Review of the St. Lucia Jazz Festival


Robert Hilferty, writing for Playbill Arts, has reviewed this year’s St. Lucia Jazz Festival. He writes of the rain that plagued the event this year and, of course, of Amy Winehouse’s interrupted performance, but the most interesting part of his review addresses the changes that have taken place over the years, as the festival has moved from traditional jazz to what he calls “jazz-influenced” music with a hefty dose of R & B. Here are the relevant passages:

As you can surmise, St. Lucia offers more a “jazz-influenced” festival than strictly a “jazz” as it features an overwhelming number of R & B personalities, very popular in the Caribbean. The festival also has a soft spot for legendary old timers from the ‘70s such as KC & The Sunshine Band (“Shake Your Booty”), Chicago, and Michael McDonald from Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. These guys don’t fade away—they’re surprisingly vibrant as ever.

The festival’s first nine years featured what we would call more serious jazz hardliners, and in the past have showcased such impressive personalities as Anita Baker, Isaac Hayes, Nancy Wilson, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, and McCoy Tyner. Dionne Warwick even graced these shores. But as the audiences for sophisticated jazz dwindles, the festival by economic necessity had to open up to the more popular R &B, and also feature some world music personalities.

For the complete review go to

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