It’s the most rewarding and easy rite of spring. Every year in May for the past 30 years, multitudes descend upon the lush green volcanic island of Saint Lucia. Many of them are repeat visitors from all around the world. They make their pilgrimage to a signature destination for music and the best time. Saint Lucia has one of the most well-established music festivals in the Caribbean and one may daresay the world. The main stage is at the picturesque Pigeon Island National Landmark which offers breathtaking views of the north of the island and as far north as the island of Martinique. If one looks closely, one may even get a peek-a-boo view of the iconic Pitons (a UN World Heritage Site) in the south of the island. Moonlight, music, and gentle breezes wash over the park as some of the best bands in the world entertain audiences.
Conceived in the early 1990s, the St. Lucia Jazz festival was a small gathering of music lovers. Over time it has grown an international reputation and is now the ultimate escape for music lovers who are meticulous in the art of combining music and vacation. Through the years, hundreds of bands and international Jazz A-listers like pianists Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, guitarists George Benson, Earl Klugh, Jonathan Butler, Brazil’s pianist and vocalist Tania Maria, and contemporary Jazz mainstays Acoustic Alchemy and Esperanza Spalding have graced the stage with the amazing Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop. These international acts perform on the same stage as home-grown internationally recognized Saint Lucian musicians, from the likes of Boo Hinkson, Luther Francois, Barbara Cadet, Rob Zi Taylor, and bands like Bluemango to name a few. The festival has its finger on the pulse, bringing musicians to whom audiences are very connected.
The multi-genre festival is a showcase for Smooth Jazz, POP, R&B, Roots Reggae, Soca, and Salsa among others. Crooner John Legend and Pop icons Rihanna, Freddie Jackson, and Mary J. Blige, have graced the stage in recent years. Concerts create poignant experiences. Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Smokey Robinson, Luther Vandross, BabyFace, and Boys II Men are the subject of winter reminiscing among friends … “Remember when….” Those concerts have made history and created lasting memories.
Saint Lucia Jazz has gone through name changes as well, from St. Lucia Jazz Festival to the Saint. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival to celebrate the island’s heritage as an essential aspect of the Saint Lucia Jazz experience. The “new” festival highlights other aspects of the island’s culture – art, dance, theater, and cuisine.
The 10-day Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival usually takes place around the island with fringe events and shows taking place as a lead-up to the Main Stage which culminates on Mother’s Day. From Jazz in the South, Teatime Jazz, and Jazz on the Square, visitors have their pick, and the excitement is palpable. The capital city’s square, named after Nobel Prize Winner Derek Walcott, is the scene for Jazz On The Square, an open-air setting that marries the best music, fun, and camaraderie with food and drink.
For those who want a more intimate setting where one can dance or see the performer up close, check-out shows are typically held at hotels in the north. Wherever you go on the island, this jazz festival is the perfect escape. Day trips to the Pitons, Soufriere Volcano, picture-perfect Marigot Bay, or a heavenly spa are icing on a fabulous vacation. Just dial in the amount of music you need and go.
St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival 2023 is set for May 5 – 14. After a two-year hiatus, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, patrons are waiting with bated breath for the announcement of the line-up. More information will be announced soon. Caribbeanevents.com is aware of the increasing interest and we will bring the information to you as soon as it is available, so stay tuned.
Bookmark caribbeanevents.com to stay up to date on what is taking place for the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival 2023 and other major events around the Caribbean. Looking for accommodations in St. Lucia for the 2023 event? Click here to see the options… We have made it easy for you to book your stay. One more thing. In Saint Lucia, you have lots of choices of accommodations, from intimate inns, and small hotels to luxury resorts and villas, all within a short distance from the Jazz festival venues. However, we encourage you to book early for two reasons: demand for accommodations is expected to be high after the two-year hiatus and demand is high because the festival is a not-to-be-missed event.