Thelonious—From Club to Cultural Centre

30 Jul, 2019 | Rachel Durnford

The Arts and Going Out

Photos: Rachel Durnford 

The city’s jazz fans congregate in the new location

Entering the Centro Cultural Thelonious is to be transported to another world, away from the bustling cityscape of La Paz. It’s easy to feel the jazz legacy it’s inherited, with black-and-white photographs and vividly painted portraits of performers hung on every wall, candlelight reflecting off brass instruments to give a warm and intimate atmosphere. Originally established in July 1997, Thelonious is one of the few spaces in Bolivia dedicated to jazz. After an uncertain moment in 2016, when the old club was demolished to make way for another building, there was a struggle in meeting the legal requirements for restoring and moving the jazz club. It was then that the concept of a cultural centre emerged and gained support among musicians and others within La Paz’s small jazz community. Thelonious was reborn as a cultural centre, and it’s now going strong, with both performances and jazz instruction sharing centre stage.


Juan Carlos Carrasco, the current owner who took over the re-establishment of Thelonious, elaborates on what makes it one-of-a-kind. ‘Musicians perform for money, and then they come here to play for enjoyment,’ he says. ‘Lots of jams happen – sometimes we come here at 5:00 am and they’re still playing.’ Carrasco has a cool demeanour, complete with casual white T-shirt and jeans, but it becomes apparent that he has the same energy as the bebop jazz the Centro Cultural Thelonious – and its namesake – is renowned for. He’s engaging when he talks, and, with a youthful glint in his eyes, his passion for jazz is clear. Carrasco jokingly describes his relationship with jazz as similar to falling in love with an ugly girl. ‘It’s like, Oh I don’t know, maybe, I’ll take it, and then you start to really love her, and then by the end it’s like wow!’ he says. Carrasco has a hands-on approach to the Centro Cultural Thelonious and is keen to spend time there helping to develop it. After being enchanted by live music for much of his life, Carrasco is the perfect fit for the cultural centre. His enthusiasm is infectious. ‘I love to see people happy with music,’ he says as he leans forward and gesticulates in a way that makes one believe, as he does, that this is something special. 



‘Lots of jams happen – sometimes we come here at 5 am and they’re still playing.’

—Owner Juan Carlos Carrasco



Thelonious’s evolution from bar to cultural centre is particularly important to Carrasco, who described the importance of jazz instruction in the new space. There are instruction studios for music courses, everything from general jazz to big-band music, in the building, in addition to rehearsal spaces for professional musicians. Thelonious provides the classes specifically for amateur musicians who wish to elevate their playing, something that Carrasco hopes will raise the standard of jazz performance in La Paz to a new level. However, he does not underestimate the skill of the musicians Thelonious hosts. ‘You don’t expect this quality of music here, he says. ‘A lot of people think, “Okay, I’ll go,” but after the show’s over, some people are even crying, saying how incredible the performance was.’


I understand this reaction after attending some performances myself. While a group of young musicians perform, the atmosphere is one of raw talent. They clearly relish playing on stage, but they exhibit a sense of shyness that is inevitable considering the importance of the cultural centre to jazz musicians in La Paz. Perhaps the large photograph of Miles Davis staring at the room, his eyes observing the performers with a pensive gaze, is a little intimidating. I also watch Las Vacas Locas, an established Bolivian jazz group with decades of experience. They have a history of performing at Thelonious, so they’re more comfortable displaying their camaraderie in front of an audience. Easy smiles and comments are traded, contrasting with the precise and complex pieces they’re playing, and it’s clear that music is a pure joy for them. 

Image title

During the breaks, I talk to bassist Christian Bernal, and he relates the more difficult side of performing jazz in Bolivia. ‘The only way that jazz evolves is if we write new music,’ he says. ‘But it’s very hard for people in Bolivia to listen to new, original music.’ Carrasco shares a similar perspective. ‘The audience can’t understand that they must pay to hear music,’ he says. ‘The attitude is “I don’t know the band, I don’t want to pay.” Here it’s, say, five dollars for the cover, so if there are five musicians playing you’re paying one dollar for each. It’s so cheap it’s like they’re playing in the street and, even so, we have protests. The performers need to be big stars to ask for 10 or 15 dollars.’ 


Despite the struggle for performers and club owners alike, the continued thriving of the Centro Cultural Thelonious demonstrates that there’s a demand for jazz in the city. Carrasco tells of exciting moments in Thelonious’s past, such as when one of Prince’s drummers was in the city and came to the old jazz bar, amazing everyone with his skill. More currently, the cultural centre hosts the annual September Jazz Festival, and Carrasco has talked with excitement about the part he has played in putting on a live production of West Side Story. With a tale not dissimilar to one of a phoenix rising from the flame, it seems that the Centro Cultural Thelonious will continue to be a haven for trainee musicians, journeyman performers, jazz lovers and the occasional jazz maestro in La Paz for many years to come.


