With its return to genuine jazz music, the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival will this year feature four of the most prolific and creative Saint Lucian jazz musicians.
With Luther Francois, Barbara Cadet, Denys Baptiste and Ronald Boo Hinkson on its line-up, the festival pays tribute to outstanding Saint Lucian musicians and to their role in creating and promoting Caribbean and Creole Jazz.
On Monday, May 7, the festival will kick off with an entirely Saint Lucian lineup, featuring Barbara Cadet and Denys Baptiste. Accomplished musician, vocalist, arranger and composer, Barbara Cadet is also a musical director and producer, while Denys has had an impressive career both as a soloist and as a bandleader, with a most distinctive and immediately recognizable sound. He has played and recorded with some of the biggest names in jazz and other genres including McCoy Tyner, Ernest Ranglin, Courtney Pine, and Manu Dibango.
The year 2018 has already been a fabulous year for Baptiste, who has been nominated for the JAZZ FM Awards in two categories: under Album of the Year with his latest project, ‘The Late Trane’, a CD that revisits some of John Coltrane’s late compositions, rearranging and presenting them in exciting new forms and for Live Experience of the Year for his 2017 concert with Pharaoh Sanders.
On Thursday, May 10, the headliner act at Sandals Grande in Gros Islet will be one of the most widely known and respected Jazz composers, performers and educators in the Caribbean. For a concert that will also feature London-based Dominican guitarist Cameron Pierre, Saint Lucia’s Luther Francois will present another original project called “Fragments,” with musicians from Saint Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe and the UK. This concert will be, in many ways, a tribute to Luther Francois’ role in support of the jazz festival over the years. Indeed, in 1991, years before the start of the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, he gave the Creole jazz world one of its greatest annual events, as he was a driving force behind the founding of the October Jazz Festival. Luther has recently begun presenting extracts from a body of work that continues to expand. He lives in Martinique where he continues to make a valuable contribution to the evolution of music in the region through teaching, composing and performing.
“I have done a lot of work with other people’s music, and now I want to focus more on my own work, because I am also a composer and an arranger,” said Francois. “And I am a demanding composer. My music is not easy to play, it is like classical compositions, and to get into that kind of music, you have to practice, practice, and practice.”
The contribution of Saint Lucian jazz artists will climax on May 13, for the very special Mothers’ Day concert at Pigeon Island, with Ronald Boo Hinkson joining Martinican Frantz Laurac, American Soul singer, songwriter and pianist Avery Sunshine and Jazz SuperGroup R+R = NOW led by legendary pianist Robert Glasper.
This show will provide local music icon Boo Hinkson with another opportunity to showcase some of the best musical talent emerging from Saint Lucia at this time. Throughout his career, Hinkson has spent time and energy encouraging and supporting young musicians, and this concert will be another way for the Saint Lucian public to pay tribute to his role as a teacher, mentor, performer, producer and composer.
For more information on Saint Lucia Jazz artists, venues and to purchase tickets online visit www.soleilsaintlucia.com. The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival is presented in partnership with platinum sponsor Flow.
Publicado en StLuciaOnline
A NEW WAVE OF FEMALE VOICES FOR SAINT LUCIA JAZZ 2018
Jazz music may be a male-dominated world, but jazz would not be what it is without the unique and powerful voices, and personalities, of many female vocalists. Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves; there are so many outstanding female singers who belong to any Jazz Hall of Fame.
Now a new jazz wave has emerged—a growing movement led by artists who feel empowered and are inspired by the reality of the times. Female vocalists are at the forefront of that movement, and six outstanding women singers of this new generation are featured this year at the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival.
“My intent is to use music to uplift my people and to uplift myself,” says Lalah Hathaway, a three-time Grammy winner who performs two sets on Friday, May 11 at Royalton.Caribbean sounds, songs and rhythms are featured in the festival, especially with Zara McFarlane, the foremost black jazz vocalist on the buoyant UK jazz scene. McFarlane was born in London, but, clearly, “[she] belongs to Jamaica, as the land of her mother and father is written in her soul and vibrates through her music.” She is currently on a tour of European cities that will culminate with her performance in Saint Lucia on May 9.
Haitian Pauline Jean brings Caribbean sounds, feelings and landscapes to her performance. Her music creates an erudite blend of worldly jazz that draws from her Creole roots and integrates modern and traditional inflections. For the festival, she will join Saint Lucia’s finest, Luther Francois, Arnaud Dolmen, Cameron Pierre and others to show that Creole Jazz is thriving in the Caribbean.
Other original and exceptional voices featured at Saint Lucia Jazz 2018 are Carolyn Malachi who, on Friday, May 11, will offer her reggae and hip-hop-infused jazz influences, melding African rhythms with American soul; and Grammy-nominated Jazzmeia Horn, described as a standout singer “because she takes on every song she sings so naturally. Jazzmeia is a performer for whom every word, gesture, and ornament becomes an expression of her total conviction and she completely comes alive in the moment.”
On Sunday, May 13 at the Pigeon Island National Landmark, another outstanding vocalist, Avery*Sunshine, will take the festival to a new dawn with her trademarked thunderous, gospel-bred pipes and heart-to-heart content. Avery*Sunshine exploded onto the scene with her 2010 self-titled debut album. Fluent in many musical languages, from soul and house to classical, jazz and hip-hop, she expresses with a voice that speaks boldly and tells a uniquely familiar story: a story about love, healing and finding the newness of oneself—a fitting message for a Mother’s Day extravaganza.
All these exceptionally talented women are also social activists and philanthropists: Lalah Hathaway is one of the ambassadors for a campaign that aims to educate, empower and mobilize the African-American community in the fight against breast cancer. She is also an advocate for children of colour learning music: “Music is a super mutual collaborative effort and situation. It’s a conversation, not a monologue,” she says.
Meanwhile, Pauline Jean travels to Haiti annually with a group of musicians as part of the Experience Ayiti Mission, to provide aid, master classes, free concerts, and instrument distribution throughout different regions of the island; and Carolyn Malachi advocates for equal access to education and technology, contributes lifestyle articles to Black Enterprise Magazine and conducts a regular jazz education and exchange tour in Haiti.
The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival 2018 welcomes this new wave of jazz vocalists, knowing that expectations will be far surpassed by the actual performances.