Mixed reviews for Jazz opening

In the days leading up to the official Jazz opening on Monday, April 30 it truly seemed as if the event had lost its identity as every one kept asking, “Are you going to the Opening of Carnival?” With all the Soca acts it wasn’t hard to see why no one seemed to know what show they were attending in the first place! Not saying the Jazz opening should consist of solely jazzy musicians, as that certainly has not been the case in the past!
From the onset, there were those who said they would not attend the event primarily because of its location in Marchand, but at the same time, there were people who attended only because it was back in that particular area. It just really goes to show you just can’t please everyone!
Monday’s show was preceded by introductory remarks by the island’s minister of tourism Lorne Theophillus, as well as deputy prime minister and minister for infrastructure, port services and transport Phillip J Pierre, and in their brief remarks there was much fanfare about the Opening of St Lucia Jazz being back in Marchand. It was nothing people hadn’t heard before, and by
the time he came on even Jamaican performer
Busy Signal was talking about how happy he was that the Opening of Jazz was back, even though he admitted not knowing why it had been taken away in the first place!
As with everything else, mixed reviews have been coming out of the recently held event. With a reintroduction that was so talked about, with so much hype some felt the launch should have been more explosive than what unfolded this week. It was just another show, filled with people but the ‘wow factor’ left much to be desired.
Weirdly enough (or maybe just plain predictable), at first it didn’t appear as if the show would pull a crowd at all. Then in typical St Lucian fashion, a steady flow of people started coming into the grounds. Technical issues with the sound seemed one of the biggest issues on the night. Lack luster performances by some of the acts that have performed in St Lucia numerous times were next on the list. In the words of one event patron:
“That’s a shame for the Opening of Jazz. People would have probably accepted that type of show years ago, but now that they know better, and have seen better shows staged in St Lucia, particularly those featuring strictly local acts that have a much better response, people expect much more.”
The best performance of the night seemed to come from Teddyson John, who went all out with his dancers and their expertly choreographed moves, while Busy Signal came second with much support from die-hard fans. Busy’s set even included a rendition of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’, which seemed slightly out of character for the mostly hardcore performer, but nevertheless the crowd sang along, some openly taken aback at the Jamaican singer’s impressive vocals. Fans didn’t miss a word while singing along to hits like ‘Come Over’, ‘One More Night’ ‘Step Out’ and a range of others.
Expectations may have been higher for Bunji Garlin and Faye-Ann Lyons than what was actually delivered, particularly as they’ve ignited stages here before, but perhaps it was the rain that dampened the excitement of some, while still having others acting out ‘Jump on de Ground and Roll,’ and pumping up their umbrellas to tracks like ‘So and So’, ‘Heavy T Bumber’ and ‘Wine It’.
One thing’s for sure, St Lucians will always get their moneys worth out of an event, and it wasn’t hard to tell who had a great time and who didn’t, judging by whether or not they
left the venue dripping wet thanks to the storm like weather conditions!

Minister Phillip J Pierre certainly did not hide his excitement that Opening of Jazz was back in Marchand!

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