Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, April 30th – May 11th

Caribbean Star Power Propel the Opening of Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts
Hosted once more at ‘The People’s Auditorium,’ Mindoo Phillip Park, the official opening of the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival continues its legacy of thrilling audiences with a lineup featuring an all-star cast of Caribbean powerhouses designed to jump start the festival.

From Trinidad and Tobago, the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival welcomes 2014 Groovy Soca Monarch Kerwin Dubois back to our shores. Fresh off the heels of his victorious performance at the International Soca Monarch competition, Dubois will rock the stage alongside fellow competitors and soca favorites Mr. Killa from Grenada of “Rolly Polly” fame, and frequent Saint Lucian soca collaborator Skinny Fabulous from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

From New York City by way of Haiti, Kompas fusion trio Carimi will bring their unique flavor to the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival Opening stage. Home grown musical heavyweights Superman HD, reigning Power and Road March champion Ricky T, Mongstar and EvaLucian featuring Arthur Allain add local flavor to the opening stage.

Headlining the official opening of the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival is Jamaican dancehall superstar Popcaan and the Ruff Kuff Band. Once the protégé of one of dancehall’s most revered and controversial heralds, Vybz Kartel, Popcaan’s “Freshman Class” of dancehall has revolutionized the genre, incorporating fresh synths and rhythms beneath infectiously catchy hooks. With hits like “When You Wine Like That,” “Unruly Rave” and “Only Man She Want” Popcaan is set to invigorate crowds.

The musical talent abounds and the party atmosphere is palpable with the announcement of these stellar acts. The Official Opening of the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival is slated for April 30th at the Mindoo Phillip Park.

Jazz Festival Season Begins with a Bang
The Saint Lucia Tourist Board has marked the opening of the Jazz & Arts Festival season by unveiling a sweepstakes featuring local Groovy Soca superstar Teddyson John. The competition, powered via the Festival’s social media pages, asks participants to “Sing It Like Teddyson,” by uploading 30 second videos of themselves performing their favorite song from John’s repertoire over the years.

The winning entrant will receive a pair of tickets to the Festival’s Caribbean night Featuring John, Alison Hinds and Alternative Quartet as well as a pair of VIP all access tickets to John’s signature concert, “Love.Passion.Music.” hosted during Saint Lucia’s Carnival Season, and the opportunity to meet the crooner.

“Every time we showcase quality local talent, we’re putting it out there that our homegrown talent deserves the mainstage position and can be on par with international performers. We see it as endorsing ourselves as a viable product alongside the international acts – and that’s huge for the destination and for the creative sector.” says Tracey Warner-Arnold, Deputy Director of Tourism.

To participate in the “Sing It Like Teddyson” sweepstakes, participants must ‘like’ the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival on Facebook or follow the Festival on Twitter and submit a 30 second video performing their favorite Teddyson John tune. There is no limit to submissions.

Follow the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival on Twitter and Instagram, like their page onFacebook and download the festival app:

Kassav to Headline Soufriere Jazz 2014
It is signed, sealed and they are certainly set to deliver!The legendary Parisienne Creole zouk machine Kassav, is set to ignite the town of Soufriere as the island gets set to welcome in Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival 2014!

Popular throughout the French-speaking Caribbean and especially in Saint Lucia, Kassav has over the years thrilled crowds here with their offerings of zouk, cadence and compas appealing to the rhythm in islanders’ souls that is richly immersed in their French and African Heritage. The band has performed on island on several occasions as well as for Saint Lucia Jazz in the past, but this is the first time that Kassav will perform against the backdrop of Saint Lucia’s iconic Pitons and the concert managers are ecstatic!

Loukie Albert who is part of the Soufriere Jazz 2014 planning team says there is already a buzz in the town and across the island about the concert that is scheduled to take place at the Soufriere Mini Stadium on Thursday, May 1 “…and to have Kassav headline for us literally seals the deal and makes our event a ‘must do’ this Jazz season” she said.

Also down to perform at the inaugural Soufriere Jazz 2014 are Shayne Ross, Eva-Lucian and there will be a dramatic performance by the Soufriere Action Theatre (SAT).

3rd Annual Jazz on the Bay Festival
The Capella Marina at Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia presents the sweet sounds of music and the Caribbean spirit with the 2014 Jazz on the Bay Festival. To coincide with Saint Lucia’s 23rd Annual Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, visitors and locals alike will celebrate the rich music history of Saint Lucia, dance, spa specials, poetry, arts and crafts and also savor some of the island’s best dishes at the Capella Marina. Unlike previous years, the free festival will be held over two days, kicking off on Friday, May 2ndfrom noon to 10:00 pm and Saturday, May 3rd from noon to 10:00 pm, featuring more than 20 musical performances.

