News

M.I.S.T. Is On It’s Way

BY Jackie Cherebin-Weekes
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The Annexus Band of Saint Lucia presents their new project M.I.S.T. (Musical Island-wide Schools’ Tour) which started on Friday October 7 at the Bocage Secondary School, and was received with great appreciation by the students and teachers, as it coincided with the end of Teachers’ Week Celebrations.

The Annexus Band is a historic St lucian jazz band which has been performing since the early 2000s. The band has been playing every Sunday evening at Jambe De Bois, Pigeon Island,  17 years consecutively,  till the pandemic caused closure of the venue in 2019.  At that venue they have had the pleasure to host some famous national and international artistes during those gigs.

The band is led by very well-known drummer, Ricardo Francois accompanied by equally well-known musicians, pianist Emerson Nurse, bassist Albert Eugene and saxophonist Eric Preterre.

They will endeavour to bring to the students of primary and secondary schools island-wide, a three-part live concert.  This is to encourage the students not only to experience what a live performance is and brings, but also what hides behind the concert which is the culture, history and legacy, improvisation and freedom, rhythm, melody, harmony, mastering of an instrument and listening. The concert series also comes with insights into the history of indigenous, Caribbean and jazz music, and aims at having the youth think about and question their contemporary musical surroundings.

This project has been made possible by the The French Embassy’s Small Grants Programme which is a 3-year-old initiative funded by the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Action (SCAC).  The objective of this programme is to strengthen cooperation between France and civil society actors in 11 regional countries, which includes St. Lucia, where SCAC operates.  SCAC funds up to a maximum of 5,000 euros to non-profit projects in various fields of activity (sustainable development and environmental protection, culture, scientific research, support for youth, promotion of gender equality, etc).

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The second visit of Annexus on the M.I.S.T. Project was to the River Doree’ Combined Primary School on Friday October 28, 2022, the official international day of Kwéyòl.

The generous funding for the M.I.S.T. Project by SCAC, allows the band to visit five schools on island.  The intention is for M.I.S.T.  to be able to visit and perform at many more Primary and Secondary schools on this tour.  “As crime and other social ills are rising, we believe that music and the pursuit of excellence can offer other avenues to the youth” says Ricardo Francois.

As the band Annexus continues their journey and are on their way with the M.I.S.T. Project it is the hope that other Co-operate organizations and Citizens will join the French Embassy in additional funding to finance this wonderful initiative.

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