Basseterre, St. Kitts – A truly dazzling performance by Grammy Award winning artist John Legend made this year’s St. Kitts Music Festival one to remember. As the headlining act of the uniquely Kittitian three-night multi-genre event, Legend electrified music fans from St. Kitts & Nevis, the Caribbean and as far as the US, Canada and the UK, and the fans returned the love.
“This was a great crowd tonight,” said John Legend. “I loved it when as soon as I walked out, the energy and the cheering and the people singing along… It’s been one of the best ones, really, for me as far as the audience and how receptive they were and how involved they were in the show. From start to finish, it really felt good for me.”
While each artist made their own hit with the audience, certain experiences stood out as particularly memorable and Legend’s riveting performance was one of them. Playing off the energy of the crowd, Legend’s powerful and high impact show was a highlight of Saturday night’s line-up. Leaving his hit song, “Ordinary People,” for last, Legend’s melodious voice and skill at the piano keyboard truly moved the crowd to new heights of enthusiasm.
Another shining star on Saturday was the powerful performance from pop superstar Mario, a favorite among the ladies in attendance who excitedly screamed out his name. Mario commanded the stage for nearly two hours, singing his songs, “How Do I Breathe,” “Braid My Hair,” and “How Could You,” among others.
Kicking off the Festival on Thursday night, which was the Festival’s designated SOCA night, El-A-Kru featuring Tizzy set the tone for the entire event when they opened to resounding approval from the crowd. On Friday night, Grammy Award winner and headliner Billy Ocean had the crowd eating out of his hands and Mykal Sommer and Busy Signal showed off their talents along with Kassanova Band, Pressure, and Macka Diamond, just to name a few.
“This year’s St. Kitts Music Festival achieved impressive levels of both the artistic variety and the infectious animation of the crowd,” said Senator Ricky Skerritt, Minister of State for Tourism, Sports and Culture for St. Kitts. “The event attracted a large number of returning nationals and visitors to our shores who patronized businesses throughout the island, and who we hope will provide a ripple effect for tourism by recommending the Festival and the island to their friends and family.”
A block party atmosphere pervaded even outside Warner Park Stadium, as songs filled the air and people danced in the streets. Festival attendees did not seem to mind waiting on security checkpoint lines before proceeding inside the park, since visuals of the concert could be seen on any one of the giant projector screens. Once inside, people were greeted by brightly-dressed moko-jumbies who cheerfully mingled with the huge crowd in front of the bandshell. Music lovers were involved in having a great time, donning neon glow necklaces and swaying to the melodies during the course of all three evenings. Everyone was treated to a mix of musical styles with the unforgettable sounds of SOCA, hip-hop, calypso, reggae, jazz, pop and R&B.
If festival party-goers were not swaying to the music in their seats or dancing on the great lawn, they were sure to be found at any one of the many food vendors munching on pop-corn, drinking Ting and enjoying authentic West Indian cuisine. A multi-camera HD shoot was used to film the event, a first for the Caribbean.