@ Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
13 May 2006
Click an image to enlarge.
The scenery near this venue entrance alone
is enough to take your breath away. Your senses are bombarded by
the smell of chicken, fish and other freshly prepared delicacies
on offer. You cannot ignore ‘or not admire’ the sight
of multi-coloured stalls and multi-coloured homemade items on display
by local sellers, who proudly parade their wares. Illuminated trees
and historical ruins silhouette against the revamped hooded stage
(to cater for all types of weather).
The first daytime venue at Pigeon Island and
probably the most popular part of the Jazz Festival began with the
promise of another hot day - and even less clothing being worn by
excited patrons young and old.
A relaxing sail on the coast, adjacent to the
main road made a perfect start to the day, with a dinghy dropping
us off at the jetty for a short trot to the main stage.
Seasoned patrons had their mats, sarongs, portable
chairs already positioned as near to the front of the stage as possible.
Everybody was already on their feet in anticipation for Bajan beauty
Rihanna, who immediately stirred the crowd with her dramatic entrance
and shout of “ST LUCIA MAKE SOME NOISE!”
Rihanna was not alone; she was soon followed by
her four strong, fiery, extremely provocative dance troupe. Pigeon
Island patrons were soon swaying and singing along to “You
Do Not Love Me (No, no, no), taken from her aptly titled ‘Music
Of The Sun’ album. Unpredictably, Rihanna then switched mode.
Her dancers took a breather as she invited an acoustic guitarist
to the stage. After a brief spoken tribute to Bob Marley she then
performed a passionate soulful rendition of “Redemption Song”.
The crowd were now eating out of her hand. Old and young alike were
reaching out with adoration for this stunning young woman.
Keeping it in a mellow mode, Rihanna continued
to soothe our sweat-laden brows with her heartbreak ballad, “Unfaithful”.
The experienced an inexperienced (eight – eighty year old)
patron sang along as though in combined grief and understanding.
The youngest section of the sing-along clan notably transfixed by
Rihanna’s voice, beauty and seductive aura.
With Carnival time in St. Lucia drawing ever closer,
road march anthems such as “Wind Your Waist”, ‘Its
Carnival Time’ and “Ring Ding Ding” are bound
to be popular. When performed by Rihanna and her ‘do it all’
dancers, these songs are sure-fire winners.
Not surprisingly, Rihanna’s worldwide hit
“Pon De Replay” was saved for her encore. Her fans were
suitably impressed.“She was really good, better than I
expected!” Explained a wide-eyed excited eight year old.
Additional information by Carole Clemesha
© Michael Valentine Studio