Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival 2013 Artiste Biographies

R. Kelly

R. Kelly In an era of declining songwriting skills and auto tune crooning, R. Kelly embodies the best traditions of American music as a vocalist, songwriter and producer. He uses classic materials to create music as contemporary as Siri's iPhone voice. Despite selling millions of recordings and writing classic songs for himself and many others, this Chicago based singer-songwriter continues to push his art forward with Write Me Back, a dynamic twelve song collection that is part of his extraordinary 2012 -- The Year of the R.

Along with his remarkable new album, R. Kelly is publishing his first memoir, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, and is reteaming with IFC this Fall to add chapters to his innovative hip-hop opera Trapped in the Closet, which was an early 21st century cultural phenomenon.

Write Me Back continues the homage to classic soul/R&B that distinguished 2010's critically acclaimed Love Letter. But where that album celebrates the music of the '50s and '60s, this has a wider collection of musical inspirations, going to sounds that echo Ray Charles, while evoking the passionate magic of Teddy Pendergrass, Barry White and Michael Jackson among many others. The content and the title of this new recording were definitely inspired by the triumph of the previous album.

The songs on Write Me Back do not simply pay homage to older styles, but evoke a myriad of influences at the same time and in the process create something pleasing and new. "I have many directions I still wanna go in musically," he says of where he is creatively. "This just happened to be a direction I choose for now because the first album did so well people started asking me if I was gonna be doing any other songs like that. Through those questions I found a second wind of inspiration in the area of doing the classic R&B type of songs."

The tasty array of musical influences R. Kelly transforms and reinvents ranges through the history of classic soul. "Love Is," "Share My Love" and "Lady Sunday" evoke the lush, danceable sound of Philadelphia. "Feeling Single" and "Believe That It's So" effortlessly mash up echoes of Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder. "All Rounds On Me" has a blues feel that Ray Charles would envy, while "Fool For You" has that classic Motown Sound. "Green Light" will make fans of the Isley Brothers happy, while "Party Jumpin'" captures the seriously fun late night spirit of a live Sam Cooke show. Both "When A Man Lies" and "Believe In Me" are powerhouse songs poised to join the canon of R. Kelly standards.

In an era where hip hop has overshadowed R&B as mainstream music, R. Kelly has reinforced his credentials as "the R in R&B." He speaks candidly about the state of that venerable music culture and his role as a keeper of the flame. "I don't mean to sound bold but I speak the truth, especially when I speak about R&B music," he says humbly. "R&B has, in some ways been abandoned and it's being used in areas when people see fit to maybe put a hook on a rap song to blow up a rap song. Now, I don't knock that hustle, but if we're gonna respect R&B when it comes to rap, then it deserves to stand on its own as well."

Alongside his new album, R. Kelly explores yet another outlet for his creative hand with the release of his memoir Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me published by SmileyBooks, an imprint owned by noted broadcaster and publisher Tavis Smiley. R's first book has allowed the singer-songwriter to define himself and dig deep into his life story.

"When you become a celebrity and a legend in the field that you're in, everybody thinks they know you and people form opinions about you without really knowing who you are," he observes. "Nobody really knows you until they know the things you've been through. The only way to do that was to tell my story. In life there are two sides to every story, but unfortunately in my case there are about forty different sides to the story."

The singer makes a big distinction between R. Kelly the star and Robert Kelly the human being. "They already know who R. Kelly is. They know R. Kelly performs and they know he's written and produced hit songs for himself and other people. But I felt it was time they met Robert, the mama's boy, Robert the brother, Robert the father and most of all Robert the person."

Between Write Me Back and Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, the stage has been set for the expression of new and unexpected dimensions of R. Kelly's intimate, compelling, and soul-filled artistry.

Akon

Akon Five-time Grammy Nominated, International Multi-platinum Recording Artist & Producer

As soon as you hear Akon's voice, you know it's him.

