3 April 2012 by Luke McCormick
Tickets are now on sale for the Caribbean's leading music festival, the famed St Lucia Jazz, which takes place over 14 days from 30 April to 13 May 2012.
The 21st installment of the festival will feature more than 50 acclaimed artists performing in nine communities supporting events, 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 the city.
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," he said.
"Innovations in 2012 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 take place from 09-13 May and are headlined by celebrated performer and multiple Grammy winner, Lionel Richie.
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 songwriter turned performer and soulful songstress Keri Hilson, pop and hip-hop phenomenon Melanie Fiona and gospel king Kirk Franklin.
A host of Saint Lucia's leading performers, such as Luther Francois, Ronald ‘Boo' Hinkson, Richard Payne and Derek Yarde Project will complement the stars.
Endorsing the 2012 event, Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus welcomed the return of the popular ‘Opening of Jazz.'
"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 renowned for attracting the world's best," he said.
"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."