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 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 from 6-13 May.
This will be 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.
Chastenet said the Jazz Festival will once again be the main ingredient to the island’s festivals as it brings a unique blend of sound.
“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,” he said.
“We plan to keep it purely 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.”
Agnes Francis, executive chair of St Lucia Tourism Authority, also gave a brief address.
She focused on the tourism authorities’ new branding, themed ‘St Lucia: let her inspire you’.
Francis said that the idea is that the island is one of only two countries in the world that is named after a female.
“There have been so many famous and simply ordinary people who have visited St Lucia and have left inspired.”
Who is playing?
The Royalton St Lucia Resort and Spa will host The Lincoln Centre Jazz Experience 10 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 and Dominican guitarist Cameron Pierre.
Also appearing is AZIZA, featuring saxophonist Chris Potter, double bassist Dave Holland, guitarist Lionel Loueke and drummer Eric Harland.
The festival will climax with an eclectic showcase at the Pigeon Island National Landmark on Sunday, 13 May, featuring The Frantz Laurac Quartet, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson and Friends, and R + R = NOW.