His shimmering, soulful croon has propelled countless hits across genres--from pop and R&B to hip hop and dance. In addition to his own chart-dominating singles "Smack That" and "I Wanna Love You", he's made a staggering 300 guest appearances for icons including Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Lil Wayne, R. Kelly, and Eminem. With 12 million albums sold worldwide, five Grammy Award nominations, and 45 Billboard Hot 100 songs under his belt, he's simply unstoppable. Once Akon reached the top, he went even further landing on a global path set for fourth full-length album and latest opus 2012's Stadium [Universal Republic Records].

"Locked Up" from the singer and producer's 2004 debut album, Trouble, made him a household name, and then Konvicted led to global superstardom. In the aftermath of the latter's 2007 release, Akon garnered the American Music Award for Favorite R&B Male Artist, Teen Choice Award for Breakout Male Artist, three World Music Awards in the categories of Best Selling R&B Male Artist, Best Selling African Artist and Best Selling Internet Artist, and the Billboard Music Award for Artist of the Year. Plus, he became the first solo artist in history to lock down both the number one and number two spots on the Billboard Hot 100. Those are just his musical accolades though.

Never content to rest on his laurels, he was the visionary behind not one but two thriving record labels KonLive and Konvict. The imprints jump-started the careers of both Lady Gaga and T-Pain, with Akon recognizing their talent early on, producing, and collaborating with them.

Expanding further into other realms, Akon was recognized on Forbes Magazine's Celebrity 100 list in 2010, and Pepsi chose him to produce and record "Oh Africa" for the 2010 World Cup. For the first time in history, the event took place in Africa, the continent on which the artist was born. With a heart even bigger than his resume, Akon also created The Konfidence Foundation, a youth-centric charity that benefits underserved children in Africa and the U.S. Everything he does remains emblematic of his passion.

In the three-year period leading up to Stadium, Akon has continued to push the envelope. His duet with Michael Jackson, "Hold My Hand" was released as the first single on the Michael album, debuting internationally at #1. Plus, his hilarious collaboration with Saturday Night Live stalwarts The Lonely Island, "I Just Had Sex", set the internet ablaze, racking up over 169 million YouTube/VEVO views and being performed at the 2011 Comedy Awards and Primetime EMMY Awards.

Akon still isn't slowing down though. Stadium isn't just the next level for him. It's the next level for global pop and hip hop.

For more information, visit www.Akon.com or follow Akon on Twitter/Facebook @Akon.

ACE

ACE It was his perfectionist personality coupled with his stubbornness that turned Irvin Loctar into the success he is today. As a child, Irvin secretly wanted to be able to sing like Lionel Richie, dance like Micheal Jackson and even hit notes like Barry White and Philip Bailey. Now with over 16 years of musical experience under his belt, Irvin, who is better known in music circles as Ace, made it onto the Saint Lucia Jazz stage, performing as the lead singer with Sorjorn currently known as Blue Mango. The prolific entertainer has opened for the likes of Luther Vandross and Third World and has collaborated with an impressive list of regional and international studios houses, artists, producers and music aficionados. In 2005 Ace partnered with longtime friend Dwayne Mendes and fellow musician Thygeson (Penn) Joseph to form the now famed record label SLU Records Inc. where he serves as the CEO.

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal Blaise Claudio Pascal - This lyric tenor, hails from the tropical island of Saint Lucia. Now residing in New York City, prior to his move Blaise was teaching voice lessons, workshopping with choirs and with rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents through the arts on island. An avid supporter of charity, in 2008 he was the featured artiste in a song recital for the St. Lucia Salvation Army 'Meals on Wheels' program. Blaise was a Fellowship recipient at the renowned Aspen Music Festival where he sang the role of Sir Edgardo in "Lucia di Lammermoor" with Aspen Opera Theater while studying with Stephen Smith of The Julliard School. Blaise is keen on vocal pedagogy and performance and as a result has been conducting many master classes to assist aspiring singers in their vocal pursuits. He has been invited to the islands of Antigua, Saint Lucia and St. Croix USVI to perform recitals and to initiate a vocal program of studies through the Caribbean Development Program.