The Centro Cultural Thelonious is located at the southern end of Avenida 6 de Agosto; go to @Centroculturalthelonious on facebook.com for more information.

Image title

Comments

Draper garage door repair
10 Oct, 2019 | 04:07
Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually realize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please also seek advice from my site =). We could have a hyperlink change contract between us!
Kinderschoenen
22 Aug, 2019 | 02:36
This type of message always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content, so happy to find good place to many here in the post, the writing is just great, thanks for the post.
Kinderjassen
22 Aug, 2019 | 04:51
It is truly a well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so engaged in this material that I couldn’t wait reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thanks.
Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing?
Notenshop
10 Oct, 2019 | 06:00
I was reading some of your content on this website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up.
Zwembaden
10 Oct, 2019 | 08:44
Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post.
Jongenskleding
24 Aug, 2019 | 02:33
You completed a few fine points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will go along with with your blog.
Meisjeskleding
24 Aug, 2019 | 04:33
I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks.
agence location voiture agadir
24 Aug, 2019 | 13:45
I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article
voyance par telephone
25 Aug, 2019 | 02:35
Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.
Jongenskledij
25 Aug, 2019 | 03:49
This is just the information I am finding everywhere. Thanks for your blog, I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog..
Meisjeskledij
26 Aug, 2019 | 02:34
Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include.
apk for pc
12 Oct, 2019 | 04:12
Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..
Notenshop online
12 Oct, 2019 | 04:34
We have sell some products of different custom boxes.it is very useful and very low price please visits this site thanks and please share this post with your friends.
Airconditioning
12 Oct, 2019 | 05:57
I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article...
Jongenskleding
12 Oct, 2019 | 06:12
I was surfing the Internet for information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject.
Airco
12 Oct, 2019 | 07:27
This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.
Communiekleding
27 Aug, 2019 | 02:14
Your article has piqued a lot of positive interest. I can see why since you have done such a good job of making it interesting.
소액결제현금화
23 Sep, 2019 | 08:09
This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.
Babykleding
27 Aug, 2019 | 03:56
Thanks for sharing the post.. parents are worlds best person in each lives of individual..they need or must succeed to sustain needs of the family.
Babykleding
13 Oct, 2019 | 03:24
I was surfing the Internet for information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject.
Noix
13 Oct, 2019 | 03:33
Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work.
24 hour locksmith Broomfield
13 Oct, 2019 | 03:44
I think this is a really good article. You make this information interesting and engaging. You give readers a lot to think about and I appreciate that kind of writing.
Kinderkleding
13 Oct, 2019 | 03:58
I was surfing the Internet for information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject.
Kinderkleding
13 Oct, 2019 | 03:59
Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too.
Notenshop
13 Oct, 2019 | 04:12
Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work.
Zonnepanelen
13 Oct, 2019 | 04:28
Very informative post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign.
Kirkland garage door
13 Oct, 2019 | 05:03
You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers.
Zonnepanelen
13 Oct, 2019 | 05:31
Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post.
Notenshop
13 Oct, 2019 | 05:54
Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work.
Kinderschoenen online
28 Aug, 2019 | 02:35
I have read your article, it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it..
remembrance sunday parade
13 Oct, 2019 | 10:19
Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing...
run 3
28 Aug, 2019 | 03:50
It is wonderful to be here with everyone, I have a lot of knowledge from what you share, to say thank you, the information and knowledge here helps me a lot
Kinderkledij
28 Aug, 2019 | 04:40
Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.
Renton garage doors
14 Oct, 2019 | 03:41
I am glad you take pride in what you write. This makes you stand way out from many other writers that push poorly written content.
Tacoma garage doors
14 Oct, 2019 | 05:50
Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!
cartoon hd alternative
29 Aug, 2019 | 02:31
This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coming here again and again. Visit my link as well..
happy chick emulator
29 Aug, 2019 | 03:44
This is a brilliant blog! I'm very happy with the comments!..
imessage for android phone
29 Aug, 2019 | 04:24
Thanks for sharing us.
I really impressed after read this because of some quality work and informative thoughts . I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!.