Local award-winning talent such as headliner Barbara Cadet, will grace the stage and feature jazzy rhythms along with Claudia Edward, Black Antz, Nation of Kings, Harmonites Steel Orchestra and Inner Urge on May 2nd. Starting and closing festivities on the afternoon of May 3rd is principal performer Derek Yarde Project (DYP) showcasing Caribbean vibes followed by Superman HD, The Invader, Raw Elements, ASAP, FOCUS and Secret Solo Bands.

The festival is presented by Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, Saint Lucia and is supported by Lucelec, Barbay Ltd., Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, My Blue Eyes, Bens Yachts, SY Capella, Nautique, Alice Bagshaw, Marigourmet, Rhythm FM, SY Privateer, Jameison Construction, Pan-American Life, Chateau Mygo, Rainforest Hideaway, Dan Rosen, CMS, Chris Taxi 36, Harry Edwards, Total Con Sup., Blanchards, Crown Foods, Peter & Co., RCI, Image Designs, Harmony Yacht, VC Car Rental, Dive Fair Helen, Threadworks, Marigot BC, Jj’s Paradise, The Wave, Empire Events, BTC (Cox) and Marigot Taxi Association.

Fond d’Or Jazz 2014
For the fourteenth year running, Fond d’Or Jazz will return for its celebration of authentic Saint Lucian folk sounds, fusion and smooth jazz and Caribbean Party on Saturday May 3rd, 2014 from1 p.m. to 10:00p.m.
This year the festival will play host to Saint Lucia’s Ronald “Boo” Hinkson, a founding artiste of the event and internationally renowned Saint Lucian musician and composer. Remaining true to its objectives of promoting the island’s cultural tourism, creative industries and civic pride, Fond d’Or Jazz will welcome new local performers Avot Sevis – a Kweyol folk act, Heart and Soul, Shayne Ross, and Irvin “Ace” Loctor.

Fond d’Or jazz has made a name for itself over the last 13 years as the kick-off event of ‘taking jazz to the people’ during the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival. “Be it the cool Atlantic breeze; the people; the culinary delights and exquisite social ambience, nestled in the rustic plantation setting on the east coast of Saint Lucia, Fond d’Or jazz has all the right ingredients to take patrons on a unique journey to jazz,” says a spokesman for the Fond d’Or Foundation.

A special treat, will be Tracy Hamlin, an emerging artiste in the USA and Grammy nominee, who has recorded with Ronald “Boo” Hinkson. Hamlin will perform her latest productions and new compositions. Building on last year’s scintillating festival with French mega group Kassav that saw as many as 6,000 attendees, the 2014 Fond d’Or Jazz will close with a reggae party featuring, Jamaica’s Morgan Heritage.

Tickets are $EC80.00 (US$35.00) adults, while children under the age of 12, accompanied by parents or guardians, enter absolutely free. Tickets may be purchased at ticket outlets or at the gate on the day of the event, May 3rd.

Jazz on the Grill 2014
Conceptualized by Chef Bobo Bergstrom and partner Peter Byrne, Jazz on the Grill this year continues a tradition of showcasing some of the best jazz musicians this side of the hemisphere.  Housed at the Fire Grill Steakhouse & Lounge Bar on the Rodney Bay strip, Jazz on the Grill has grown to become one of the most exciting free jazz events in the north of the island.

Debuting in 2008 the popular Jazz on the Grill has quickly become a permanent fixture on the roster of events making up the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival.  The close-contact-stage jazz event has also rapidly etched its way into the hearts and minds of music lovers, attracting increasing crowds.

The highly organized 8-day long dinner time jazz event, provide audiences the opportunity to enjoy ecliptic jazz while dinning at a fine restaurant or simply hanging out at the bar.

Beginning ahead of main-stage jazz activities and continuing one day after, the week is filled with a stellar line-up of local and international jazz artistes.  Since 2010 Jazz on the Grill has been endorsed by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. “The final, roof blowing Encore Jam sessionon Monday after the Pigeon Island main event is a night no one would want to miss out on,” says a spokesperson for the event.

In 2014 Jazz on the Grill will feature the likes of Carl Gustave, the St. Lucia School of Music, Barbara Cadet, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson, Alibi featuring Richard Payne, Lapokabwit African Drummers, Skip Monday, and Claudia Edwards.

The event is also a major fundraiser with an auction where all proceedings go to the St. Lucia School of music. Performances start at 7:30pm each night.

Jazz in the South Set to Thrill Once More
Major Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival stakeholder, Labowi Promotions, producers of the popular ‘Jazz in the South’ series of concerts, has announced its 2014 lineup.

