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Murcia in Spain to Rock with Jazz, Blues and World Music

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This summer music lovers should head for a quiet region on Spain's Mediterranean coast. Murcia will be filled with the sound of music - jazz, blues, world and rock - from not one, but two major festivals. Kicking off tomorrow, the 12th San Javier International Jazz Festival will feature 16 concerts with music greats like John Fogarty of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. And just 16 miles down the road, the city of Cartagena, rich with impressive Roman ruins, will be presenting music, art and film at the 15th Ocean of Music, Art and Film Festival beginning July 4. Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club, Algeria's Rachid Taha and England's own Marianne Faithful are set to perform.

A quiet Mediterranean town, next to the Mar Menor, Europe's largest salt lake, San Javier, has the region's most beautiful beaches. Through July 26, Barcelona Hot Angels, the Brazilian All Stars, Chiara Civello, Chicago Blues: A Living History, Ron Carter, Christian McBride, Rhoda Scott, Susan Tedeschi and Steve Winwood will perform. This year's festival is dedicated to the memory of three jazz icons-- Louie Bellson, Esbjorn Svensson, and Bo Diddley--who appeared at past festivals.

Running through August 31, the 15th Ocean of Music, Art and Film Festival - this year's edition showcases Morocco - will feature 44 concerts, 15 screenings of Spanish and Moroccan films and various exhibitions of paintings and photography by both Spanish and Moroccan artists. Kicking off the Ocean of Music Festival on July 4 is Algeria's Khaled, followed by Cuba's Pablo Milanes (7/05) and Spain's Alondra Bentley, Laura More, and Lidia Damunt (7/06). Other musical artists - hailing from more than 20 countries - set to perform are: Mali's Rokia Traore (7/08); Lucinda Williams (7/16); Taj Mahal (7/18). The Kasai Allstars from Congo will close the series of concerts on July 24.

The Ocean of Music, Art and Film Festival takes place in the historic city of Cartagena, which was founded by the Carthaginians in 223 B.C. and then quickly conquered by the Romans in 209 B.C. Numerous excavations--including those of the Roman Amphitheatre, temples, public baths and a Paleochristian necropolis--illustrate the city's rich history. Several of these historic venues will be venues for the festival: the Park of Torres overlooking the Roman Theater; the open-air City Plaza in front of the 1873 Consistorial Palace; and the Patio de Armas will host performances. A more intimate space, the 13th century Old Cathedral will be another venue.

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