If music soothes the soul, the music of the Caribbean region has the soothing formula down pat.
Island music festivals are proving a big draw for visitors as well as a revenue stream for destinations.
St. Lucia’s Jazz & Arts Festival, April 30 to May 10, is one of the largest and oldest festivals, now in its 24th year. Events are held in various venues, although the biggest events take place at Pigeon Island National Park on the island’s north coast.
“For more than two decades, this festival has featured legendary names in music. This year’s lineup is no exception,” said Louis Lewis, director of tourism.
Headliners include pop singer/songwriter Robin Thicke, American rapper Flo Rida, Jamaican reggae musician and performer Jimmy Cliff and two-time Grammy winner Jon Secada, among others.
The festival combines St. Lucia’s arts and culinary scene along with music. Artists, dancers, craftsmen and island chefs are at each event site. Hotel packages that combine accommodations with festival events are offered by 18 properties on St. Lucia.
Curacao, which annually hosts its North Sea Jazz Festival, taking place Sept. 3 through 5 at the World Trade Center at Piscadera Bay, will launch its inaugural International BlueSeas Festival May 7 through 9, described as “a celebration of traditional and gentrified jazz music,” according to Hugo Clarinda, deputy director of the Curacao Tourist Board.
Headline artists include the Original Blues Brothers and Buddy Guy as well as emerging artists.
On May 7 and 8, nine artists will perform free concerts on the streets of Blues Village in Pietermaai Smal, a neighborhood in the capital of Willemstad.
The main stage at Kleine Werf in Punda will feature the headliners in a ticketed performance on closing night May 9.
While not specifically a music festival, the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival on Grand Bahama Island April 17 and 18 and in Nassau May 7 to 9 features Bahamian recording artists as part of the overall entertainment lineup
The carnival is the Bahamas’ newest signature cultural event, according to Valery Brown Alce, senior director of global marketing.
For an event schedule, visit www.bahamas.com/carnival.
The 19th edition of the St. Kitts Music Festival is set for June 25 to 27 at Warner Park Stadium in Basseterre. Although headline performers for this year’s event have not yet been announced, past performers have included K.C. and the Sunshine Band, John Legend, Lionel Richie, Shaggy and Michael Bolton.
“The festival has grown over the years as a showcase for international music stars performing alongside rising local and Caribbean acts,” said Lindsay Grant, tourism minister.
Details will be available shortly at www.stkittsmusicfestival.com.