Brian Culbertson

Brian Culbertson Brian Culbertson is a keyboardist, trombonist, writer, arranger, producer and the most exciting live performing instrumentalist on the scene today. Brian began his quest in music at the age of 8 on piano, adding drums at 9, trombone at 10 then bass at 12. He grew up in Decatur, Illinoi, loving genre-crossing jazz-pop artists such as Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Tower of Power, the Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn, Yellowjackets and Maynard Ferguson. Inspired by his father, music educator Jim Culbertson, Brian has been a fast and fierce study of music, gravitating to all styles of dynamic music as long as it was expertly played. Since his 1994 debut Long Night Out, Brian has been credited with bringing a youthful yet no less masterful energy to popular instrumental music with hit albums and singles. His sixth album Nice & Slow (2001) topped Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart for six weeks straight. In 2013, the prolific R&B/Jazz musician invites you to close your eyes, open your ears, and fall deep into a lush world of musical fantasy with his breathtaking thirteenth album Dreams.

Cameron Pierre

Cameron Pierre Born in London, Cameron Pierre was raised on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Like most of his peers, Cameron's early musical influences were Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Jimmy Cliff, and a host of artistes from that era of popular Jamaican music. At 16 he taught himself to play the guitar, and it was within the reggae genre that he first established himself, working with Jamaican artistes including Barrington Levy, Wayne Marshall and Dennis Brown. Then came the slow discovery of George Benson and Charlie Christian, and through them, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. Since then, Cameron has gone on to work with Courtney Pine, Pee Wee Ellis, Orphy Robinson, Alex Wilson, Joe Cocker, and numerous others. As his own musical direction veered towards jazz, he remained in demand on the Calypso, and reggae circuit.

Carl Gustave

Carl Gustave Singer, songwriter, acoustic guitarist and producer, Carl Gustave commands respect with his soulful lyrics, a blend of blues, jazz, reggae, rock and soul. His passion for musical innovation gives his compositions an edgy flavour and sets him apart as a mature musician.

Carl enjoys performing his own music on acoustic guitar, captivating the audience.

David Rudder

David Rudder It is hard to remember when calypso has seen more controversy, excitement and popularity than the day David Rudder stepped beyond his role as lead singer for the brass band Charlie's Roots and entered the domain, of the calypso tent as an individual artiste. Rudder's unprecedented rise to fame in 1986 has made him the subject of music critics around the world. From New York to London to Tokyo, where the Japanese have released a CD of Rudder's greatest hits complete with lyrics translated into Japanese, Rudder has been described as modern calypso's most innovative songwriter. For Carnival 1993 Rudder released his album Ministry of Rhythm considered to be Rudder's best example of how to bridge the gap between modern pop and World Beat Music. Over the years, the highly decorated and accomplished Rudder has without doubt proven his versatility. Rudder boast an exhaustive list of legendary hits ranging from the 'Bahia Girl,' 'The Hammer,' and 'Rally Round the West Indies,' which has become the anthem of West Indies Cricket.

Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio

Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio The Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio is being hailed as a brilliant marriage of refined contemporary jazz arrangements, with simmering funk grooves. This instrumental trio produces a rare, rich and varied tonal range. Dennis Rollins is well-known on the British and international jazz scene, celebrated for his versatility and unique approach to the underrated trombone. He has established a reputation as an artiste of excellence, and has lent his unique and stylish talents to some of Britain's and indeed the world's, top jazz and pop personalities such as Courtney Pine, Baba Maal, Jamiroquai, US3, Brand New Heavies, and Blur. He is also a popular member of sax legend Maceo Parker's band.

