9 Communities to host supporting jazz events

SAINT LUCIA (January 26, 2012) – All is in place for welcoming the world as the premiere musical festival in the English speaking Caribbean – Saint Lucia Jazz - gets ready to sound-off on legendary Saint Lucia in the coming months.

At a live television and radio press launch at the awarding winning Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort on the Pigeon Island Causeway, it was announced that the highly anticipated musical event, now into its 21st year, will encompass 14 days of some of the best live performances from renowned local, regional and international superstars.

The 2012 event carded for April 30th - May13th, will feature over fifty (50) artistes performing against some of the best backdrop locales this side of the hemisphere, from the signature Atlantic Ocean backdrop of the Pigeon Island National landmark, to quaint and rustic village settings like Fond D’Or in Dennery, Rudy John Beach Park in Laborie and Seaside jazz at Duty free Pointe Seraphine in the heart of the City.

Commenting on the diverse and star-studded list of performers, Tourism Director Louis Lewis noted that much thought had gone into presenting a package that truly reflected the record 21 year history of the event. “The longevity of Saint Lucia Jazz is testament to constant innovation and determination which is warranted to ensure that as a product, Saint Lucia Jazz remains fresh and exciting, so as to sustain public appeal and visitor attraction.”

Lewis told the gathering, “2012 innovations include a reduced yet more robust jazz centric lineup reflecting pure, smooth, Caribbean and Creole jazz with touches of R&B and world musical genres, and a more cohesive grouping of supporting community-based jazz events, which continue to define Saint Lucia Jazz.”

Main stage performances get underway from May 9 to13 and are headlined by celebrated performer and multiple Grammy winner, Lionel Richie. Other musical heavy weights include accomplished South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela; 5 time Grammy winning artiste Ziggy Marley - the son of iconic reggae legend Bob Marley; jazz aficionado Joshua Redman; hit R&B song writer turned performer and soulful songstress Keri Hilson; pop and hip-hop phenom Melanie Fiona and gospel king Kirk Franklinamong others. A slue of Saint Lucia’s leading musical masterminds like Luther Francois, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson, Richard Payne, Derek Yarde Project and others complement the casts.

Endorsing the 2012 event, Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus noted with delight, the return of the popular ‘Opening of Jazz.’ Also overseeing the portfolio of Creative Industries, Minister Theophilus exclaimed, “There has been clarinet calls for the return of this component of the festival. For many patrons this simple, yet symbolic opening had significant meaning by aligning Saint Lucia Jazz with the average Saint Lucian, featuring Saint Lucia’s best musical talents within a festival that has become reknowned for attracting the world’s best. It is that lasting community impact, which in 2012 will touch thousands of lives in 9 distinct communities across the island, which is the true legacy of this event.”

Headlining the opening of Saint Lucia Jazz set for Monday, April 30 is Trinidadin power couple Fay Ann Lyons & Bunji Garland. Scheduled for the Mindoo Phillip Park, located in what is typically referred to as the ‘Capital of Castries’, the Opening will also feature dancehall wonder Busy Signal and Saint Lucian singing sensation Teddyson John.

Saint Lucia Jazz has maintained its ranking as one of the world’s top five festivals. The festival is presented by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and is supported by Platinum sponsor Digicel along with other Gold, Bronze and Collateral sponsors.  For more information on the full lineup for Saint Lucia Jazz 2012 along with show dates, venues and ticket sales, log onto www.stluciajazz.org