Lionel Richie to Headline Saint Lucia Jazz Festival April 30-May 13



Saint Lucia Jazz, now into its 21st year, will feature some of the best live performances from renowned local, regional and international superstars, with celebrated performer and multiple Grammy winner Lionel Richie headlining this year’s festival.

The 2012 event, April 30 – May 13, 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. “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 told the gathering, “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 and are headlined by Lionel Richie, who has garnered five Grammys and 18 American Music Awards, among other accolades. 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 slue 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 reknowned 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.

Saint Lucia Jazz 2012, www.stluciajazz.org; Saint Lucia Tourist Board, 800 456-3984, www.saintlucianow.com