Jazz coming to the street
JAZZ SOUNDS will be filling the air around Barbados next week after all.
Following the cancellation of the Barbados Jazz Festival, a group calling itself Limelite Inc. has stepped up to fill the void with Jazz’N Barbados.
One of the organisers, Grady Clarke, said this initiative was an expansion of a fund-raiser for the St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church as Street Jazz Under The Mango Tree last year, has been expanded into a four-day event with the fund-raiser kicking off the inaugural series on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
“With the momentum, popularity from last year’s event, we have just gone through a slight rebranding; instead of it being Street Jazz Under The Mango Trees . . . it is now called Jazz’n The Street Under The Mango Trees,” Clarke said.
They had to move quickly to fill the void after the “sudden” cancellation of the Barbados Jazz Festival 2011, he added.
“Over many years, Barbados has invested heavily taxpayers’ dollars into the development of our Jazz Tourism product, and as such we see it as our responsibility also, not to let that huge and valuable investment go to waste.
“Therefore we’ve decided that with such short notice, that we’re going to . . . provide Jazz’N Barbados, which is now going to be the alternative festival . . . ,” Clarke said.
One of the main aims of the organisers is to make Jazz’N Barbados similar to Bourbon Street in New Orleans with jazz musicians playing in clubs and on the streets. They will do so with the two final events Jazz’n De Gap and Jazz’n Up Second Street on January 15 and 16.
Both St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, and Second Street, Holetown, St James, will be closed at certain points between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m., and for a single fee, patrons will get to sample the jazz fare on offer at the various establishments and on the street. A stage will be set up in Second Street for the various acts to perform.
Clarke said: “So you can look forward to Roger Gittens, and an 11-piece band at Mahogany Ridge jamming with John King, Arturo Tappin, David Ziggy Walcott and others, Michael Boothman and Raf Robertson from Trinidad, and Conjunto Salsa de Ernesto from Venezuela offering the tantalising rhythms of Latin jazz and salsa, and a whole lot of other musicians who believe that a jazz festival in Barbados must take place during January.”
There will also be day sessions at Naniki in St Joseph between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. as a lead-up to Jazz’n De Gap and Jazz’n Up Second Street.
His partner Noel Lynch said they took nine days to put the show together, and he said they got an appreciation for what producer of the Barbados Jazz Festival Gilbert Rowe would have gone through over the years.
Lynch said the people in Limelite did not want people who had spent their money to come here for the Barbados Jazz Festival to go home totally disappointed.
“It doesn’t mean that we are 100 per cent or a full scale replacement for the Barbados Jazz Festival . . . but we believe we can stake out our place within the midst of that jazz festival, to be prominent and to really make a difference . . .” Lynch explained.
The festival starts on Wednesday at Peronne Gap, Worthing, Christ Church, with Jazz’n The Street Under The Mango Trees, followed by Jazz’n The Trees at Mahogany Ridge on Friday, Jazz’n De Gap on Saturday and Jazz’n Up Second Street on Sunday.