Eric Ildenfonse

Eric Ildenfonse Eric Ildefonse launched his career at the age of 15 in his hometown of Le Diamant, Martinique, with the group "Les Conquérants", which included guitarist friend Jean Tuernal. For the next 2 years in a row, this group won the Martinican "Young Bands" award with its performances in the popular idioms of that era: Compas, Biguine, Calypso, Mazurka, etc. In a visit to Paris in 1975, while working as an accompanist to various groups, he gained exposure to a cosmopolitan variety of additional musical styles and idioms such as Funk, Soul music, Reggae, and sounds from Cape Verde, Senegal, and elsewhere in Africa and in the world. Artistic desire and the passion acquired for the

Etienne Charles

Etienne Charles Born in Trinidad in 1983, Etienne Charles defies easy musical categorization. An alumnus of the prestigious Juilliard School and Florida State University, he has received critical acclaim for his exciting performances, thrilling compositions and knack for connecting with audiences worldwide. Etienne has been hailed by New York Times as "an auteur", by Jazz Times as "A daring improviser who delivers with heart wrenching lyricism." In June 2012, Etienne was awarded with a US Congressional Record for his musical contributions to the citizens of Trinidad & Tobago and the World. Perhaps more than any other musician of his generation or Eastern Caribbean origin, Etienne brings a careful study of myriad rhythms from the French, Spanish, English and Dutch speaking Caribbean to the table.

Fal Frett

Fal Frett is one of the best contemporary jazz bands from the French Antilles. Formed in 1976, Fal Frett originally comprised Alex Nicol, Bib Monville, Jacky Bernard, Alpha and Ralph Thamar but has over time have encompassed artistes l like Lucien Joly, Caraibes, Jazz Ensemble, and the West Indies Jazz Band. Fal Frett was originally considered a Caribbean jazz group, but Jacky Bernard, the main composer, sought to create Creole songs, while leaving plenty of room for improvisation and collective creation. Fal Frett became a reference group throughout the Caribbean and in France; in the Caribbean community. Their creations have remained in the Caribbean and have become benchmark standards for others. The group has performed at major music festivals in France, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Canada, United States and the Caribbean and has acquired a stellar reputation.

Fatoumata Diawara

Fatoumata Diawara Tall, superbly poised and elegant, with an iridescent smile, Fatoumata Diawara, a sometimes star of African film draws elements of jazz and funk into an exquisitely sparse contemporary folk sound-refracting the rocking rhythms and plaintive melodies of her ancestral Wassoulou tradition through an instinctive pop sensibility. At the centre of the music is Fatou's warm, affecting voice, spare, rhythmical guitar playing and gorgeously melodic songs that draw powerfully on her own often troubled experience. Damon Albarn, Toumani Diabaté, Herbie Hancock and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones are just a few of the major players who have fallen for Fatou's effortless musical charm, as her presence has lit up shows by Africa Express, AfroCubism and Hancock's 'Imagine' project.

Ginuwine

Ginuwine Ginuwine is an American R&B singer and performer who has released a number of multi-platinum and platinum-selling albums and singles, becoming one of R&B's top artists during the 1990s heyday of hip-hop soul. Ginuwine can be spotted in one of Jodeci's videos. There, he met rapper Missy Elliott and producer Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley, who became his main collaborators through the 1990s. Ginuwine's first single, the 1996 "Pony" from Ginuwine...The Bachelor, showcased his smooth vocals and Timbaland's innovative production style, and the two became a hit-making duo. In 2001, Ginuwine had a number-four hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single "Differences", which also peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. The flamboyant entertainer has collaborated with the likes of R. Kelly in crafting several hits over the years.

Harvey Millar

Harvey Millar Halifax-based St. Lucian-born Harvey Millar plays a hip bopping, funky, jazz guitar. His love for Jazz was given birth following his first experience with live jazz in 1975 at the age of 15. Treated to provocative and sensational music of the Luther Francois Trio, Millar became an instant fan of the jazz guitar. Influenced by musicians such as Eric Gayle, George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Betty Carter, Al Jarreau, Bob Marley, and various 1970's and 80's funk artists - Millar's musical style is highly percussive and rhythmic reflecting the combined influences of jazz, Caribbean idioms and hip hop...Millar prefers to call his brand of urban/smooth jazz grooves... hip bop or rhythm and jazz.

