ST. LUCIA JAZZ FESTIVAL 2009 WEEKEND COVERAGE
It's 4:30 pm Thursday 7th... Camille (Cams) ringing off my cell phone trying to figure out where the hell I am, as our flight to St. Lucia is supposed to be leaving at 6:50 pm! I fly down the highway... meet up with Cams, and we head straight to where.... Cheffette of course! We're in desperate need for some nutrition as LIAT don't feed ya! After inhaling some pizza we hustle to the departure lounge to hear:
Stupseeee!!! Ah well, what better thing to do than head to the bar to pass the time. We liming with some peeps trying to make the best of the situation... praying that the flight would hurry up and come as we itching to go see Kassav perform! So.... we liming ... laughing ... talking a roll of crap, and as luck would have it, we look outside to see a torrential down pour! Lordie, what next eh?!
7:00pm... 8:00pm ... 9:00pm ... and we still in Barbados! Our worries about missing Kassav however, were relaxed as we got news out of SLU that due to the terrible weather, Kassav would be performing with the infamous Ms. Amy Winehouse on the Friday night. *phew*
After what seemed like ages, LIAT (which we all know stands for Leave Islands Any Time) finally reach and we jumped on the plane eager to go start the liming in one of our favourite Caribbean islands ... ST. LUCIA! With lady luck on our side, team TJJ brought a temporary dry spell to SLU. Our peeps picked us up from the airport, made a short stop in Cap Estate to freshen up... and off to Gros Islet we go to start the liming. Our liming spot for the night... the Happy Cock Bar! Be sure to check it out folks.... cool spot, great drinks, amazing food and just some real feel good vibes. We meet up with Mr. Chooks himself, and kept doing what we do best ... LIME! The happy cock crowed, Daddy Chooks headed back to Bay Gardens and the gals continued de liming. We headed to O'Bar with Justin aka The Big Show for the London Elite party, which was Fan-Tastic! No TJJ cameras were in there, but trust me folks, this All White party was amazing. With red eyes and a damaged foot (thanks dude for massacring my little toe), we ventured back to Cap Estate to have a little sleep. Please note.... A LITTLE!!!
Eyes pop open around 10:30 am and we make our way to "Jazz on the Square" to see our very own, Arturo Tappin perform. After driving around for what seemed like forever, we finally find a park and head into Derek Walcott Square. Now folks ... pedicured toes (with a band-aid on lil damaged toe), sexy sandals and mud just do not agree!!! Due to the rain from the morning, the grass was completely engulfed in wet mud. Fun stuff!! *sarcasm* The turn out wasn't as fantastic as previous years, I'm guessing due to the nasty weather, but the awesome jazz vibes were high in the air. First up on stage... the very impressive Harvey Miller, followed by the one and only Arturo blowing his sax. After listening to the sweet vibes and sippin' one or two Heinekens... we made our little trek to Pointe Seraphine for "Jazz on the Pier". We reached a tad bit late, but that didn't stop us from taking in a decent lime. The atmosphere was real chill, with everyone just sitting and swaying to the jazzy melodies. It's 4:00 pm ... so plan of action ... Main Stage concert suppose to start at 7:00pm ... return to Cap Estate, grab a little 30 minute shut eye ... beautify ... and then Pigeon Island!
Friday Night Jazz started off really nice. We reached Pigeon Island to be greeted by the sweet songs of KC & The Sunshine Band. These guys had some awesome stage presence boy! The highlight of the night though was the eagerly awaited Amy Winehouse, and what was supposed to be her comeback performance. Now this woman is seriously genuinely talented, but the performance was a major disappointment! I was lucky enough to see the first 15 minutes of her performance before the hurricane like showers hit Pigeon Island. People ... some SERIOUS rain hit down! We managed to shelter under the control tent, but wow ... the weather was ridiculous! Amy left the stage abruptly and didn't even finish her set which left many of her fans extremely disappointed. Many say that her performance was extremely embarrassing; she didn't perform her hit "Rehab" .... maybe because she isn't say "No No No" to rehab anymore! The torrential rains held up just in time for Kassav. WOW .... is all I have to say! I had never heard of this band before, but all my Lucian peeps were bigging them up ... and the Lucians were definitely spot on! This Zouk band was fantastic!!! If you never heard of them ... Google them ... Youtube them ... something them!!! Check them out people; you definitely will not be disappointed.
Saturday, TJJ Bim had a more relaxed day. Daddy Chooks & The Appraiser covered the Saturday show which was headlined by the amazing Estelle. Really wanted to check her out, but I got caught up liming with the Lucians on a boat! Good times.... did I mention that I love St. Lucia??!! We got in just in time to make myself purrrdy and head to RED Limited 2009 Band Launch. Their costumes were beautiful ... hmm maybe we will be heading back for Lucia's Carnival. After jamming to some Soca and trying to use up our drink chits, we headed to the Happy Cock Bar, and then to Chicken Hut for some well needed food. People, this food is fantastic! Fried chicken, chips and some special garlic sauce .... WOW! When in St. Lucia, go for some Chicken Hut!
All good things must come to an end, and Sunday was our last full day in St. Lucia. The highlight of the Jazz Festival is always Sunday, and 2009 was no different. The icons graced the stage ... Patti, Chaka, Chicago and Beres serenaded us under the stars (view Sunday's coverage). No rain in sight ... bright sunny day followed by a clear star studded sky. We left Pigeon Island just before everything ends in order to beat traffic and head back to do some quick packing in order to make our 6:00 am flight.
Fantastic end to an action packed, amazing weekend. St. Lucia is an amazing island filled with natural beauty and genuinely beautiful people. To our old friends and new ones ... thanks for making our St. Lucia experience a truly memorable one. And of course, special thanks to the St. Lucia Tourist Board and the Jazz Committee for taking care of team TJJ this year. With any luck we'll see you guys again soon for Carnival in July!
Next Jazz stop ... Pan Jazz in NYC (June 20th)!
a vacation from my vacation...