Steve Etienne, the General Manager of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization (ECCO) is pleased with the number of its members who are participating in this year’s Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival which reached fever pitch this week and will climax on Sunday May 10. “This augurs well not only as a means of our members earning an income but also raising their profile and showcasing their works to a wider audience,” Etienne says. The Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, a product of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, was conceptualized to woo visitors to the island and this week they descended on St. Lucia by the thousands.“We are urging our members to make the most of these opportunities, by presenting themselves in a manner that will show them to be export ready,” Etienne says. “In addition there are lots of foreign press and film crews here and our members should also avail themselves of any opportunity they may get to do interviews and to make their music and music videos available as well,” he adds.
This weekend during the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival main-stage finale at Pigeon Island we will see performances by St. Lucian artists Meshach, Lucian Pan Fusion and Derede Williams. In addition, the side-stage events will feature a number of Saint Lucian performers who will gain much deserved exposure.
Etienne says, “The percentage of local content being performed during the Jazz and Arts Festival is as high as 25% (a level second only to St. Lucia Carnival) and can be regarded as lucrative for the local members who have been given the opportunity to perform. This percentage is much higher than current levels of airplay which stands at around 5%. ECCO is, of course, responsible for collecting royalties for works performed by the regional & international artists through reciprocal agreements between ECCO and Collective Management Organizations world-wide”.
ECCO is also commending organizers the Saint Lucia Tourist Board for its initiative and also for being a partner when it comes to cooperating with ECCO for licensing
the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival.