INSPIRED: St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (third left) joins Thomas Leonce (left), CEO of Events Company St Lucia, Agnes Francis (second left), Executive Chair of Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Sergio Fedee of Caribbean Elective, Harry Spear of True Caribbean Holidays and Patricia Charlery-Leon (right) St Lucia Tourist Board Director UK and Ireland, for a group photo at the launch of the St Lucia Jazz and Soleil Summer Festivals.
THE LINE-UP of artists and musicians for the 27th St Lucia Jazz Festival has been announced at a special reception hosted by the St Lucia Tourism Authority in London.
The event, which took place last month at the St Lucia High Commission, was attended by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet who was passing through London on his way home from Bonn, Germany.
The reception, attended by various travel agents, tour operators and the media, was also used to launch the 2018 Soleil Summer Festivals which will comprise four events running from May to October starting with the Jazz Festival between May 6 – 13, followed by the annual St Lucia Carnival in June before moving on to the Roots and Soul Festival in August and culminating with the Heritage and Arts Festival in October.
Mr Chastenet, in a brief address, said the Jazz Festival will once again be the main ingredient to the island’s festivals as it brings a unique blend of sound.
He said: “We will bring African, Latin American and French Jazz together and this combination will give patrons a unique Caribbean sound mixed with creole and zouk music. We plan to keep it purly Jazz and intimate where you can go to an early dinner and a late show or the other way round and in some cases having two shows in one night.”
DISTINGUISHED: Prime Minister Allen Chastanet addressing the audience along with and Agnes Francis, Executive Chair of Saint Lucia Tourism Authority at the 2018 Soleil Summer Festivals launch
Agnes Francis, Executive Chair of Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, also gave a brief address and she focused on the Tourism Authorities’ new branding ‘St Lucia let her inspire you’ which she said comes from the idea that the island is one of only two countries in the world that is named after a female. She said: “There have been so many famous and simply ordinary people who have visited St Lucia and have left inspired.”
Thomas Leonce, CEO of Events Company St Lucia, which will co-ordinate the Soleil Summer Festivals, then ran through the Jazz Festival line up which starts on May 6 and will culminate in an open-air concert at the historic Pigeon Island Landmark, on May 13.
Mr Leonce also noted a number of new venues were added to the festival including the Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa and Beach Resort which will feature ‘A World of Jazz’ from May 7. A new addition also is the Harbour Club which will host ‘A Taste of Bourbon Street’, a two-night dinner set featuring Jazzmeia ‘Jazz’ Horn on May 10 and 11.
The Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa will host ‘The Lincoln Centre Jazz Experience’ on May 10, featuring five-time Grammy Award Winner Lalah Hathaway.
Other international acts include; British vocalist and singer-songwriter, Zara McFarlane, Soloist Denys Baptiste, Haitian-American performing artist Pauline Jean, worldwide drummer, Guadeloupean Arnaud Dolmen, Cameroonian bassist Etienne Mbappé and the Prophets, Dominican guitarist Cameron Pierre and vocalist Carolyn Malachi.
Also appearing is AZIZA, featuring saxophonist Chris Potter, double bassist Dave Holland, guitarist Lionel Loueke and drummer Eric Harland. Making the Saint Lucia Jazz line up as well is Alfredo Rodríguez an internationally acclaimed Cuban jazz pianist.
The festival will climax with an eclectic showcase at the Pigeon Island National Landmark on Sunday, May 13, featuring The Frantz Laurac Quartet, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson and Friends, R + R = NOW, a world-renowned combination of some of the greatest American musicians in the jazz world including three-time Grammy Award winning pianist Robert Glasper; rapper Terrace Martin; Trumpeter, composer and producer Christian Scott; Grammy Award-winning bassist, composer, record producer, and musical director Derrick Hodge; Music producer, keyboardist & beat-boxer Taylor McFerrin and Justin Tyson, drummer extraordinaire.
American soul sensation Avery Sunshine will cap things off at Pigeon Island with her thunderous gospel groves and heart – to – heart content.
There will also be a special tribute session to celebrate Saint Lucia’s Jazz icons featuring Luther Francois, Barbara Cadet and Ronald Boo Hinkson during the at the Pigeon Island showcase.
More information on the festival line up and venue times are available at www.stlucia.org/summerfestivals.
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