The just ended Saint Lucia Jazz Festival attracted media attention from a wide range of international press, giving coverage not just to the event but the island as a whole.
One of the keys to the success of events like the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, is being able to attract major journalists to the island. In times past, the Saint Lucia Jazz festival witnessed the presence of the likes of ABC, NBC, CNN, BET, Billboard Magazine, Jazzizz magazine and Time Magazine to name a few.
Marketing and Sponsorship Officer at The Events Company of Saint Lucia, Leila Williams, said the event saw a spike in interest by the international press, with many of them returning to the festival after being absent for a while.
“I can say that this year is probably one of the years where we have the most, and I say kudos to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority for facilitating this. At my last count we had forty-eight different media houses from the French Caribbean, we have from the UK, we have from the US, we have from Canada. And so Saint Lucia itself, not just as a festival presenter but as a destination, is spotlighted because those persons who’ve come, activities are planned for them. They are brought to witness and to experience what we have to offer as a people, and as a country, so all of this will auger well for Saint Lucia in general,” Ms. Williams said.
Andrea DeSilva a photo journalist from Trinidad, is a returning journalist who has been coming to the festival now for 20 years. She said she is excited about the event returning to its roots of straight ahead Jazz and contemporary Jazz music.
“I’m happy to see that this year they’ve gone back to traditional Jazz,” Ms DeSilva said. “I think that was kind missing for a while. When I first came here in 1997 I saw a lot more Caribbean people here, then it dwindled when they put in the pop and the R&B and I think if Saint Lucia continues with strictly Jazz there’s a market, because there are jazz enthusiasts who need something like this to come to, and the atmosphere at Pigeon Island is just fantastic.”
Kevin Lashelle, a broadcast journalist from the UK, is on his forth visit.
“The combination of the setting which is absolutely beautiful, the atmosphere, the vibe and the music. I think the programming this year is very, very strong so it’s an opportunity for me to learn more about Caribbean Jazz and also to see international artistes in this setting as well. There’s something here that you can’t get in other parts of the world which is this glorious setting; it’s absolutely beautiful,” he said.
Nicole Vassil of Pride Magazine in the UK spoke of her first time experience.
“It is just an incredible atmosphere, you can tell that there are a lot of different international elements in this event, and although Jazz is not my go to genre, I’ve really enjoyed the acts.”
The 2018 saint Lucia Jazz Festival culminated on Sunday, May 13, with performances by the Frantz Laurac Quartet, Ronald “Boo” Hinkson and Friends, R&R and Avery Sunshine.