Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival 2023 Marks a Triumphant Return
Written by Radio Caribbean International on May 11, 2023
A spirited display marked the start of the first installment of mainstage events forming part of the 2023 Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival. The keenly anticipated live music festival saw the official return of the multi day event to the Pigeon Island National Landmark on Wednesday May 10th.
With attendees leaving little of the emerald, green lawn of the picturesque setting visible, ‘Kingdom Night’ brought together festival goers of varying ages, with the youngest members of the audience keeping company with more seasoned attendees. Swelling crowds followed the persistence of motorists intent on gaining access to the gospel themed gathering.
Expressing jubilant satisfaction with the return of the long-anticipated event, patrons joined the chorus of voices extending words of praise and celebration alongside the opening act of national performers; Michelle John – Theobalds, Selma St. Prix, Shirley Ann Cyril- Mayers , Shem Melius, Special Blend and Total Praise.
In a display of choral excellence, artistes secured the attention of the bustling crowd, delivering a medley of musical hits, in harmonious accord. The talented ensemble further cemented their command of what festival attendees proclaimed as the “international stage” erected at the Pigeon Island National Landmark, inviting rousing welcome to crowd favorites.
The energetic Emrand Henry made a ‘fiery’ entrance to the event, igniting crowd response with a performance embracing sounds of vibrant reggae beats. A son of the soil, Henry first gained public acclaim as the first ever winner of Cable and Wireless’ ‘Star Quest.’ With a firm endorsement of the gospel centered event, in a nod to the night’s theme, the veteran performer celebrated the majesty of individuals present, and the wealth of artistic talent native to Saint Lucia’s shores.
In a rhythmic explosion of sound Nigerian artiste Sinach took to the stage, inviting a brilliant accompanying display from attendees. With voices ringing through the balmy night, individuals present echoed her passionately delivered spiritual affirmations, meeting ministry with tears and palms outstretched to the heavens. Shepherding what some amidst the crowd described as a ‘moment of spiritual awakening’, Sinach’s performance built to a resounding crescendo, providing an opportune introduction to the final performer of the night.
With a soul stirring delivery of gospel classics, the vocal powerhouse and Gospel legend Cece Winans led the first execution of the 2023 mainstage event to a moving close, inviting cheers and applause from patrons.
After a three-year hiatus for the Jazz and Arts Festival – which previously held an unbroken streak of multi genre performances for some three decades – Kingdom Night marked a return to tradition, and the resumption of mainstage Jazz events, inviting increased anticipation for the many musical displays still to come.
Performance for the 2023 Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival will continue tonight, Thursday May 11th, with ‘Pure Jazz’ featuring Luther Francois, Gustavo Casenave and a 42 man orchestra, at The Pavilion on the Ramp in Rodney Bay, from 8.00 p. m. Gates open at 7:00 p.m.
ABOUT THE SAINT LUCIA JAZZ AND ARTS FESTIVAL
First hosted in 1992, the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival drew inspiration from the October Jazz Festival in 1991 spearheaded by Musical Director Luther Francois.
The newly launched festival was billed as an initiative directed at extending Saint Lucia’s ‘tourist season’ while increasing the circulation of foreign exchange within a traditionally quiet period.
In 2013, the event was rebranded to the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, prompting an expanded examination of the accepted linkages between music and various components of artistic expression.
Since inception the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival has welcomed performances by a blend of international and national talent, inviting celebration by visitors and Saint Lucians alike.