lincoln Centre will be here, as will Joel Noyse the principal cellist from the Metropolitan Opera Company. They will be joined by members of the Manhattan Chamber Players. 

This year New York will be well represented. Audiences will be delighted to hear that The Gryphon Trio will be here, a group where tickets in Canada go for more than $100 in Ajijic, only $17.50 US!  The Festival is delighted to introduce a star guest vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan.  If you look her up on YouTube, you will be very impressed! In fact, the same can be said for all of the attending musicians!

The Fabulous Jazz Saxophonist Richard Underhill is also returning with his outstanding Jazz Band. Richard has won so many awards (22 in all if you count them up on his web site).  He has been nominated five times for Juno awards and won two. More highlights include outstanding violinists Sarah McElravy and Stephen Sitarski, and pianist David Fung.  Most of these musicians have their own web page so feel free to look them up.  I am sure you will be very surprised by their extraordinary level of performance.

A truly remarkable Festival in a truly remarkable town, all for a truly remarkable bargain price. With a total of 15 concerts in the two week period of the Festival.  You can take your pick at as low at $17.50 for a ticket or treat yourself to exceptional packages for between $141  and $294 US  with a meal, a gala party, champagne, wine and appetizers thrown in!  General tickets will be sold beginning Mon. Feb. 2 from 10 am to 1 pm Mon.-Fri. at the Nueva Posada Hotel and Restaurant, 9 Donata Guerra.  For reservations and info on ticket sales: or contact Maureen Welch 108-1407 phone between 2 and 4 please. Discount packages are available now through Kelly French, 331-626-0717

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