Tourism officials revealed a ‘star-studded’ lineup for the 2024 Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival to grace the main stage at the Pigeon Island Causeway.
This year’s extravaganza will run from April 30 to May 12, with added focus on the ‘Community Jazz’ component to provide a wider outreach.
The event will feature a lineup of mega-regional and international artistes plus top local artistes.
Grammy-award winner, songwriter and producer Babyface, Jon Secada, Beres Hammond, Machel Montano, Joeboy, Romain Virgo, local ‘reggae sensation’ Meshach, and a wide range of contemporary and other performers are down to perform.
On Wednesday, at the media launch, Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire stressed the importance of the ‘Community Jazz’.
He also spoke about hosting a Global Media campaign as part of the promotional package.
“This festival, over its 30-year history, has evolved into a radiant beacon of artistic expression, community development, economic opportunity and the harmonious conversion of diverse cultures,” declared Dr. Hilaire.
“From its modest inception, in 1992, it has blossomed into a cultural extravaganza transcending age and time through the creative power of art and music,” he added.
“Beyond our cultural landscape, it has emerged as an economic powerhouse, significantly contributing to our thriving tourism industry and allowed ordinary Saint Lucians to enjoy their share of the tourism pie,” noted Hilaire.
He referred to the significance of hosting these events, “not only to showcase the richness of our culture, but also economic opportunities for our local communities.”
“In our deliberate quest for community involvement, this year’s festival will embrace more host communities,” he said.
Added Hilaire: “Community engagement has already been the life-blood of this festival and by extending our reach to these diverse communities, we aim to enhance this experience for both artistes and attendees alike.”
Chairman of the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) Darwin Guard reiterated that the Community Jazz component will feature prominently in the festival.
“Our emphasis this year is based on training our youth and also getting a lot more of the artistes involved in pushing the Arts component,” he said.
Guard noted that the 2024 Icon Series will feature LlewellynXavier – a visionary contemporary artist presenting his artwork.
Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) Chairman and Chairperson of the Saint Lucia Jazz, Thaddeus Antoine, stressed the importance of showcasing the creativity of ‘Arts in Jazz’.
He revealed that this year’s event will feature two Pure Jazz events catering to the musical appetites of the hard-core jazz aficionados.
“As we celebrate musical diversity and ambition, we recognize the importance of fostering a space where established artistes can share their mastery, while providing emerging talents with exposure for them to flourish,” said Antoine.
Antoine also appealed for more corporate sponsorship to sustain and deliver a “world-class event.”
Photo: Section of audience at launch.