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The Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies

Highlights from the 2020 Johnny Pacheco Latin Music and Jazz Festival at Lehman College

This episode of Bronxnet's "Giant Steps from The Bronx" begins with a Virtual Ensemble performance featuring the Lehman College Jazz Ensemble in a telling of the story of the Johnny Pacheco Latin Music and Jazz Festival at Lehman College during Covid 19.

Pacheco Festival Mission Statement

The Johnny Pacheco Latin Music and Jazz Festival at Lehman College is an annual event which provides performance and learning opportunities for talented young musicians who are studying music in New York City schools. The Pacheco Festival is committed to developing a world-wide audience via live Internet streaming and other forms of broadcast media. More than 250 student musicians perform at this festival each year.


The Pacheco Festival is a collaboration between the Lehman College Music Department, The Lehman College Multimedia Center and Bronxnet Television.

Community Outreach

The Pacheco Festival serves the multicultural population of the Bronx and the greater New York City area. Middle school, secondary school and college students are given the opportunity to perform at the festival each year and neighboring elementary, middle and secondary schools are invited to be a part of the live festival audience. The extended Bronx and NYC community is welcome to attend all festival events which are free and open to the public.

Virtual Performances and Workshops

The Pacheco Festival has been designed as a hybrid "virtual" and "brick and mortar" event which enables invited guests to participate via live interactive video conferences. Clinicians and performers have joined the event from Santiago Chile, Winnipeg Canada, Manhattan Kansas, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Montreal. Most notably, NEA Jazz Masters Clark Terry and Frank Foster have participated in music presentations from their homes via Skype.

Virtual Outreach

Live Television and Webcast:

The Johnny Pacheco Latin Music and Jazz Festival at Lehman College is simulcast live on Bronxnet Television ( and worldwide via webcast. This event is also promoted as part of the Jazz Education Network Virtual Outreach Series ( The live Bronxnet broadcast of this event reaches a potential audience of 370,000 homes in the Bronx and receives thousands of views via the Internet.

Audience Development in the Digital Age:

The Pacheco Festival brings Latin Music and Jazz to an international audience by making its live Internet webstream available to school audiences worldwide. Public and private school teachers are given educational resources to assist in guiding their students through the process of listening to live Latin music and Jazz performances. The Lehman College Music Department collaborates with the Lehman College Art Department to create innovative projects that feature an animated character performing with the Lehman Jazz Ensemble in real time! This exciting project reaches out to a diverse audience including elementary school students who may be experiencing their first exposure to Latin Music and Jazz via the Pacheco Festival.

Guest Artists

World-Class Latin music and Jazz artists are invited to perform at the festival each year. These up close and personal visits by reknown artists are inspiring to all festival attendees.

2019 Festival Program
2020 Festival Schedule

Past Guest Artists include:

Mike Mainieri, Larry Ridley, Andy Gonzalez, Richard Wyands, Nicky Marrero, The Capitol Bones, Terry Silverlight, Will Lee, Barry Miles, Zacchai Curtis, Leslie Lewis and Gerard Hagen, Gary Morgan and Panamericana, The Ethos Percussion Quartet, Richard Boukas and Quarteto Moderno, The Bronx Conexion, Memo Acevedo and Manhattan Bridges, Matt Niess and The Lehman College Faculty Jazz Ensemble.

Pacheco Festival Distinguished Artists

The Pacheco Festival publicly recognizes musicians for their life-long contribution to the music and music education professions. Recipients to date are:

  • 2010/2011: Dr. Johnny Pacheco, Mr. Frank Foster, Dr. Larry Ridley, Mr. Andy Gonzalez
  • 2012: Mr. Nicky Marrero, Mr. Richard Wyands, Mr. Aaron Sachs, Mr. Clark Terry Past Lehman College Jazz Ensemble Directors: Dr. Lyn Christie, Mr. Stanley Cowell, Mr. Jack Cohen, Mr. Bob Stewart, Mr. Armando Rodriguez
  • 2013: Mr. Michael Mainieri, Dr. Bert Konowitz
  • 2014: Mr. Ray Santos, Mr. Memo Acevedo 2015: Mr. Morris "Arnie" Lang, Mr. Ramon Rodriguez, Mr. Lou Marini, Mr. Larry Willis, Mr. Billy Strayhorn (postumously)
  • 2016: Mr. Wilson "Chembo" Corniel

Pacheco Festival Recognition of Organizations

The Pacheco Festival publicly recognizes organizations for their commitment to music and music education. Recipients to date are:

The CUNY Jazz Festival at The City College of New York

  • Professor Mike Holober, Director

The KoSA International Percussion Workshops

  • Aldo Mazza, Artistic Director
  • Dr. Jolan Kovacs, Co-Founder

The Jazz Education Network Mary Jo Papich, Co-Founder

  • Dr. Lou Fischer, Co-Founder