The Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival moves into 4th gear in its festival series, with the staging of Country & Blues.
With a mandate to create a more viable events product and calendar for Saint Lucia, the Events Company of St. Lucia Inc. (ECSL) is fully engaged in preparations to host a three-day Country & Blues Festival, which will run from Thursday September 28th through to Saturday September 30th, 2017 at various locations on the island.
“We are even more excited as we explore fully a new area of musical entertainment, Country and Blues, which is an untapped but viable market,” states ECSL CEO Thomas Leonce. “Both genres are well loved on the island, however they have not formed part of our entertainment calendar in a consistent manner, so we are eager to satisfy the appetite of Country and Blues lovers in a very official and targeted way,” he added.
The Blues segment will lead the way, with performances set for Thursday September 28th and Friday September 29th, 2017 at the Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort & Spa from 7 pm on each of those days. The Country & Blues Festival will culminate with a Country showcase on Saturday September 30th, 2017 at Fond d’Or in Dennery, a well-known and loved location most ideal for a country-music themed event.
“The approach for the staging of this leg of the festival series is that of a more intimate setting, where we return to the hotel scene and to more cozy venues to create that perfect ambience, with a classic, sophisticated atmosphere for a classy, sophisticated audience,” notes Jasmine Auguste-Henry, Events Officer of ECSL.
Featuring on Thursday September 28th, 2017 at 7 pm is Shemekia Copeland, described by CHICAGO SUNS-TIMES as “a ball-of-fire vocalist with a voice that’s part Memphis, part Chicago and all woman…devastatingly powerful!” With music in her blood, Shemekia Copeland, daughter of the late bluesman John Clyde “Johnny” Copeland, an American Texas blues guitarist and singer, started out at the early age of six. With much nurturing from her superstar dad, she finally went full throttle at age 16, joining her father on his tours.
Whether she’s belting out a raucous blues-rocker, firing up a blistering soul-shouter, bringing the spirit to a gospel-fueled R&B rave-up or digging deep down into a subtle, country-tinged ballad, Shemekia Copeland sounds like no one else.
Joining Shemekia on Thursday night is Carl Gustave, New York born – with Saint Lucian parentage. Carl Gustave is no stranger to the main stage in Saint Lucia having been a part of the St. Lucia Jazz Festival scene for 16 years. He has also performed at other festivals in the Caribbean including Cayenne Jazz 2007, Mustique Blues Festival 2007, 2008, and 2011, and at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival in 2010 as a main stage performer with his UK-based band.
Before coming to Saint Lucia, Carl received a Peabody Award in the U.S. for the song: “I Won’t Do You No Wrong” which he co-wrote with film composer, Richard “Koz” Kozinski.
Come Friday September 29th, 2017 from 7pm at the Sandals Halcyon Resort & Spa, Blues goes “Idol” with Clark Beckham, 1st runner up American Idol Season 14, 2015.
From “busking” on street corners to American Idol, Clark Beckham has proven that it is not how you start…but it is more about how you finish and he is not done yet.
The icing on the Blues “cake” is music prodigy, 14-year old Brandon Niederauer, born to a German father and get this…a Saint Lucian Mother. Brandon is the youngest musician to ever take part in Jon Batiste’s Social Music Youth Mentoring Program, and was the winner of the Fernando Jones “Blues Kid of The Year” competition in Chicago. He first performed to an international audience on the Ellen DeGeneres Show at the age of ten and made television appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Good Morning America, and The View.
Since then, he’s had the brilliant experiences of playing with notable musicians such as Buddy Guy, Lady Gaga, Jon Batiste, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Dr. John, and countless others.
As part of his “St. Lucian home coming,” Brandon has agreed to host a special forum for young, promising musicians (within his age group) to share with them his experiences as a young successful internationally acclaimed guitarist, songwriter and singer.
Look out for the highly anticipated lineup for the Country leg of this festival, presenting a mix of local and international country music stars – to be unveiled in a special release.
Full details about Soleil – the Summer of Festivals can be found at www.stlucia.org/summerfestival.