BET JAZZ stirs Kalalu in St. Lucia

BET Digital Networks has already won a reputation for throwing its support behind huge Caribbean music festivals and it has now added a new event to its program schedule.

BET Jazz will team with the organizers of the first Heineken Kalalu World Music Festival which debuts at Samaans Park, Choc Bay on St. Lucia’s picturesque north coast from December 1 to 4, 2005.

“Knowing the trends in music right now and where we are going with the Jazz Channel and our programming, we thought it would be a perfect fit to participate as a programming partner and potentially as a sponsor of the event,” says Cybelle Brown, Vice President Sales and Marketing for BET Digital Networks.

The four day event will feature trumpeter and pioneer of South African Jazz, Hugh Masekela, Senegalese vocalist and percussionist Idrissa Diop, Haitian singer and songwriter Emeline Michel, the Sensaci√≥n Orchestra from Cuba, the Soukous Stars from the Congo, Puerto Rican vocalist Jose Alberto, Grammy-nominated Latin-funk collective Yerba Buena, singer Sekouba Bambino from Guinea, and Bluemang√≥ and Ronald “Boo” Hinkson from St. Lucia.

Brown, who has previously worked in tourism in St. Lucia and the Caribbean, said the festival content is ideal for the network, and the diverse line-up will fit the Jazz channel perfectly.

During Kalalu’s recent New York launch, festival Director Adrian Augier said that his group was happy to have BET on board as it brought with it the international and North American coverage that they will need. He said the event is designed to complement the St. Lucia Jazz Festival, which is traditionally held during the first week of May. “We have been in that business for 15 years. It’s time to add a new product to the list of special events in St. Lucia. It’s definitely tourism-driven (and) about developing opportunities in the arts and entertainment sector (in) which we think St. Lucia has a major advantage and a reputation in the international marketplace.”

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