More than 50 acclaimed artists to perform
SAINT LUCIA (April 19, 2012) – Saint Lucia Jazz, now into its 21st year, will feature some of the best live performances from renowned local, regional and international superstars. The Saint Lucia Tourist Board announces the addition of iconic and legendary diva, singer, record producer and actress Diana Ross and Grammy award winner, singer- songwriter, Toni Braxton to the festival lineup.
The 2012 event, April 30 – May13, will feature over fifty artists performing against diverse Saint Lucian locales, 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 Castries.
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. “While we were disappointed at the withdrawal of Lionel Richie, we are delighted to announce the additions of Diane Ross-a legend in her own right and songstress Toni Braxton, a multiple Grammy winner. 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 also stated, “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 with the addition of Diana Ross and Toni Braxton on Sunday May 13. Diana Ross has sold more than 100-million records worldwide and is the recipient of the 2012 Grammy Awards, Lifetime Achievement Award. Toni Braxton has sold more than 40-million records worldwide, won seven American Music Awards and five Billboard Music Awards.
Other musical heavy weights include accomplished South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela; five 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 Franklin among others. A number 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 renowned for attracting the world’s best. It is that lasting community impact, which in 2012 will touch thousands of lives in nine 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 Trinidadian 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.
About Saint Lucia
One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The “Helen of the West Indies,” Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Saint Lucia Jazz festival. Saint Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. Saint Lucia also is home to world class cruise and yachting facilities.