Meet Our Community

Jorge Luis Lardone Argentina

Jorge Luis Lardone is a photographer and retired producer, concert organizer and journalist from Argentina’s Mendoza Province, the heart of Argentine wine country. The son of an optometrist, Lardone developed an early interest in photography and jazz and went on to showcase his shots of jazz musicians in more than 100 exhibitions within Argentina and internationally. He is the founder of the nonprofit cultural association Jazz Club Gato Barbieri and the Festival Internacional Fotojazzeando, a notable jazz festival for years held in Lardone’s native Mendoza. A longtime friend of International Jazz Day, Lardone’s most recent celebration featured a performance by local Mendoza jazz legends Roque Crescitelli, Mario Sosa, Jordi Clua and David Reyes.

What does jazz music mean to you? To your community?
Jazz is a universal language and to me, it is the music that best expresses the need of human beings to live in freedom. It is also the soundtrack of my life; I have been listening to jazz since I was four years old (Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Erroll Garner, Jonah Jones, Benny Goodman) 64 years ago, and I will die listening to jazz.

In my community jazz does not mean much. It is a very closed, nationalist and uneducated community. There are many people who identify jazz as the “music of the American imperialists.” Yes, believe it or not. However, there is a modest activity with a pair of festivals a year. Unfortunately in the last 100 years very few internationally-known musicians have played in the city.

“Jazz is a universal language and to me, it is the music that best expresses the need of human beings to live in freedom.”

Why are you celebrating International Jazz Day? Why is it important?
It is a good way to propagate jazz in our community, which is so distant from the origins of this music. Jazz Club Gato Barbieri is a non-profit cultural organization that has worked since 1990 (born as Jazz Club San Rafael), and for us it is very important to organize the very first event in Mendoza celebrating International Jazz Day.

What would you like to see happen through this day–short term and long term?
I hope that gradually more people will enter the fascinating world of jazz and that in the future there is a real jazz community in the city. Also, I hope that great jazz world musicians will play in Mendoza.