The St Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival took place this year on April 30th-May 11th 2013. The unsurpassed event takes place in the iridescent beautiful island that is St Lucia. Each year there are over 50 artists and entertainers that demonstrate their artistry in the absolutely gorgeous back drop that is St Lucia. The island of St Lucia is probably one of the most culturally rich islands there is, boding the Creole legacy amongst many others.
Countless artists hit the main stage, and many artist wooed the crowd with a music that can be described as a blend of Jazz, Flamenco, Reggae, Funk, Soul and R&B. However some of the artists that stuck out from the crowd include:
Akon has an interesting background as he is originally from Senegal but later took up residency in the US to pursue his musical career. Known as a singer/songwriter to most, Akon’s acquired fame during 2004 when he released the song titled “Locked Up”, which was somewhat of an autobiographical song. Most of the music that is echoed and chanted by Akon is a cool blend of smooth silky vocals as well as a rough hip-hop blend. Which I’m sure mirrors the different cultural experiences that were undoubtedly experienced when the transition was made from West Africa to the United States. I am sure that the cultural shock alone was sufficient enough for Akon to toil away writing songs that will last his fans a lifetime.
A true native to the St Lucian Island would be Luther Francois. Far from just being a saxophonist, Luther holds many titles which include; composer, arranger, educator and performer. Showing to all foreigners that the Caribbean cultural is diverse and colourful . In turn this is channelled through the emotional content behind his music.
Not one to sit on his laurels, Luther has performed across the entire Caribbean, in particular the French islands. The French islands include Martinique, Guadeloupe, Marie Galante which have all embarrassed Luther, in turn this is reciprocated in the Luther’s musical style. Following this the festival welcomed Luther with opened arms because of his appeal to the French market. The St Lucian Jazz & Arts Festival desires to fling it doors open to all, therefore when an artist has global dominion this is the perfect means to do so.
Garfield Spence aka Konshens is a Jamaican dancehall artist that had the trusted job of opening up the festival. His music not only compliments the island of Jamaica, but anyone that enjoys dance hall enfused with pop, reggae and reggaeton. Far from being a chip of the musical block, Konshens has a subtantial fan base in Guyana and Europe, where the acclaimed “”Gal Dem Talk” single was a fierce hit. French Guyana is another space where Creole individuals dwell. Konshens is alike to Luther in respect of mass appeal.
Fatoumata Diawara is a posed songress originating from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. Being well known for her “sensious vioce”. Fatoumata’s music can only be described as folk music. It is a melodic consciousness that addressed the Wassalou traditions of Southern Mali along with the international influences that have captured her mucial heart on her many journeys. Turing a bad situation on its head, Fatoumata often tells the tails of her troubled experiences, strumming her guitar stings as a form of therapy when recalling her nostalgic memories.