Highlights Around the Island
Pigeon Island mainstage is well known internationally as the venue for Saint Lucia’s signature celebration of music and arts, but around the island the vibe is just as hot, and some locations have become an annual tradition for local and regional jazz fans.
On May 1st, Kassav will play at Soufriere in their second consecutive visit to Saint Lucia Jazz; this awesome institution of French Caribbean zouk music is bound to bring the house down once again: Friday May 2nd sees a free “Cultural Explosion” of dance, drama and steel pan music in Gros Islet, while in Marigot Bay, Capella Resorts presents Jazz on the Bay, with the local talent of saxophonist Barbara Cadet, vocalist Claudia Edwards and a roster of exciting live bands. The free Jazz on the Bay concert continues on May 3rd with the Derek Yarde Project headlining, while down south at Fond D’Or, Jamaican family band Morgan Heritage is back for a return visit after several years, sharing the line up with veteran jazz guitarist and Saint Lucian national treasure, Boo Hinkson.
Jazz in the South is Laborie’s highly successful daytime free concert, which this year features an eclectic international collection of acts including Jacques Schwarz Bart’s Jazz Racine Haiti (featuring Erol Josue), Gregory Privat and the Children of Cyparis, and the Shomari and Wendell Jazz Project.
Of course Saint Lucia Jazz is also about Arts, and May 5th sees the return of the spoken word, headed up by author and poet Kendel Hippolyte who will lead “Blue Session – Word in Altered Scale,” at 8pm in the Garden at Gaiety, where poetry and music will mesh, and veteran Saint Lucian reggae artist SKY, formerly of Amate, will provide the background sounds.
Jazz on the Square is a series of free lunchtime concerts between May 7th and May 9th at Derek Walcott Square in Castries; also in Castries, La Place Carenage duty free mall features Teatime Jazz on May 7th and 8th; and up north, Bay Walk Mall and JQ Rodney Bay Mall have free jazz sessions over the course of the festival.
Also in Rodney Bay, Jazz on the Grill features some of the best local and international jazz musicians from the island’s premier music festival. This year Fire Grill & Lounge Bar will host eight days of grooves, including four sessions of St. Lucia Jamz, featuring many artists performing on other stages around the island during the Jazz Festival.
Since 2010 Jazz on the Grill has been part of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival official programme. Don’t miss the final, roof blowing Encore Jam session is on Monday May 12, after the Pigeon Island main events are over – as we say in Saint Lucia, it’s definitely one for de road!
There’s no doubt about it – May and Jazz are synonymous in Saint Lucia, and long may it last! Check www.stluciajazz.org for the information on events, venues and tickets.
The best musical party in the Caribbean is right here in Saint Lucia!