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(PRESS RELEASE) – On Friday January 10th , the Saint Lucia Summer Festival 2020 and Saint Lucia Jazz were simultaneously launched. The press launch took place at the Mystic Royal hotel and was put on by the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and the Events Company of Saint Lucia on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Information, Broadcasting, Culture & Creative Industries.
The launch was attended by Government Officials, Corporate Saint Lucia, media personnel and partners in the Tourism and Entertainment industries.
The Honourable Dominic Fedee, Minister for Tourism, Information, Broadcasting, Culture & Creative Industries opened the formalities by reflecting on the island’s stellar performance last year with regards to the success of the many initiatives undertaken in 2019 to attract tourists to Saint Lucia. He also reflected on the transition and development of the Saint Lucia Summer Festival and reiterated that this more focused approach has reaped numerous economic and social benefits for Saint Lucia.
Lorraine Sidonie, Chief Executive Officer of the Events Company of Saiint Lucia (ECSL) explained that the Summer Festival of Events would include Saint Lucia Jazz, Carnival, Roots & Soul and Creole Heritage Month. Sidonie promised an exciting Summer Festival with Saint Lucia Jazz taking place from the 7th – 9 th of May, Saint Lucia Carnival in June & July, culminating with the street parade on the 20th & 21st of July. Saint Lucia Creole Heritage Month is set to happen during the month of October, with Jounen Kweyol on the 25th of October and the Arts & Heritage Festival on the 23rd & 24th of
October. The dates for Saint Lucia Roots & Soul are to be confirmed.
The focus then shifted to Saint Lucia Jazz and the continued collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Centre was lauded. Sidonie explained that the collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Centre positions Saint Lucia to realize its objective to target persons seeking a welldefined Jazz product and enables this bustling, dynamic, festival-rich destination to attract a special demographic of Jazz Lovers and enthusiasts, who travel the world seeking out festivals such as Saint Lucia Jazz. She went on to explain that Jazz at Lincoln Center shares Saint Lucia’ mission to educate and grow the jazz and music community and as such facilitates education programmes catering to music students and musicians of all ages and stages.
“Saint Lucia is now becoming like a second home to us at Jazz at Lincoln Center and so the success of the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival is of paramount importance to us all” stated Jason Olaine, the Director of Programming and Touring at Jazz at Lincoln Center, who joined the launch via a video feed. “We have spared no effort in our selection of world acclaimed Jazz musicians, who we know will not just satisfy our programming obligation but will continue to have the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival in focus on a global scale. We are simply thrilled to be collaborating with Saint Lucia again”.
The CEO of Events Saint Lucia proceeded to announce the first few of many acts lined up to perform at Saint Lucia Jazz 2020 and explained that the approach of “drip marketing’ was being employed so as to keep the interest and storytelling alive. As such, additional performers will be revealed in the near future.
The International headline Jazz artiste – Chick Corea Trio is set to perform on the first day of the festival – Thursday 7th May.
Chick Corea: “Chick Corea has never been more productive than in the 21st century, whether playing acoustic piano or electric keyboards, leading multiple bands, performing solo or collaborating with a who’s who of music. Underscoring this, he has been named Artist of the Year three times this decade in the DownBeat Readers Poll. Born in 1941. Chick remains a tireless creative spirit, continually reinventing himself through his art. As The New York Times has said, he is “a luminary, ebullient and eternally youthful.”
Thursday will end with the very much anticipated late-night jam at clubs in Rodney Bay with special guests: Alphonso Horn and the Gotham Kings. Alphonso Horn and the Gotham Kings: “a high energy immersive jazz experience. Two-time Grammy nominated trumpeter Alphonso Horne has put together a band that weaves the sound of New Orleans into a rich musical fabric that demonstrates the history of the trumpet and the story of jazz. Gotham Kings uses the virtuosity of the young Louis Armstrong and innovative genius of King Oliver to take you on a journey of sound that encompasses
rags, stomps, shouts and funk. The band has played in venues around New York City and other major American cities. Individually, members of the Gotham Kings have compiled a diverse resume of collaborations with top artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and more.”
