Ensemblast Culture in Boquete Boquete Panama
Isaac Casal’s “Ensemblast”

Boquete may be a small mountain town in Panama, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get a dose of culture from time to time! A few times a year, the Boquete Library Foundation stages musical recitals that are consistently great. The Foundation typically features up-and-common Panamanian musicians and groups that are on the fast track to international recognition, and the performances are top-notch.

Last Sunday, we attended the latest of these – a chamber group called “Ensemblast,” lead by well-known Panamanian cellist Isaac Casal (wonder if he’s related to famous cellist Pablo Casals?). They played a stunning and eclectic program that ranged from the haunting “Schindler’s List” overture by John Williams to Appalachia Waltz by Mark O’Connor. The biggest bonus: we got an introduction  to the music of Astor Piazzola, an Argentine and a legendary composer of tango music. With this fabulous music, they took us instantly back to everything we loved about our visit to Buenos Aires – its theatricality, wrapped up in mystery, romance, and a dash of the macabre.

Where else can you attend a live performance of this caliber for $15 a ticket? Just another reason to love this expat life in Boquete!

I wish I had a video of an Ensemblast performance, but here’s one of the tunes they played for us – “Invierno Porteño,” as performed by Piazzola himself.



  1. Love your posts. It’s always much more than just the “see-do” that sometimes dominates other sites. I always get the real flavor of the experience.

  2. Mary Lea (Mimi) Reply

    Wonderful music! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it, Mimi! <3

  3. Thank you! I think many readers enjoy your blog without ever commenting, so…thanks!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      That’s really nice – thanks!

  4. Why do I think you two are gonna end up in Buenos Aires someday? Great post, and the music is superb. I never realized it snowed in Porteńo, but it makes sense as far south as it is. (Did I just write that?) Anyway, thanks for another great edition.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      You never know with us, amiga! BA is a bit too far from the family in the US but . . . maybe someday. There is something really magical about that city – hope you two can go there soon.

  5. Oh, I know how you feel because I was so excited to find a movie theater (with English language movies) here in our little town of Lagos. So awesome to have those connections to big city experiences isn’t it? Thanks for sharing Piazzolla’s music – I loved the piano and accordion!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Wow, there’s an English movie theater in Lagos? Portugal is sounding better and better 🙂 Thanks for the comment, Anita!

  6. Definitely another plus of expat life – great entertainment at an affordable price. I may never return ‘home’.

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