Early Start for Soleil 2018

The Star (St. Lucia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

With not a mo­ment to rest, the Events Com­pany of St. Lu­cia Inc. (ECSL) has launched its plans for Soleil 2018. In a cer­e­mony held on Wed­nes­day Novem­ber 8 in At­lanta, Ge­or­gia, a team from Saint Lu­cia in­clud­ing Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of ECSL Thomas Leonce, Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for Tourism and Broad­cast­ing, Do­minic Fedee, and Agnes Fran­cis, Chair­per­son for the Saint Lu­cia Tourism Au­thor­ity, un­veiled plans for the Soleil Saint Lu­cia Sum­mer of Fes­ti­vals to an au­di­ence that com­prised travel agents, tourism of­fi­cials and other strate­gic part­ners in the United States of Amer­ica.

“Un­der­stand­ing the value of the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets to the sustainability of our Sum­mer Fes­ti­val, we felt it crit­i­cal to launch in these re­gions early, while trav­ellers are making the big de­ci­sion about where to go for the sum­mer,” com­mented Thomas Leonce, CEO of ECSL.

He added, “Com­ing out of Soleil 2017, we are well placed to iden­tify the op­por­tu­ni­ties to make the Soleil Sum­mer Fes­ti­val even more vi­able. In 2018 we can look for­ward to some ad­just­ments to the cal­en­dar - a strate­gic re­cal­i­bra­tion of the fes­ti­val el­e­ments, so to speak - to cre­ate an even more vi­able prod­uct that also sets us apart as a unique tourism des­ti­na­tion for fes­ti­val lovers.”

The Soleil Sum­mer of Fes­ti­vals will fea­ture, as its core line-up, the Food and Rum Fes­ti­val sched­uled for Jan­uary 12-14, Saint Lu­cia Jazz from May 6-13, Saint Lu­cia Car­ni­val from June to July 2018 fol­lowed by Roots & Soul, Au­gust 31 to Septem­ber 2, cul­mi­nat­ing with Arts & Her­itage Month in Oc­to­ber.

At the Saint Lu­cian launch of Soleil 2018, held at San­dals Grande this week, the lineup for Saint Lu­cia Jazz was of­fi­cially an­nounced. This highly an­tic­i­pated event has re­ceived much fo­cus given its po­si­tion as one of the most sta­ple na­tional events next to Saint Lu­cia Car­ni­val. As such, this fes­ti­val, which has been given a makeover, is po­si­tioned more so now as a Jazz Fes­ti­val for purist Jazz lovers – a place­ment that dif­fer­en­ti­ates it from other mu­sic fes­ti­vals in the re­gion and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

In 2018 Saint Lu­cia Jazz will fea­ture ‘A World of Jazz’ at the San­dals Grande St. Lu­cian Spa & Beach Re­sort from May 7. An­other ho­tel venue is the Har­bor Club, the new­est ad­di­tion to the Saint Lu­cia ho­tel land­scape. On May 10 and 11 the Har­bor Club will host ‘A Taste of Bour­bon Street’, a two-night din­ner set fea­tur­ing Jazzmeia ‘Jazz’ Horn.

Also on May 11, the Roy­al­ton Saint Lu­cia Re­sort & Spa will host ‘The Lincoln Cen­tre Jazz Ex­pe­ri­ence’ fea­tur­ing five-time Grammy Award Win­ner Lalah Hath­away.

Other con­firmed in­ter­na­tional acts in­clude Bri­tish vo­cal­ist and singer-song­writer, Zara McFarlane, soloist Denys Bap­tiste, Haitian-Amer­i­can per­form­ing artist Pauline Jean, world­wide drum­mer - Guade­lou­pean Ar­naud Dol­men, Cameroo­nian bassist Eti­enne Mbappé and the Prophets, Do­mini­can gui­tarist Cameron Pierre and vo­cal­ist Carolyn Malachi. Also ap­pear­ing is Az­iza, fea­tur­ing sax­o­phon­ist Chris Pot­ter, dou­ble bassist Dave Hol­land, gui­tarist Lionel Loueke and drum­mer Eric Har­land. Making the Saint Lu­cia Jazz line-up as well is Al­fredo Ro­dríguez, an in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed Cuban jazz pian­ist

Saint Lu­cia Jazz cli­maxes with an eclec­tic show­case at the Pi­geon Is­land Na­tional Land­mark on Mother’s Day, Sun­day May 13 show­cas­ing The Frantz Lau­rac Quar­tet, Ron­ald ‘Boo’ Hink­son and Friends, R + R = NOW, a world class, world-renowned com­bi­na­tion of some of the great­est Amer­i­can mu­si­cians in the Jazz world in­clud­ing three-time Grammy Award win­ning pian­ist Robert Glasper, rap­per Ter­race Martin, trum­peter, com­poser and pro­ducer Chris­tian Scott, Der­rick Hodge - Grammy Award­win­ning bassist, com­poser, record pro­ducer, and mu­si­cal di­rec­tor; mu­sic pro­ducer, key­boardist and beat-boxer Tay­lor McFer­rin, and Justin Tyson - drum­mer ex­traor­di­naire.

Avery Sun­shine caps it all off with her thun­der­ous, gospel­bred pipes and heart-to-heart con­tent.

Cel­e­brat­ing Saint Lu­cia’s Jazz icons, the Soleil Saint Lu­cia Jazz Fes­ti­val will fea­ture the ‘God­fa­ther of Jazz in Saint Lu­cia’ - Luther Fran­cois, Bar­bara Cadet and Ron­ald ‘Boo’ Hink­son.

“We are off to a great start,” notes Agnes Fran­cis, Chair­per­son of the Saint Lu­cia Tourism Au­thor­ity. “We are con­fi­dent that we have cre­ated a brand and a prod­uct that is of the high­est in­ter­na­tional stan­dard; a brand and a prod­uct that will ex­cite our in­ter­na­tional au­di­ences, en­tic­ing them to come to Saint Lu­cia to ex­pe­ri­ence world-class en­ter­tain­ment sea­soned with a blend of Saint Lu­cian hos­pi­tal­ity, cul­tural au­then­tic­ity and ex­quis­ite is­land beauty.”

The in­ter­na­tional Soleil Saint Lu­cia Sum­mer Fes­ti­val 2018 - Pro­mo­tional Cam­paign will be launched over the next few weeks in the United King­dom and Canada.

A cul­tural mas­quer­ade was part of the mix at the launch of Soleil 2018.

Phy­ness and Rob Zi Tay­lor per­form­ing at the Soleil un­veil.

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