Coral King gives us her take on St. Lucia’s busy month of May.
St. Lucia hosted the World Twenty20, most notably the cricket game where West Indies played against Australia; the big finale scene of reality show “The Bachelor” was held at the open air Celestial Terrace at the Jade Mountain Resort. Jade Mountation has a spectacular view of the Pitons, two volcanoes which are the most famous landmark of St. Lucia.
The 19th edition of the St. Lucia Jazz Festival, the premiere Caribbean musical and cultural experience started the month off and featured artists such as NeYo, Maxi Priest, Jean Luc Monty, Teddyson John, and Laura Izbor to name a few. The St. Lucia Jazz has become one of the most anticipated events. The 2010 program delivered a mix of high caliber homegrown talent and international performers.
Echoing sweet songs of love in a large dome structure at Pigeon Island National Landmark, a few feet away from the shorelines of St. Lucia, a small Caribbean gem, was R&B singer, song writer, Ne-Yo, who completed The Year of The Gentleman tour, and his third album. He had the young ladies screaming, crying, and going crazy as he took the stage at festival to perform 20 of his hits including ‘So Sick’, ‘Sexy Love’, ‘Miss Independent’, and ‘Closer.’ Sporadically NeYo used hand towels to wipe his sweat drenched face, and then threw it into the audience, causing his young female audience to tug at it to see who would end up with the prized possession.
British Reggae Legend Maxi Priest had the older crowd swaying with hits like ‘Close To You’, and ‘Just a Little Bit Longer’. He brought on his son Marvin Priest, and Beniton the Menace to mix up the vibes. Grammy award winning recording artist Shaggy could not deal with the crowd sitting down. He said, “I was in the audience last night and I thought this was an opera. After striking a few poses, he appealed to the audience, people, get up and dance!” The audience immediately jumped to their feet as he sang, ‘Mr. Bombastic’ and ‘In the Summertime.’ An all star cast of crooners made up of Freddie Jackson, Jeffery Osborne, Phil Perry and Howard Hewett were delightful. Freddie gave all the women roses as he romanced them with his chart topping songs ‘Hey Lover’, ‘Nice and Slow’ and ‘Crazy’.
The multiple Grammy winning reggae band Steel Pulse from the UK, was phenomenal. Everyone in the band from the base man, the guitarist, to the lead singer, had great energy and grooved to the beat. ‘Roller Skates’ was a hit for the audience as they sang the lyrics. With an exquisite voice and commanding stage presence, the lead singer David ‘Dread’ Hinds, dressed in red, yellow and green, screamed to the crowd. “Are you irie!” Then he proceeded to big up all Rastaman, people from Barbados, Martinique, and exclaimed, “Jamaican’s are everywhere!” The crowd screamed as they began singing ‘Stepping Out’ He said, “Haiti needs to stay in our minds” Even though the mass media will forget them we can’t forget them.” David gave thanks for President Obama. He sang a song dedicated to Barack Obama which was written while Barack was seeking Presidency. As they exited the stage the audience, screamed, and whistled for a few minutes until they returned for a finale to sing ‘Taxi Driver’ wrapping up a day of unique adventures, delectable cuisine, and fun filled entertainment.
ALL PHOTOS BY CORAL KING.