Additional star power has been added to an already impressive stellar line-up as the revamped, rebranded and re-energized Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival gets set to sound off here in coming days.
The much anticipated opening, slated for April 30 at the ‘people’s auditorium’ – the Mindoo Phillip Park – is being headlined by Jamaican dancehall reggae artiste Garfield Spence, aka Konshens.
The prolific entertainer broke onto the music scene in 2005 and has produced chart topping hits such as “Winner”, “Rasta Impostor”, “This Means Money”, “Good Girl Gone Bad”, and “Gal a Bubble”.
Already attracting rave reviews and coming on the heels of the recently launched National Arts Festival, the opening of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival will feature the best live performances mixed-in with various artistic portrayals from acclaimed artisans.
“We are not just presenting a show,” says Deputy Director of Tourism Tracey Warner-Arnold, who has general oversight of the event. Instead she says, “The 2013 opening will showcase cultural and heritage artistry mixed in with the best of local and regional music, thus forming a logical foray into the rest of the festival.”
Patrons are expected to groove to the melodious music of Haitian Compas band T-Vice. The best of Saint Lucian musical mastery will also be on display with the Ultimate Party Machine – a collaboration of leading national entertainers led by Thygeson ‘Penn’ Joseph and soca and groovy-soca heavyweights Superman HD and Ricky T.
Rounding off the cast at the April 30 opening of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival will be Trinidadian soca star Kerwin Dubois and ragga-soca artiste Benjai.
Priced at EC$40 or US$20, the popular opening which draws huge crowds to the city centre, is more than just a ceremonial commencement of the festival, but signifies the start of the two-week long jazz experience on Saint Lucia. The new Arts component of the Festival will simultaneously be launched at the opening with highlights of our heritage and culture on display throughout the evening.
Patrons will also get an opportunity to see yet another national act in singer-songwriter Emrand Henry who has been added to the Sunday main stage cast.
Henry, whose music is a mix of gospel, reggae and R&B, gained national recognition after winning a popular music contest in 2003. He has since gone on to receive international acclaim for many of his original selections that include hits like ‘What is Going On’, ‘No Retreat No Surrender’, and ‘Bad Man Role.’
The festival’s main headliners include celebrated multiple Grammy-winner R Kelly, the Ojays, Brian Culbertson, The Jacksons, Akon, Tony Allen, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson, David Rudder, Tito Puente Jr., Ginuwine and ACE Loctar.
Presenting sponsor for the 2013 Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival is the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. Platinum sponsor is Digicel. Gold sponsors are Heineken, Tropical Shipping, HTS, LUCELEC, Karib Cable, and The Wave.
Bronze sponsors are Bank of Saint Lucia Ltd, First Citizens, Cotton Bay Village, RBC Royal Bank and RBTT Bank Ltd, RCI and Delta Airlines Inc. Collateral sponsors are Hot FM, RSL, Kotex, Avis Rent a Car, Guy’s Car Rental, Exel Sign, Guardsman and Chairman’s.
For more information on the full lineup for Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival 2013 along with show dates, venues and ticket sales, log onto www.stluciajazz.org.