Jimena International Music FestivalThe first International Festival of Music was first celebrated in Jimena in 2000 and it ran grass roots for a number of years before getting official support. It has been sporadic lately, however did take place in late June 2018.
Classical music, jazz, flamenco and world music are all featured. Concerts every evening stretching into the night over a period of several days demand organisation, keen audiences and lots of artists, groups and soloists, young and promising, famous and established, local and international. In 2002, for example, there were the European Union Chamber orchestra, the Steve Waterman quintet, a company from the Bolshoi Ballet, the Barefield Ceili Band, Sara Baras, Alba Ventura, Mercedes Peon, Justus Grimm, Vicente Amigo, Josep Sancho, Die Reinhardt.
The simple white courtyard and nave of the old convent and Church of Nuestra Señora de los Angeles as well as the Centro Cultural Reina Sofia provide concert halls for classical music. The open air of a cortijo in the countryside and public squares next to old churches and towers provide for flamenco, jazz and music of the world. The squares and streets of this old white town are magically illuminated at night and so too are the warmer colours of churches and the castle perched above, launching the final firework display.
The castle of Jimena de la Frontera looks south to frontiers between continents and countries, seas and oceans. In the town below many different peoples have lived in turn, creating international frontiers in time as well as in place, where the frontier has sometimes been a scene of conflict. Jimena might have been placed and built on purpose for an international festival. What better language for the festival than music of all kinds, sounding in the squares and courtyards, in the old white churches.