Click images above to enlarge.
When you compare the photograph (above left) with the photographs
below it is difficult to believe they were taken just a couple
of days apart. There was an initial fear that the 18th annual
St. Lucia Jazz Festival would be rained off.
I arrived on the island on 30 April… it rained every day
for the first seven days. I thought we would have to start building
an ark and guiding locals, visitors and musicians (Not necessarily
in that order) onto the ark two-by-two. The first of the four
outdoor shows featuring Kassav, Angélique Kidjo and the
Original Wailers was cancelled due to poor conditions at Pigeon
Island. Thankfully, Mother Nature, Pigeon Island management and
staff worked miracles - The next day, Pigeon Island was habitable.
Of course the strange (but predicted) behaviour of that well
known British export ‘Ms Winehouse’, was on everybody’s
mind, but it didn’t take long for patrons to move on. This
festival is bigger than one bad performance. It was not long before
we were getting down with KC and the Sunshine Band and soaking
up the sounds of zouk from the re-scheduled ‘klass’
Spectacular performances and encouraging words by the magical
Monty Alexander at the Gaiety, the ever-reliable sax from Rob
‘Zi’ Taylor at Jazz on the Beach, smiles from the
effervescent Chaka Khan, sweet soul (and flying shoes) from Patti
Labelle and ‘rub me down’ party reggae from a bouncy
Beres Hammond at Pigeon Island secured the success of this year’s
There is ‘just something’ about St. Lucia, its people,
and of course the festival that keeps me coming back every year.
St. Lucia has a magic that is unrivalled and addictive…
ask Amy Winehouse, I’m sure she will agree!
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.
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