It’s Wednesday, the middle of the week. But already it feels like the weekend with town abuzz about the opening of the 23rd edition of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, which will be held at the Mindoo Phillip Park tonight, following which a number of events will take place all over the island for the festival which runs from April 30 to May 11, 2014.
The stage is set for the best party in the Caribbean, and after drawing record crowds to the venue last year (despite heavy showers), organizers are once again optimistic about tonight’s event. “We have been having wonderful weather and this has certainly helped with our prepartions of the venue,” public relations manager John Emmanuel told The STAR Tuesday. He also disclosed that ticket sales had been brisk and that everything was in place for the opening, with the overseas based performers arriving here Monday and Tuesday.
Tonight’s showcase will feature a strong local line up of soca acts including Arthur and the Evalucian Band, Ricky T, Superman HD, Mongstar and DYP. The line-up also includes compas band Carimi out of Haiti, dancehall star Popcaan from Jamaica as well as soca sensations Kerwin Dubois, the 2014 international Groovy Monarch, Mr Killa of Grenada and Skinny Fabulous of St. Vincent.
Following Wednesay’s launch, all roads lead to Soufriere on Thursday May, 1—Labour Day holiday—for Soufriere Jazz. The event will be headlined by international zouk legends Kassav.
The Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival continues on Friday with Jazz on the Bay featuring the likes of Barbara Cadet, Claudia Edward, Inner Urge and Black Antz. A second event on Saturday May 3 will feature DYP, Invader, Raw Elements, Superman HD, ASAP and others.
Fond d’Or Jazz, another staple on the Jazz calendar, will be held on Saturday May 3 with headline act Morgan Heritage. Then on Sunday, Labowi Promotions will stage its Jazz in the South event at the Rudy John Beach Park in Laborie.
Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival runs into next week with a number of visual arts showcases, HOT Couture on Wednesday May 7 and Jazz on the Square at lunchtime from May 7-9. Main stage Jazz showcases begin next Thursday at Gaiety, with mainstage events from Friday next week.
Pigeon Island comes alive May 10 and 11 with performances by P Square, Elvis Crespo, Kem, Saint Lucia Expose’, BlueMango, Monty Alexander, The Commodores and a finale performance from R&B crooner Maxwell.
“So far we are really excited about the feedback from this year’s event in terms of hotel bookings, and flights from the region and internationally are all heavy this week,” Emmanuel said.
“This augurs well for the local economy as well as the local performers who will be showcased througout this year’s event.”
He described tonight’s opening as the catalyst which sets the pace for what is to come over the next 12 days.