Meet ISPA's 2015 Regional (Colombia) Fellowship Program participant Santiago Gardeazábal!
Nova et Vetera
Currently based in Colombia, Santiago Gardeazábal is a multifaceted cultural promoter, producer, manager, agent, and founder of the company Nova et Vetera. In only two years of existence, Nova has produced over 60 concerts in Colombia, presenting artists such as John Zorn. Mike Patton, and Mulatu Astatke for the first time in the country. He was the founder of El Anónimo, one of the most renowned cultural spots in Bogotá for adventurous programming, producing in 11 years over 900 concerts, and contributing to the exposure of local bands such as Meridian Brothers, La 33 and Systema Solar. An advocate for Colombian music, Santiago has recently curated a concert series at Teatro Colón presenting under exposed folkloric masters of traditional music. He is currently representing some of the most exciting new talent in the country. Santiago has been an essential link between American and Colombian artists, fostering exchanges between musicians from both countries.
Santiago, What are the three adjectives that describe you?
Risk-taking, ambitious, and audacious!
What’s your favorite city in the world?
The Medellín of Teresita Gómez, The Lisbonne of Bernardo Soares, the New York of John Zorn, the Stockholm of León de Greiff.
Can you tell me the name of the life-changing performance that you either watched or participated in?
John Zorn Masada Marathon in Bogotá this October. After years of dreaming, plotting and planning, this event that I envisioned finally materialized a few weeks ago. 12 bands and 30 musicians of international caliber including legends such as Marc Ribot, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Greg Cohen. And ambassadors of the new generation such as Shanir Blumenkranz, Matt Hollenberg, Sofia Rei, Aram Bajakian, all under the direction of one of the most intriguing, powerful and inspiring artists of the downtown New York music scene: John Zorn. His Masada Marathon happening for the very first time in Bogotá and Latin America was one compelling, breath taking performance after another. It was wild, brilliant, unique. The level of musicality and virtuosity was mind blowing. In the words of JZ: "Every band raised the bar for the next one and the night just grew like a tsunami”.
As a presenter and as a music lover, I consider this event the highlight of my life. And to see the reaction of every single person in the theater amazed, mesmerized...I received so many beautiful notes of appreciation. Everybody felt as the witness of a one of a kind experience. A magical encounter of new musical possibilities. Something extraordinary and irrepetible happened. And we were all so happy to be there, to be part of it.
Is there anything else that you would like our ISPA family to know about you or your work?
It’s been a very intense 2015 for Colombia. On one hand, the devaluation of local currency created deep challenges and made a big impact in the cultural sector. On the other, the prospect of Peace keeps bringing great expectations to everyone. And makes us and other cultural agents to re-think our own roles and generate more spaces for this dialogue to take place, with this big perspective of change in the horizon.
I embarked on a huge amount of traveling all around the world that included my attending the ISPA conferences in New York and Malmo-Copenhagen, Classical Next in Rotterdam, and the European Jazz Conference in Budapest.
Considering Colombia´s special context, all these experiences were truly inspiring and fueled my activities back home. Against all predictions, my Project, Nova et Vetera agency, decided stubbornly to double efforts and continue with its planned programming. The result was one of the most interesting musical calendar years to date. French ensamble Le Balcon performing Carreño’s music to silent movie Garras de Oro. World famous string quartets (Arditti, Jack, Voce) in a performance series at Teatro Colón. The continuation of the Colombia Raiz series, presenting more than 20 traditional groups from every corner of the country. Marc Ribot visiting 7 unfrequented cities of Colombia with the Banco de la Republica touring project. Adventurous programming in Universities with top level artists of the international avant garde scene such as Fatima Miranda, Mycale, Dave Douglas and Uri Caine, Banquet of Spirits, Lucia Pulido, Erik Friedlander and Mark Feldman.
Nova et Vetera’s commitment to fostering collaborations between local and international artists, and developing new audiences through educational programs materialized in young composers readings at top universities and special commissions for emerging Colombian composers such as Juan Camilo Hernandez and Eblis Alvarez in collaboration with these international string quartets.