Since moving to Canada, Millar has led his own groups, namely, Friends and Music - a popular reggae and R&B group; Umoja – a reggae and funk fusion band; the Freedom Jazz Band which focused on his true love, Jazz, Funk, and Hip Hop and now his current outfit bSharp which continues to explore the intersection between jazz, funk, hip hop, and R&B. Millar's debut CD Milestones had made him a five-time music award winner; two East Coast Music Awards and Three African Nova Scotian Music Awards. His next project Lux Life is soon to be released.

JC Maillard - Grand Baton

JC Maillard - Grand Baton A native of Guadeloupe, JC Maillard is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and producer based in New York City. This musician of extraordinary breadth has followed a very singular path, collaborating in a wide range of styles with world-renowned artists (including Angelique Kidjo, Richard Bona, Cassandra Wilson) from acoustic to electronic music. His latest project "Grand Baton" brings together the unique rhythms of the Gwoka drums from Guadeloupe with heavy rock guitar riffs and electronica/dubstep beats. Grand Baton performs at Jazz in the South in Vieux Fort on Friday 3 May.

Karen Briggs

Karen Briggs Karen Briggs is an American violinist. Taking lessons from an early age, Briggs was playing with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra by1983, where she remained for the next four years. In 1987 she won amateur night at the famous Apollo Theater 4 times. After moving to Los Angeles, Briggs embarked on her first professional tour with 'Soul II Soul' and toured throughout America and Japan. In 1991, Briggs auditioned for Yanni; the famed contemporary instrumental keyboard composer. She spent the next 13 years touring and recording with him. Briggs also made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1994, performing with pianist Dave Grusin. She has also performed with a number of other artistes over the years. Briggs takes the violin to places it's never been and reaction is ecstatic. She has a natural ability to improvise in various styles of music such as symphonic orchestra, Latin orquesta, R & B, Gospel, Jazz ensemble and even Rap.

Luther Francois

Luther Francois Luther Francois is recognized as an exceptional composer, arranger, educator and performer in the Caribbean musical world. Ranked as one of the best saxophonists in the region, He boasts an original and impetuous sound colored with the exuberance of Caribbean rhythms and tempered by profound emotional content. Luther is an accomplished musician and pioneer, who back in 1997 put on the first ever public jazz concert in Saint Lucia. Musical director for an St Lucia's memorable 1981 CARIFESTA presentation and tireless champion of local culture, Luther Francois has worked all over the Caribbean, particularly in the French islands where he nurtured his musical style.It is only fitting that he be part of our 21st Anniversary celebration.

Kréyol Project

Kréyol Project Kréyol project is a French Guianese band with a strong Creole & Jazz influence. The band comprises experienced musicians such as Jean MARCELINE, Christian BARDOU and Jocelyn "Joss" FURCY. Through the years, Kréyol has also welcomed a new skilled generation of artistes such as GLORIA (backing vocals, but also an upcoming zouk singer beginning her own solo career) or Maldone MSAY (young promising MC who recently released his first solo album "keep your smile", mixing reggae, soca, raga & zouk). The band is now traveling with Serge TOULOUPE, nicknamed "The golden voice of French Guiana", a long time acclaimed Guianese star, currently preparing his comeback after 4 years. The band's creations are strongly based on the traditional rhythms such as the "Kasé Ko", the "Débot" or the "Béliya", mingling them in what they have themselves called "The KaséDous", sometimes slowing down the original tempo in order to mix them better with the Jazz or the Blues.

Manjé Kwéyol

Harvey Millar Cameron Pierre Manjé Kwéyol represents a mélange of the influences that helped shape the styles of guitarists Harvey Millar and Cameron Pierre. Manjé Kwéyol will paint a musical tapestry that features a fusion of traditional jazz, contemporary jazz and Caribbean rhythms designed for the palates for both the listener and the dancer. As sons of the Caribbean, and in particular, sons of the Kwéyolized sister countries of Saint Lucia and Dominca, both guitarists have a strong affinity for the rhythms of cadence, zouk, reggae, Bégin, La Comette, soca and calypso. Their love for contemporary jazz was nurtured in the 70s and 80s by the juxtaposition of the funk and the incredible music of George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, and Eric Gayle. In addition to playing guitar, Millar vocalizes his inner mood with bebop scats and blue overtones influenced by the styles of Betty Carter, Eddie Jefferson and Al Jarreau.

