Performers at last Friday’s opening of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival 2023 set the pace and tone for this ‘multiplicity dimensional event’– currently unfolding all over the country, at venues both striking and ordinary.
The night’s line-up of artists was dynamic, the Mindoo Phillip Park’s ability to stage a massive crowd event was tested, but held strong, a clear sign that that venue for the opening of jazz, the original ‘grass-roots’ venue, should never be tampered with.
Popular local group DYP & Friends set the show on the roll with high energy performances complemented by an array of guest performances from the likes of Papa Vader, Ricky T and Pringles, Ezra the Fun Machine, Illah Man, Hollywood HP and seasoned artists Nicole David and Ninja Dan making a return to the stage among other acts, which included ‘Dennery Segment’ entertainers.
Shenseea- the Jamaican ‘Dancehall Queen’ proved her worth with a delivery of her ‘hott favourites’ to stir up the crowd that included some of her loyal fan base.
And as the fans joined Shenssea by singing along to some of her hit songs, she took off her fashion high-boots and jumped into the groove, barefooted. At one time, Shenseea momentarily got off the stage to interact with the crowd of fans and music lovers in the foreground on the fences in front of the stage.
The atmosphere was tremendously exhilarating by the time the final act came on, way past the midnight hour.
To round off the session – Kes the Band, the Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) groove ensemble hit the stage, and did they rock the crowd? Surely, indeed, they ‘brought down the house’ with their signature high-energy explosive Caribbean rhythms, with Kes belting out ‘hit after hit’ songs to the accompaniment of a delightful and joyful crowd.
Kes echoed the sentiments of the female Jamaican artist, Shenseea, stating that it was a delight to perform in Saint Lucia and to mingle with lively and hospitable people.
Kes informed the crowd that they would be back on island for the Saint Lucia Carnival festivities, in July, as he closed the set with the ever-popular “Savannah” hit tune that sent the crowd into wild and frenzied jump-up mode.
With Saint Lucia dubbed a ‘Festival Country’, event orgnisers are going all out to woo visitors to the destination along with an infusion of local fans to partake in an extravaganza of the “best music, art, and culture …right here in Saint Lucia”.
Earlier Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative for Castries East, Philip J Pierre was pleased to address the crowd as he officially declared open this 25th edition of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival.
Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire was pleased with the return of the jazz festival, and as well, the opening segment at the MPP, last Friday evening.
“The Jazz Festival has become the premiere brand music entertainment in Saint Lucia and throughout the region , 25 years of brand building …jazz was traditionally launched here (MPP) and there was no question in our mind that we had to launch jazz here , at the Mindoo Philip Park- the home of entertainment ,” he told reporters.