Caribbean Fusion Brings The Energy At Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

By Coretta Joe

The historic Pigeon Island National Landmark reverberated with the rhythmic sounds of the Caribbean. They say no one parties (or can throw a party) like West Indian people, and this was evident at yet another sold-out Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts event, Caribbean Fusion. 

King of Soca Machel Montano stormed the stage with his full band minutes after midnight, and it was a full fete for close to two hours as he wined, trampled, trembled and gave one of his more dynamic performances in recent times. It was the soca superstar’s first time performing in Saint Lucia in six years and his first time at Jazz. 

There was no doubt that Lucians loved Machel. At one point, the music stopped, and they showed him just how much—the approximately eight thousand-strong crowd screamed unabashedly for approximately two minutes. 

Even though The Monk did not release any new music this year, his expansive catalogue was enough—the numerous hits he performed included 90s tracks such as Footsteps, Big Truck, and Toro Toro, coming to the mid and late 2000s with Shake The Place, Like Yuhself, and Epic. 

Jamaican legend Beres Hammond had the honour of gracing the stage just before Machel’s set, and he, too, was shown plenty of love. “Uncle Beres”, as he is affectionately known across the diaspora, injected the appreciative crowd with the sweetest dose of lover’s rock. 

He pulled up a stool and made himself comfortable on stage. Still in fine voice, he belted out fan favourites like Rock Away, Tempted to Touch, Standing in My Way, Sweet Lies, and Putting up Resistance, and the crowd waved, swayed, and sang every word right along with him. 

Caribbean Fusion really did live up to its name, with its well-crafted blend of the sounds of soca and reggae. The two Saint Lucians who opened the show, reggae artist Meschach and soca act Ezra D’funmachine, proved that Caribbean talent is out of this world. 

This was veteran singer Meschach’s first performance after a brief hiatus, and he filled the venue with his conscious vibes through songs like Mr Greedy Joe and Hold On Strong. 

Gros Islet native Ezra D’funmachine was electrifying! He continues to cement his status as a well-rounded performer. His trademark gruff voice and bacchanal antics on stage had everyone jumping and raising their Lucian flags, proud to be a part of the moment. His repertoire of hits included Swim My Way, Bacchanal Rampage and Hello Carnival. 

In a touching gesture, he brought out some of his famous friends at strategic points to share the spotlight with him and further hype up the crowd. They included Hollywood HP, Shemmy J, and Imran Nerdy, who whipped everyone into a frenzy. 

It was a fantastic start to what is expected to be an unforgettable weekend of music and pulsating energy. It gave first-timers to jazz a taste of why the festival is known as the premier event of its kind in the Caribbean.