Greater involvement for Saint Lucians as Saint Lucia Jazz celebrates 19 years

ST. LUCIA – The Saint Lucia Tourist Board has taken a strategic and deliberate decision to include more citizens in the production of the 2010 Saint Lucia Jazz.

In addition to an increase in local performers at main stage jazz and the fringe events, a Saint Lucia company “Caribbean Events Company” has also been contracted to produce certain aspects of the festival.

Director of Tourism Mr Louis Lewis, says Saint Lucian performers and production professionals have shown that they can deliver if given the opportunity.

He says the increased local involvement will enhance the economic benefits for Saint Lucia which already realized profits from eighty percent of the jazz production cost annually.

“I think this is a firm national statement that we are making to show that not only can our artistes perform at main stage, but we also have the capacity to host events of that magnitude. The Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) has made a deliberate attempt to move in that direction and allow some of the production to be undertaken by some of our local producers.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Lewis says several new features have been added to enhance the appeal and quality of the festival.

He says the main stage venue in particular has been upgraded, however he assures that the natural aesthetics of the park is not compromised.

“We have tilted the stage a bit to the left and that allows for greater visibility. I don’t know why it took us nineteen years to realise that, however I still believe there are some more changes we can make while respecting the broader perspective of what Pigeon Island was meant to be. This year people are going to experience some remarkable changes to the festival, particularly at the Pigeon Island National

Saint Lucia Jazz 2010 began on Saturday, May 1st with free events around the island.

These events included Fond d`Or Jazz and Jazz in Soufriere.

The festival now in its nineteenth year concludes on Sunday May 9th at Pigeon Island with performances from reggae greats Maxi Priest & Shaggy, Men of Soul, starring Jeffrey Osborne, Freddie Jackson, Phil Perry and Howard Hewett among others.

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