Meddy Gerville

Meddy Gerville Born in 1974 on the Creole-speaking island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, pianist, songwriter, composer and singer Meddy Gerville has been making his native island vibrate with the sound of his maloya jazz since 1997 when he released his first solo album. Today, seven albums later, he is by far one of the most talented and most popular jazz pianists in his native island, and he has taken his music to festivals and concerts in Europe, China, the USA and the Caribbean. Meddy has worked with renowned musicians such as Michel Alibo, Dominique Di Piazza, Horacio «El Negro» Hernandez, Matthew Garrison and Latin percussion legend Giovanni Hidalgo. The Meddy Gerville Trio features Michel Alibo on bass and Emmanuel Félicité on drums. The Meddy Gerville trio performs at the National Cultural Centre on Thursday 2 May 2013.

Ricky T.

Ricky T His rallying cry "Wham to Dem!" is immortalized on the 2007 hit "Pressure Boom". It has become as synonymous with Ricky "Ricky T" Joseph as that monster hit that took him from Saint Lucian stages to the Trinidad Soca Monarch finals and later Madison Square Garden in New York where he performed alongside Trinidad soca legend Machel Montano. Ricky T first tasted commercial success with the 2006 soca hit, "Container". The song would make him a Power Soca Monarch finalist and lead to his first of four consecutive Road March titles. The dazzling performer, who can easily break out in freestyle improvisation has won multiple titles such as the Caribbean Soca Monarch, Road March, Groovy and Power Soca Monarch titles.

Ronald 'Boo' Hinkson

Ronald Hinkson Ronald "Boo" Hinkson's talent transcends cultures and sounds, bringing a fresh and innovative blend of jazz and Caribbean music. A gifted composer, producer, and heralded guitarist, Boo's unique approach and versatility enable him to deliver a distinctive signature sound. Born in Saint Lucia and raised on a diet of Ellington, Davis, and Coltrane, Boo's name is synonymous with Saint Lucian music. His musical career began with the Tru-Tones, a group he started in Saint Lucia, who commanded stages locally and internationally for two decades. Today, he is an exceptionally accomplished musician who has stayed true not only to his Jazz roots, but also to his West Indian culture. Boo couples his appreciation of the old masters, with Contemporary Jazz, and Soca in his music and lyrics; and as a result his popularity has continued to spread.

Robert Greenidge

Robert Greenidge Robert "Robbie" Greenidge is a Trinidadian born master Panist who's first playing experience came under the direction of his famed uncle, Carl Greenidge, a renowned arranger and tuner. At the tender age of 8, Robbie began executing the art of the steel drums with the Savoys Steel Orchestra. Possessing an artistic ear for playing various types of compositions, he was recruited at the age of 15 by Trinidad's leading steel orchestra "Desperadoes," nine-time panorama winners. At 16 Robbie performed at the First Negro Arts Festival in Africa. The following year he performed at the Montreal Exposition in Canada, followed by an extensive tour to London, Zambia and New York in 1968. He then migrated to New York City, where he mastered the art of composing and arranging at the Third Street Musical Conservatory. By 1978 Robbie returned to Trinidad to work with Rudolph Charles (Desperadoes), one of the innovators of a newly designed steel drum which required hand, foot coordination dexterity and speed. His expertise bought the Desperadoes Steel Orchestra to a new height in music. In 1983 he assisted in the arranging, which included the new Quadraphonic and Harmony (six 6 drum) - the extension of Charles innovational new drums. Robbie is expected to thrill pan lovers when he performs on May 11.