Opting to consolidate into one major offering on May 4th  at the Rudy John Beach Park in Laborie, included in this year’s roster, from the south of Saint Lucia, is The Shomari and Wendell Jazz Project; from Martinique, The Gregory Privat Quintet featuring namesake pianist and composer Gregory Privat; and rounding out the unique blend of creole jazz for which Jazz in the South is known, The Jazz Racine Haiti Project of Guadeloupean Jacques Schwarz-Bart, featuring festival mainstay Etienne Charles on trumpet and “Prince of Haitian Roots Music” Erol Josué.

Since its inception in 1997, Jazz in the South has attracted some of the most recognizable names in Caribbean music. “Jazz in the South is still about Creole infused Caribbean Jazz,” says Len Leonce of Labowi Promotions, “We’re committed to presenting Saint Lucia with a jazz product that is well rounded, and representative of our diverse culture and experiences.”

Jazz in the South will continue to add to its legacy of excellence with its usual blend of quality Caribbean music, mouthwatering local food, relaxing atmosphere and in keeping with the revamped nature of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, a photographic exhibition of Caribbean jazz musicians, fitting for a location which has played host to many Caribbean greats.

Hot Couture Heats Up Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts
An already fiery 23rd edition Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival is set to get even hotter when one of the most anticipated art segments, the acclaimed fashion show ‘Hot Couture’, hits the runway.

Scheduled for May 7th, HOT Couture will feature an ‘A’ list of local and regional designers working alongside both seasoned and newly discovered modeling talent from across Saint Lucia. Taking place in the newly constructed Johnson’s Centre in Rodney Bay, Hot Couture is being produced by three of the Saint Lucia’s leading fashion/event/production gurus namely Mae Wayne, Adrian Augier and Dahlia Francois. Local and regional designers are currently being selected and model castings will be held from March 28-30 across the island.

The theme for the HOT Couture sophomore outing will be ‘Island Vibe,’ celebrating the awards and accolades Saint Lucia has received as a world class destination for the past several years, and the signature events for which the island has become famous.

According to Tourism Director Louis Lewis, “We are very excited to host Saint Lucia HOT Couture for a second year running as part of the main programme of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. Fashion is a key component of the local creative arts industry and we see the importance of giving it an international platform. This year’s Island Vibe theme also enables the Saint Lucia Tourist Board to showcase the destination’s inclusion in the Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary Swimsuit issue and also the imagery and exposure received from the Bachelor TV series.”

Quickly become ‘a must see’ on the Caribbean’s fashion calendar of events, Hot Couture provides the perfect springboard opportunity for scores of emerging local male and female models to be featured on an international stage. Tickets for Hot Couture cost EC $150.00/US$60.00 and are VAT inclusive.

Jazz Weekend
Director of Tourism Louis Lewis said, “The 2014 line-up is an exhilarating mix of musical genres that would again allow the festival to deliver the world class experience for which it has become renowned.”

Performances at the Gaiety on Rodney Bay on May 8 will feature Cuban composer, pianist, bandleader and Grammy nominee Omar Sosa Quintet and three-time Grammyaward winning American jazz singer -songwriter, as well as Tony-Award winning stage actress Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Main stage activities at the Pigeon Island National Landmark will sound off on Friday, May 9. Themed as Caribbean night, the evening extravaganza will see performances from Trinidadian string band Alternative Quartet, local heartthrob Teddyson John featuring Alison Hinds of Barbados and Jamaican reggae and dancehall legend Barrington Levy.

Saturday May 10 features American R&B soul singer, songwriter and producer Kem, American-born Puerto Rican Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winning Merengue singer Elvis Crespo. His smash hit ‘Suavemente’ has become an anthem for Latin music. “Personally” sealing off the Saturday line-up is Nigerian R&B duo P-Square.

Headlining the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival isAmerican singer-songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist Maxwell. Boasting several chart toppers, the Grammy award-winning artiste music spans R&B, Funk, Jazz and Soul.  Festival patrons will dance and sing along to legendary American funk/soul band of Motown fame, The Commodores. The group is best known for their ballads, such as “Easy” and “Three Times a Lady“, but has recorded funky, driven dance-floor hits which include “Brick House“, “The Bump”, “Fancy Dancer”, and “Too Hot ta Trot”.

Also on the cards for Sunday May 11 is Jamaican reggae fusion recording artist, best known for winning Season 5 of the American reality TV singing competition, The Voice – Tessanne Chin.

Other musical virtuosos forming the 2014 line up include Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander, St. Lucian Expo that features the up and coming emerging talents of Michael Robinson and Anesha Antoine, andfunky jazz & blues band Blue Mango featuring Emiline Michel & James Germain.
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