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This is the story of my experiences living as an ex-pat in Mexico since 2003. It's to culminate in a published book. With your help, I'll be editing, selecting a title, and cover art: a participatory project. Your comments encouraged!

Letters from Mexico


ExpatsBlog.com - Where Expats Blog

May 29, 2021

"Jazz Is"--Tepoztlán

Here's the band playing under a large tarp surrounded by lawn with potted plants. Upright bass, drums, and keyboard.

This newly formed jazz trio had their debut on Sunday, May 2, at La Sombra del Sabino, in Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico.

Jim Doney is the organizer and leader of the group. Learn more about him in this article. Besides excelling as a percussionist, he teaches and is an inventor. He invented the Pythagorean harp, and is developing an app of healing frequencies derived from it called BioAire.

Jim’s motivation for creating Jazz Is was to perform contemporary jazz that represents the members in a unique synthesis of personalities to be one expressive voice.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Jazz Is Trio, at their first performance. Photo by author

Band Members

Playing his upright bass.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Hector Robles, upright bass. Photo by author

Hector Robles, the upright bassist, is a local man who studied in Mexico City at Escuela Superior de Música. He spent fifteen years in Spain and returned five years ago to Tepoztlán. Besides performing, he also teaches music.

At the keyboard

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Amin López at the keyboard. Photo by author

Amin López (on keyboard) is originally from Monterey, in northern Mexico. Beginning at the tender age of five he was fortunate to attend a special classical music program designed for exceptionally talented children at the University of Monterey. He later studied at Lafaro Jazz Institute in Mexico City.Hector introduced Amin to Jim, and the trio was born.

Drummer behind his set playing with brushes.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Jim Doney, drummer and leader/founder of the trio. Photo by author

Jim Doney, leader and founder of Jazz Is, is a drummer and teacher. In addition he is a researcher and inventor. Jim started experimenting with the properties of different frequencies and their healing properties. He invented special harps with Pythagorean tunings. For more information on the harps you can go to his site. He is currently developing an app with healing frequencies that plays through a special speaker with no need for ear buds or a head set. For more on that, contact him here.

Band Performance

Jim told me that Teopztlán provides a unique and fertile ground for Jazz Is. Good musicians come here because it’s a nice place to live—the mountains, climate, people, and culture. And it’s only an hour on the highway to Mexico City.

Here is a video of their initial performance at La Sombra del Sabino, a unique bookstore with outdoor restaurant and performing space.

Here's an interview I did of Jim in a prior article. You'll get an idea of his background. Watch for his analysis of the history of jazz in Mexico, and how it differs to play here compared to the US.

The Jazz Is Trio has an upcoming gig at La Sombra next month.