Roberto Fonseca

Roberto Fonseca Roberto Fonseca is a Cuban jazz pianist that stems from a long family tradition of musicians. After an early interest in drums, Fonseca switched to piano at the age of 8, and by 14 was experimenting with fusing American jazz and traditional Cuban rhythms. He appeared at Havana's Jazz Plaza Festival in 1991 when he was just 15. His first album, En El Comienzo, which he recorded with Javier Zalba and the group Temperamento, was awarded Cuba's Best Jazz Album in 1999. Fonseca has since worked with dozens of acclaimed musicians like Buena Vista Social Club, Rubé n González, and Ibrahim Ferrer and has appeared in over 400 concerts spanning the glob's most prestigious venues like Frankfurt Alter Oper (Germany), Palais des Congrès (Paris), Albert Hall (London), Beacon Theatre (New York), and Sydney Opera House (Australia). Fonseca has truly integrated all of his influences; Afro-Cuban music, Jazz, classical music and traditional Cuban music into his extensive repertoire.

Tanya Saint Val

Tanya Saint Val A career that started more than 25 years ago, at all times infused with the same energy, the same creativity, and a constant search for new inspirations. Tanya Saint Val first performed on the stage at the age of 9, with early training in song and dance. At 20, she released her first album, "Tambour", and soon after moved to Paris and started touring with groups such as Experience 7 and Zouk Machine. Since then, she has remained attached to her roots in zouk music, but has also explored other genres of Caribbean music, with collaborations with artistes such as Malavoi and Dédé Saint Prix, with original work in rap, with recordings and performances with some of the greatest names in Haitian music, and with her frequent use of the traditional Gwo Ka drum in her compositions. Tanya Saint Val, the Guadeloupean Diva, defines herself as a "Caribbean Musician", but her fans have already crowned her "Queen of Zouk". With close to 20 albums, a number of awards, her own recording label and her other career as an actress, Tanya is undoubtedly one of the cultural giants of the Caribbean.

The Jacksons

The Jacksons The Jacksons are an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Founding group members Jackie Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Marlon Jackson and Michael Jackson formed the group after performing in an early incarnation called The Jackson Brothers, which originally consisted of a trio of the three older brothers. Active from 1964 to 1990, the Jacksons played from a repertoire of R&B, Soul, Pop and (in the 1970s) Disco. During their six-and-a-half-year Motown tenure, The Jackson 5 was one of the biggest pop-music acts of the 1970s, and the band served as the launching pad for the solo careers of their lead singers Jermaine and Michael, The Jacksons have sold 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the bestselling artistes of all time. The Jackson 5 was one of very few in recording history to have their first four major label singles ("I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There") reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Several later singles, among them "Mama's Pearl", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine", were Top 5 pop hits and number-one hits on the R&B singles chart.

The John Scofield Überjam Band featuring: Andy Hess, Avi Bortnick and Louis Cato

The John Scofield Überjam Band It is a rare artiste that can play more than one style of music with true fluency, virtuosity and sincerity. John Scofield can, and he proves it on his new Verve release, Überjam. The album finds him confirming his reputation as a peerless jazz guitarist, while making groove and jam-oriented music at the highest level. The Ohio, USA born native took up the guitar at age 11, inspired by both rock and blues players. A local teacher introduced him to Jazz greats Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall and Pat Martino, which sparked a lifelong love of jazz. Scofield began recording as a leader in the late 1970s, establishing himself as an influential and innovative player and composer. His recordings-many already classics-include collaborations with contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny, Medeski, and Martin & Wood. With the help of band mates Avi Bortnick (guitar), Jesse Murphy (bass), and Adam Deitch (drums), Scofield adds Überjam to his varied discography. The 11 original songs on Überjam showcase a group that explores diverse influences and styles while maintaining an irresistible groove. Überjam takes listeners on a modern journey of forward-thinking compositions and captivating improvisations by the Scofield band.

The O'Jays

The O'Jays The O'Jays is one of the world's truly legendary singing groups and an American treasure. The term legendary is often overused, but that is an apt description for The O'Jays, a musical act that holds a unique place in the history of music. After establishing a recording history that includes an international body of work that generated 24 top ten smash records and 59 total songs on the charts, incredibly energetic and dynamic live shows, mad respect for their Olympian vocals and a social and political impact that spans many generations and multiple nations, The O'Jays could have coasted to a life of sandy beaches, umbrella-decorated drinks and total relaxation. Slowing down is not in the cards for Eddie Levert, Sr. Walter Williams, Sr. and Eric Nolan Grant however. After 50+ years making such international hits as "Back Stabbers," "For The Love Of Money," "Darlin' Darlin' Baby," "Love Train," "I Love Music," "Use Ta Be My Girl" and "Have You Had Your Love Today," The O'Jays are light years away from easing up on the gas.

