The highly anticipated 23rd annual Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival took place between 30th of April 30 and 11th of May 2014 and attracted thousands to the historic Pigeon Island National Landmark, where main stage events unfolded.
The lineup of performers at the Jazz & Arts Festival this past year was more diverse than ever before. Over the 11 days the Festival featured 65 different musical acts ranging from the classic American Motown sounds of The Commodores and Grammy Award-winning artist Maxwell, to the up-and-coming talent of Tessanne Chin, winner of Season 5 of the American reality TV singing competition “The Voice.”
This Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is also a Tony-Award winning actress. Known for her amazing voice and stage presence, she has also performed with other great artists during her tenure as a musician such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, and Dexter Gordon. She won her 1975 Tony Award for playing Glinda in The Wiz which was a major musical success of the era. Having played festivals worldwide like the Shanghai JZ Jazz Festival, DeeDee Bridgewater is revered for her renditions of songs sung one sung by legends like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, DeeDee Bridgewater has performed throughout the world enchanting audiences with her signature voice and style. As one of today’s most renowned jazz musicians, DeeDee Bridgewater performed her most celebrated tunes and entertained her fans with unstinting enthusiasm and her renowned talent.
Mixing Jazz with world rhythms and music, Omar Sosa is a renowned jazz pianist, composer, and band leader. Born in Cuba, Sosa plays all over the world and performs with a plethora of international musicians. Some of his latest work combines jazz and Afro Pop along with some European influences. The band features musicians from various parts of the globe like Africa, Brazil, and France. Omar Sosa’s eclectic style makes his performances reliably exciting. His interesting combinations of musical styles produce exciting shows that attract fans of jazz as well as world music. Sosa wowed the crowd with his singular style, Latin Big Band sound as well as African styling paired with lively jazz. For jazz with worldwide flavor, Omar Sosa is celebrated for all the styles he infuses into every show. Sosa performed some music from his inspired albums like Bembon, Pictures of Soul, or Afreecanos.
Teddyson John featuring Alison Hinds
Soca and jazz superstar Teddyson John is a crowd-pleaser. His diverse musical style has taken him all over the world to locations like New York City, Toronto, and Paris to name a few. Of course, he immensely loves to play for his homeland of St. Lucia! Having collaborated with big names in the industry like Patti LaBelle, John also enjoys playing with all sorts of players. He’ll be playing at the St. Lucia Festival with Alison Hinds who has been dubbed the ‘Queen of Soca.’ Her home is also in the Caribbean Islands–Barbados–and the pair, together, make a phenomenal show. She plays the world over as well. Many fans are geared up to see these great musicians open the event. By showcasing local talent as well as international greats, the St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival is an inspiration to its residents.
Hailing from the island of Jamaica, Barrington Levy brings his dancehall style and reggae to audiences who can’t get enough of this incredible musician. While Levy is a huge star in his homeland, he’s also renowned world-wide. In fact, he has a terrific following in European countries like the UK. In 1984, he won the Best Vocalist Award at the British Reggae Awards and his career has been climbing ever since. Fans clamored to hear songs from his albums such as English Man, Doh Ray Me, Time Capsule, and Living Dangerously to name just a few. His extraordinary career is filled with reggae hits that fans continue to love. His vocals are both familiar and comforting to hear. Regularly selling out shows, he is sure to be a major attraction at the festival. He’s so grateful for his fans and absolutely loves bringing his brand of music into their lives.
This R&B singer hails from Detroit and brings his own soulful style to every performance. Having turned to music to uplift his life, KEM shares the joy and gift of music with every audience. He’s also an incredibly spiritual performer and delights in being able to share this side of his life with fans too. Audiences love him for staying true to R&B. He’s known for his classy crooning. He’s stayed away from Hip-Hop elements in order to explore the classic R&B genre and he’s revered for doing so.
This Merengue singer was named for Elvis Presley and was raised in beautiful Puerto Rico. He adds an exciting dimension to this year’s event with his sultry music and first-rate act. He’s won multiple awards for his talent including a Grammy for Best Merengue Performance and a Latin Grammy in 2005 for Best Merengue Album-Saborealo which he’s sure to reference during his stage performance. His lively performances feature music that gets people dancing. Though as a kid, Crespo had dreams of becoming a baseball player, he followed his other love–music–all the way to the top and is, today, and international sensation. Though he tours all over the world, he was delighted to be heading to St. Lucia which is always known for its hospitality and music-loving fans.
Blue Mango featuring Yann Negrit & James Germain
The Blue Mango band features St. Lucia-born artists who are definitely home-town favorites. Their Creole heritage shines through their music which is a uniquely distinctive blend of styles that include jazz and the music of the Caribbean Islands. Their indigenous rhythms inform their brand of jazz that is lively as well as danceable. The group has been featured in some far-flung locations like Paris. Their performance also features the extraordinary performers Yann Negrit and James Germain who will infuse their own styling in the act.
This Jamaican recording star has performed with some big stars like Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle. She’s most recently known for winning the televised show “The Voice” in 2013. Her extraordinary voice and televised victory on the show have catapulted her into stardom in her own right. Her appearance at the festival is drawing many fans who hope to hear her hit “Tumbling Down” among other celebrated tunes. She’s been drawing big audiences at many festivals worldwide. Her diverse style has been influence by the likes of Tina Turner, Pat Benatar, Aretha Franklin, and even Pink. Her performance was captivating and drew a huge crowed of loving fans.
This Motown legend is an extraordinary headlining act that will be drawing an immense crowd at the St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival. Fans will be lining up to hear a wide array of their hits such as “Lady (You Bring Me Up),” “Brick House,” “Three Times a Lady,” and “Nightshift.” Their performances are always unforgettable and fans will definitely be treated to their timeless sounds. Their outstanding career is filled with chart-topping hits while their performances are noted for their vibrant excitement. Again, Commodores did not disappoint the fans they delivered energetic, groovy performance that got everyone dancing and singing along.
This Grammy-winning artist is a multi-talent who plays many instruments, sings, and knows how to deliver a great show. A consummate professional, Maxwell shines before audiences. He’s won two Grammy Awards and has been nominated twelve times. Expect to hear him infuse his performance with elements of R&B, Soul, Neo Soul, jazz, and funk. As a major headliner, Maxwell is poised to draw a big crowd. He’s been a celebrated act for years and has a dedicated following. This New York City-born artist brought amazing talent to the stage and produced yet another captivating performance!