Undoubtedly, the 2023 Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival was considered one of the best entertainment productions held on the island.
Yes, the destination’s premiere event was back with a bang and featured top billed artists and a vibrant display of arts and cultural presentations, placed on in town centre entitled – Arts and the City.
The organizers were thrilled with the outpouring of support from local patrons and visitors, in addition to, individuals within the diaspora and “fascinating global audiences with an unforgettable experience”.
The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority [SLTA] was a significant organizer of the event and in collaboration with Events Company of Saint Lucia [ECSL], with assistance from other agencies and stakeholders, they kept the ball rolling during.
“Set against a picturesque backdrop, the festival showcased a various programme featuring world-renowned musicians, artists, and performers. From Grammy winners to rising stars, the stage got here alive with an eclectic mixture of genres, leaving the gang spellbound and craving more,” declared SLTA’s Public Relations Manager Geraine Georges.
The main target is already on easy methods to make the Festival larger and higher next yr as an autopsy is already underway.
The Festival had many outstanding moments, one being Buju Banton Friday night, who interspersed his deliveries with social commentary and words of motivation. He reached out especially to the youth urging them to try to interrupt out from the trimmings of gun violence and the social ills permeating throughout the system and society, generally. He conveyed some soul-searching inspiration as he evoked a ‘Jamaica- St Lucia connection’, spreading to other parts of the region.
“We de Caribbean …Caribbean people” says Buju, as he delivered more Protest Songs, comparable to ‘I’m a Living’; after which into dancing mode with tunes like, ‘I Never Wish to see you Crying over me’.
At a post-show interview, Buju admitted that music continues to play a relevant role in arousing the consciousness of individuals from the region.
“We could have got lost on the best way, but nonetheless we’ve to recollect where we’re coming from …music continues with us and the impact it has on us and our parents growing up,” he said.
In an impassionate plea, Buju reached out to Caribbean youth calling on them to place aside the gun violence and other social upheavals. Noting that he, too has overcome many struggles in life.
He added, “My message is in my music …and there are more messages to be imparted and more messages still from my new album that’s coming your way in July, because we speak through the music.”
For last Saturday’s World Beat segment, local talent was on point; with dazzling performances from the likes of Invasion Band, Kayo, Michael Robinson and others.
Though there have been a number of glitches with among the Afro Beat artists, which the SLTA has promised to rectify, the act went down well with the opposite performers.
Ayra Starr entertained along with her popular Rush hit tune; and the headline act featuring Kassav with its favoured Zouk selections and well-orchestrated choreography continues to impress the fans because the band paid tribute to their fallen leader Jacob Desvarieux. Songstress Jocelyne Béroard fronted for the band alongside keyboard player Jean-Claude Naimro they usually delivered a set of popular selections.
On Sunday, the Ultimate Celebration featured the annual Mother’s Day tributes and highlights.
A Taiwanese string band opened the set with a guest performance.
And the local acts followed with Irvin “Ace” Loctar delivering his smooth R&B and reggae grooves; while the Teddyson John Project with “TJ” stirred up patrons with a ‘Carnival Style’ slow jam selections.
Barbara Cadet was back on stage with a bang. Her selections featuring horns, Congo drums and percussions went down well to impress the gang and folks found it inconceivable to not get on their feet and swing and sway to the sounds.
The ever-green Ronald “Boo” Hinkson has created an imprint on the jazz festival, doing it his way, as he brought on some top local artists to accompany his jazzy blues and rhythmic glitzy guitar notes renditions.
After which the last word headline act featuring Sting & Shaggy, literally ‘took one’s breath away’; because the artistes took the gang on a joyful ride down memory lane to rock and groove into the evening skies. To finish all of it, Shaggy joined Sting – and the 2 Grammy-Award winning artists delivered a really popular and amazing number – Every Breath You Take.
Back stage, Cadet told reporters, her act was a part of a tribute to moms generally, and in addition the numerous ‘sisters’ on the market.
Said Barbara: “Personally …it speaks to women and the challenges that we’ve and it’s saying to them: Hey, remember you’re going through stuff but it surely’s just not you. And never only that, you could possibly be my sister, I might be your sister and we’ve got to come back together and be together.”
An SLTA official stated that greater than 30 Saint Lucian artists performed throughout the festival and “got the chance to showcase their exceptional talents inside the organic Dennery Segment, Soca, Calypso, Groovy, and Reggae genres for which the island is renowned.
“This showcase of local talent further solidified the festival’s commitment to nurturing and promoting the wealthy artistic heritage of Saint Lucia”.
Summing up the experience, Chairman of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival (SLJAF) Thaddeus M. Antoine provided a vivid description , stating : “This yr’s edition surpassed all expectations, showcasing the top of music, art, and culture throughout all the island. From pulsating jazz rhythms to awe-inspiring visual spectacles, the festival crafted an immersive journey that brought joy to 1000’s of residents and over eight thousand visitors, transcending age and background.”