download supersu free
29 Aug, 2019 | 06:54
I am unable to read articles online very often, but I’m glad I did today. This is very well written and your points are well-expressed. Please, don’t ever stop writing.
garage door Redmond
15 Oct, 2019 | 05:15
I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.
Babykleding online
31 Aug, 2019 | 03:12
I found your this post while searching for information about blog-related research ... It's a good post .. keep posting and updating information.
Schildersteiger
31 Aug, 2019 | 07:44
"Als schilder werk je vaak op hoogte en wil je 100% veilig je vak uitoefenen. Schilderbedrijven uit Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Utrecht en Noord-Brabant kopen hun steigers al jaren bij ons bedrijf. Waarom? De arbo inspectie ziet toe op het veilig werken op hoogte en met een rolsteiger van steigercentrum bent u verzekerd van degelijkheid en voldoen 100% aan de norm die de ARBO vraagt."
Kinderkleding kopen
01 Sep, 2019 | 02:42
This is my first time visit here. From the tons of comments on your articles,I guess I am not only one having all the enjoyment right here!
Kinderkleding online
01 Sep, 2019 | 04:43
I really impressed after read this because of some quality work and informative thoughts . I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!.
garage doors Seattle
16 Oct, 2019 | 03:39
this is really nice to read..informative post is very good to read..thanks a lot!
Kinderkleding online kopen
02 Sep, 2019 | 02:30
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!
automatic cat feeder
16 Oct, 2019 | 04:51
I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You.
St Andrews Day
16 Oct, 2019 | 07:14
Rocking photo of instrument looking so stunning wondering how much powerful jamming has performed in this music studio even walls after started dancing with the beat. Carrasco and his connection with jazz are very old surprised that he keeps alive his this dream with them.
Roy garage door repair
03 Sep, 2019 | 03:28
Just admiring your work and wondering how you managed this blog so well. It’s so remarkable that I can't afford to not go through this valuable information whenever I surf the internet!
watch mr. bean
16 Oct, 2019 | 10:58
very nice I like it awsome
Schiphol Taxi
03 Sep, 2019 | 06:09
"Wanneer u binnenkort op reis gaat dit kan natuurlijk een zakenreis zijn maar ook een familie vakantie zorgt onze taxi schiphol service dat u uw vlucht niet gaat missen. Onze planning houdt rekening met verwachte files. Koninklijke Luchthaven Schiphol of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (IATA: AMS, ICAO: EHAM) is de grootste Nederlandse luchthaven en een belangrijke luchthaven in Europa. Schiphol was in 2018 met 71 miljoen passagiers de op twee na drukste luchthaven van Europa, na Heathrow (Londen) en Charles de Gaulle (Parijs). Het vliegveld ligt in de gemeente Haarlemmermeer in het zuiden van de provincie Noord-Holland en bevindt zich ongeveer 15 kilometer ten zuidwesten van Amsterdam. Bron: Wikipedia."
Populaire denksport toernooien
03 Sep, 2019 | 06:27
"Bron: Wikipedia: Denksport is een bezigheid waarin mensen zich met elkander meten door middel van een spel waarbij vooral analytisch denken benodigd is. Denksporten die op reglementaire wijze in competitieverband gespeeld worden zijn: Bridge, Dammen, Go, Reversi ook bekend als Othello, Schaken, Scrabble, Shogi, Stratego, Magic en Xiangqi. De International Mind Sport Association (IMSA) erkent zes denksporten namelijk: Bridge, Schaken, Dammen, Go, Mahjong (MCR, Riichi en Sichuan regels) en XiangQi. Deze spelen worden echter ook op recreatieve wijze gespeeld. Er worden toernooien georganiseerd met een combinatie van een aantal denksporten. Een bekend toernooi is de denksporttriatlon, waarin de eindstand wordt bepaald door de resultaten in dammen, schaken en bridge."
arabic translation
01 Aug, 2019 | 04:15
Excellent! Needed two birth certificates translated from Spanish to English. Very fast service, they replied within a few hours, and had the translation done in less than two days. Payment is very easy through PayPal. Definitely recommend them.
Hey! I visit first time here. Your blog is very interesting, I read your whole blog. I just love your way of prresenation. Thanks for sharing.
24 hour locksmith Loveland
04 Sep, 2019 | 03:25
Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.
locksmith Broomfield
05 Sep, 2019 | 03:10
I found your this post while searching for information about blog-related research ... It's a good post .. keep posting and updating information.
Sometimes it is on top of that an awesome posting i actually actually favored checking out. It is really no ! on a daily basis i actually develop the odds to evaluate a little something.
tim goodman leather jacket
03 Aug, 2019 | 08:01
Rocking photo of instrument looking so stunning wondering how much powerful jamming has performed in this music studio even walls after started dancing with the beat. Carrasco and his connection with jazz are very old surprised that he keeps alive his this dream with them.
What about Visitor preferences
05 Sep, 2019 | 14:36
Google monitors visitor behavior and search history patterns, such as previously visited websites, subject preferences, etc. This is a factor that Google takes into account when a user search by Google search-engine and others as well.
