Meet Our Organizers
Ania Paz, Peru
Location: Lima, Peru
Participating Years: 2017
Event Focus: Performance, bringing cultures together through art
Award-winning pianist and composer Ania Paz found her passion for music early in life—she began studying music at age 4 and penned her first composition at age 6. This passion led her all over the world, as she pursued her music studies in Germany and the United States and as she established her career as a pianist, composer, educator and researcher.
For Paz, International Jazz Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the universal and multicultural nature of jazz that brings cultures together and inspires innovation and creative freedom. Bringing cultures together through art and integrating different artistic disciplines are major themes that connect her professional pursuits. In the early 2000’s, Paz produced the Ania Paz Jazz Series to offer a new way of “feeling” jazz as an art form that embraces all cultures. For the United Nations and the European Union, she produced and directed two multidisciplinary performances in the Dominican Republic that carried the message of tolerance through art. The performances integrated artists of different musical genres and cultures, and incorporated other forms of artistic expression such as dance, poetry, literature, theatre and visual effects. She herself participated with the Ania Paz Jazz Ensemble at two extraordinary concerts exploring the multicultural reach of jazz: Mujeres en el Jazz (Women in Jazz) at the Embassy of Germany in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), and Colores del Jazz (Colors of Jazz) at the Goethe Institute in Mexico.
As an educator, Paz created and directed the first Contemporary Latin Jazz course at FUNGLODE in Santo Domingo and helped expand the curriculum of the Folkloric Department of the Dominican Republic’s National Conservatory of Music. She teaches a variety of music courses at two Peruvian universities and has taught classes and conducted master classes at universities and music schools in Germany, the United States, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Paz received recognition from the University of Missouri-Columbia for her research on the influence of African rhythms on the American continent, and for her presentation of this research at the international convention of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association.
As a performer, Paz is known for her modern, driving sound and for her work fusing Caribbean and Afro-Peruvian styles. Her latest release, Dos Mondos, was recorded in Peru and the Dominican Republic with the aim of strengthening the cultural ties between these two Latin American nations through the universal language of jazz. The Ania Paz Trio continues to perform with a unified vision to create a new sound in contemporary Latin jazz.