Tito Puente Jr.

Tito Puente Jr. The comparison is inevitable. How could it be otherwise? Tito Puente Jr. carries his father with him - imprinted on his physical being and locked in his soul. It's in his looks, his joy, and his music. Over the past two years, Tito Jr. has found captive audiences who echo his passion. Crowds once lured to a venue by the father's magic have returned to enjoy the son -- participating once again in the high voltage celebration that takes place on stage. Tito Puente, Jr. has become a favorite entertainer in casinos, performing arts centers and jazz festivals worldwide. A favorite performer of many corporations, Tito, Jr. has headlined events for clients such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Southern Wine & Spirits and Cook Pharmaceuticals. He's expected to delight audiences when he takes centre stage at the 2013 Saint Lucia Jazz & Festival.

Tony Allen

Tony Allen Tony Allen is the co-creator of 'Afrobeat,' and one of the most distinctive and in-demand drummers on the planet. No one swings like this Nigerian rhythm man-with that amazing, loose-limbed, poly-rhythmic technique that has powered some of the funkiest and most challenging dance music ever created. Best known for his involvement with the late, great Fela Kuti, Tony is very much more than Fela's-or anyone else's-drummer. Bandleader, composer and husky rapping vocalist, Tony has recorded a string of groundbreaking solo albums since parting company with Fela in 1978-sides that draw together African rhythm, funk, jazz, soul and hip hop. His inimitably propulsive skinwork has enhanced the work of an amazing range of artistes, from afro-giants Manu Dibango, Ray Lema and Sunny Ade to British-Indian songstress Susheela Raman and Californian rock-rappers Spearhead.

Tracy Hamlin

Tracy Hamlin Tracy Hamlin has been spreading her gift of music to audiences of all diversities. Her limitless vocal and songwriting abilities have placed her in a unique position to offer her audience a well- rounded, unforgettable music experience! She performs internationally and is honored to have worked with a host of music greats including Carlos Santana, Chaka Khan, Grace Jones, Jonathan Butler, Gloria Gaynor, Esperanza Spalding, Marcus Miller, and Ronald "Boo" Hinkson, to name a few. Tracy was the lead vocalist with International recording group, Pieces of a Dream and has two solo CD's to her credit. Tracy's current single, "Drive Me Crazy", is #1 in Europe for sales.

4th World

4th World 4th World, the St. Lucian reggae band that rocked audiences at the 2010 Montreal International Reggae Festival, and who has announced its upcoming tour of the Northeastern USA, is en route to Saint Lucia Jazz 2011. The strength, originality and prolificacy of 4th World rest in the fact that it has three lead singers, all of whom double as songwriters and instrument players. The group is anticipating the release of its 5th single, Stereotype, from its debut album, Can’t Stop Us, to be launched March of this year.

Among group memebers are Nijah "Cold Sweat" St. Catherine, Sylvester "Itoobaa" Peter and lead singers and songwriter--Darrel "Frenchy" Augier.

The band’s music has been critically acclaimed as edgy, irresistible and revolutionary in its arrangements and lyrics, yet remaining true to the roots of reggae as exemplified in the music of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. As such it bridges the gap between the old and the new, but makes no compromises.

What a treat, what a thrill to listen to 4th World; What variety of music and voices. There is Cold Sweat, the vocal maestro, who some say possesses one of the best voices in world reggae. There is the veteran, Itoobaa, the man whose rustic and unyielding voice conjure all the great reggae artists of old, and who has a knack of combining reggae with blues and jazz to come up with international hits like Freedom. And then there is Frenchy, a man apart, whose originality in voice, lyrics and arrangement takes one’s breath away.




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