먹튀다자바
03 Aug, 2019 | 14:38
Hey there! Good stuff, do keep us posted when you finally post something like that!
I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well.
Whatsapp Dp images
19 Oct, 2019 | 03:25
This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coming here again and again. Visit my link as well..
click here
06 Aug, 2019 | 06:36
Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.
You’re killing it and you are basically the master of your topic. Who would doubt that your position will be number 1? You are the boss! Office 365 support.
gogoanime
06 Aug, 2019 | 08:10
I am very much pleased with the contents you have mentioned. I wanted to thank you for this great article.
24 hour locksmith Draper
07 Aug, 2019 | 03:30
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading.
Katy garage door repair
11 Sep, 2019 | 02:33
Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.
garage door repair Frisco TX
11 Sep, 2019 | 03:53
This blog is really great. The information here will surely be of some help to me. Thanks!.
euro t20 slam live streaming
07 Aug, 2019 | 09:13
I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
Super site! I am Loving it!! Will return once more, Im taking your food likewise, Thanks.
happy wheels
15 Aug, 2019 | 05:47
This is a great thing, I think everyone feels this information is very valuable, thank you
car locksmith Puyallup
08 Aug, 2019 | 02:59
Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best.
handyman in Salt Lake City
14 Sep, 2019 | 03:50
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks...
Littleton locksmith
14 Sep, 2019 | 04:17
Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!Thanks
garage door repair Herriman UT
17 Aug, 2019 | 01:26
Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject.
Het toestel werd in mei 2004 geïntroduceerd op de Chinese binnenlandse markt als hulpmiddel om te stoppen met roken en als vervanging. Het bedrijf waarvoor Hon Lik werkte, Golden Dragon Holdings, veranderde zijn naam in Ruyan en begon de producten in 2005 / 2006 te exporteren ook naar Europa en Nederland. Dit zelfs vóór de ontvangst van zijn eerste internationale octrooi die in 2007 officieel werd afgegeven.
Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post.
salvador brazil
18 Aug, 2019 | 01:21
I will have to follow you, the information you bring is very real, reflecting correctly and objectively, it is very useful for society to grow together. With so many books and articles coming up to give gateway to make-money-online field and confusing reader even more on the actual way of earning money
Great articles and great layout. Your blog post deserves all of the positive feedback it’s been getting.
car locksmith Murray
15 Sep, 2019 | 03:09
I wish more authors of this type of content would take the time you did to research and write so well. I am very impressed with your vision and insight.
Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..
locksmith Renton Washington
16 Sep, 2019 | 02:12
If you are looking for more information about flat rate locksmith Las Vegas check that right away.
Kinderkleding
19 Aug, 2019 | 03:08
I know your expertise on this. I must say we should have an online discussion on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information.
auto locksmith Kirkland
16 Sep, 2019 | 03:34
Thank you for some other informative blog. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal means? I have a mission that I’m just now working on, and I have been at the look out for such information.
This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.
Babykleertjes
19 Aug, 2019 | 06:14
You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers.
Posai
19 Aug, 2019 | 12:47
Thanks. I just know about it here. <a href="https://bettafish.top>top quality betta fish</a>
jalshamoviez
20 Aug, 2019 | 03:10
He is a good actor . He is all movies are great and I like all hollywood movies, bollywood movies, and south indians movies are aviavable in this site I like a this site very much and I found of this site and this site adverstingment given others films are in this are very good and all movies very enterniment very easy to download from this site.
Dallas garage door service
17 Sep, 2019 | 03:27
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks...
Kleertjes
20 Aug, 2019 | 05:35
Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include.
locksmiths Lynnwood
09 Oct, 2019 | 04:04
This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you.
garage door repair Layton Utah
09 Oct, 2019 | 05:59
This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly for Some latest post.
I suggest any kind of content material. It certainly is fantastic to sort out you'll clarify within phrases through center and also display quality by using this useful content material is very merely acknowledged.
Visit
20 Aug, 2019 | 22:40
Nice
classic mahjong solitaire free
20 Aug, 2019 | 23:03
This post is beneficial and incredibly helpful. Most people will obviously assert that everything you say in your blog post is good.
Communiekledij
21 Aug, 2019 | 02:33
The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface.
Babykledij
21 Aug, 2019 | 04:26
Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

Make a comment