On Friday, regional artist – Maher Beauroy from Martinique will feature. Maher Beauroy: “Maher Beauroy lives in La Martinique where he was born. At the age of five, his love of the piano opened the doors to the “Académie de Musique de Martinique” and later to the SERMAC – the art school founded by Aimé Césaire – where he discovered jazz. In 2006, he left La Martinique and headed to Paris where he ticked all the boxes of the aspiring musician. He went to the DEM (Conservatoire Maurice Ravel), obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Musicology and a Master’s degree in Music Business (Paris-Sorbonne). But it is in 2014 that he took the big leap across the “Pond” to Boston where he went to strengthen his skills alongside Eddy Gomez, Joanne Brackeenm, Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Laszlo Gardony and even Billy Kilson amongst
others. His time at Berklee College of Music paid off in 2017 with a Performance Division Piano award. Maher confesses:
“The human and musical experience at Berklee unlocked many things and studying at this prestigious school had always been a dream”. His debut album Washa! crystallizes the moment of his departure and emancipation. In Creole “Washa” is a word that describes the actual moment, the very instant. It is the swish of a blade opening a path through long grass, it is the crash of waves on all horizons. In the last two years Maher Beauroy has played his music all around the world (Florida, Indonesia, Russia, The United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Algeria, Paris…). Washa! is the first album under his own name.
Renowned musician Jacques Schwarz-Bart commenting on the new project “This journey through his universe reveals someone who appreciates beauty and who has a sensibility and wisdom that surpass the number of years he has been on this planet. Having been his teacher at Berklee College of Music, I am fascinated by his music and will follow with passion the evolution of his work in the years to come!” Friday night will also feature International Jazz Artist, Willie Jones III,
celebrating Roy Hargrove. Willie Jones III: One of jazz’s most sought-after drummers, Willie Jones III leads an allstar ensemble to celebrate the music of the late great Roy Hargrove. Jones, who for nearly 10 years performed in Hargrove’s best-known quintets and the powerhouse RH Factor, honors the trumpeter whose groundbreaking work influenced musicians across genres. The sets, featuring alumni from Hargrove’s groups will include RH Factor’s soulfully driven, uptempo songs, as well as Hargrove’s favorite jazz tunes and standards.”
International Jazz Artist – Shelea will also perform Friday night at the Gros Islet park. This concert is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by Saint Lucia Jazz Festival.
Shelea: ‘From the White House, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall to the Grammy Museum and the Emmy Awards, Bakersfield-born singer, songwriter, keyboardist, Shelea has transcended the boundaries of musical classification through a versatile and powerful voice that speaks to nations. After working with and wowing a who’s who of music icons including Quincy Jones, Jones has called Shelea one of the greatest artists of her generation.”
The late-night jam and line parade will close off Friday again featuring Alphonso Horn and the Gotham Kings – who will also perform on Saturday night. Ruben Fox featuring Theon Cross – who has Saint Lucian roots – and Mark Kavuma will
also perform Saturday night and lead the late night jam that night as well. Ruben Fox’s London Brass featuring Theon Cross and Mark Kavuma
“Ruben – tenor sax
Theon – tuba
Mark – trumpet
Misha Fox – trombone
Mathis Picard – piano and keys
Savannah Harris – drums
Ruben Fox’s London Brass presents some of the greatest exports of the blossoming London jazz scene and have performed together since the age of 12 in their fathers Carnival group.”
“We look forward to an exciting, fun-filled, culturally-charged, tourist-attracting, artistsexposing Summer Festival 2020; as once again we shout to the world that there are many Eventful reasons to visit Saint Lucia this Summer,” Sidonie concluded with these sentiments and invited persons to stay tune for the names of other impressive performers that will join an already exciting Saint Lucia Jazz line up.