2010 Artiste Biographies|
NE-YO is headed to Saint Lucia Jazz right on the heels of his Grammy win for Best Contemporary R&B; (Because of You), and some successful writing gigs for contemporary legends Celine Dion and Mary J. Blige. NE-YO has impressed audiences since his debut release In My Own Words in 2006.
In 2007 he showed his hand as a songwriter for label-mates Rihanna (“Good Girl Gone Bad”) and Janet Jackson (“Rock With U”) as well as Beyonce (“Flaws & All”). Like the best artists, NE-YO’s music has an eternal sound that appeals to fans of all ages.
In his third disc The Year of the Gentleman recorded in 2009, the Las Vegas native has constructed a suite of songs that define his own persona on and off the stage. Year of the Gentleman is right on time to usher in a new era of soulful pop.
Corrine Bailey Rae
The multi-talented British Singer/Songwriter gained instant fame in 2006 with the release of her debut self titled album, which made history by debuting at No.1 on the UK Charts. It earned her multiple Grammy Award nominations, and the award for Album of The Year.
With hits like ‘Put your records on’ and ‘Like a Star’ – the title track of her 2007 album, Corrine Bailey Rae is established in the hearts of Soul and R&B; lovers worldwide.
The loss of her husband in March 2008 is in part responsible for the high emotive appeal in her 2010 album ‘The Sea’.
Out of a 35 album career between 1976 and 2008, this acoustic guitar maverick has earned 12 Grammy nominations, 23 Top Ten charting albums, 5 No. 1 Billboard records and holds a 30 million + album and CD sales record.
His career as a master guitarist spans decades and his musical list of collaborations is littered with the names of the Jazz industry’s best and most acclaimed.
He attributes his passion for the guitar to Chet Atkins whose melodious rhythms touched his soul at the age of 13.
Maxi Priest is one of Reggae’s most popular recording and touring artistes. The English born Mr. Bonafide is universal in his appeal with a slew of hits in his distinctive voice that includes "Some Guys Have All the Luck", Cat Steven's classic "Wild World" “How Can We Ease The Pain” and “Sweat A Go Buss” with Beres Hammond, “Close To You”, “That Girl”, “Full Hundred”, and “Believe In Love”.
Of Grammy multiple acclaim, Maxi’s collaborations with the likes of Roberta Flack on “Set The Night To Music” and Shabba Ranks on “Housecall”, Sly & Robbie, Beenie Man, Shurwayne Winchester and UB40 (on tour) to name a few, further secured him as near permanent fixture on Billboard and R&B; Charts.
Grammy award winning recording artist Shaggy is a worldwide wonder, composing music which continues to advance the reggae and dancehall music movement across continents.
To date, he has sold over 20 million albums, collaborated with top selling artists like Rik Rok, and Redd Foxx and boasts a compliment of platinum certified albums, and has performed in the US, UK and European markets
Men of Soul
Men of Soul is the embodiment of contemporary music fame. The all star cast of crooners combined - Jeffery Osborne, Freddie Jackson, Phil Perry and Howard Hewitt –are pure magic.
Osborne is wrapping up his latest album Music is Life which is a celebration of both quintessential Jeffery Osborne and the artist as he’s never been heard before, on his new label Jay Oz Records.
80’s crooner, Freddie Jackson is known for chart topping songs like ‘Hey Lover’, Nice and Slow’ and ‘Crazy’. His sophisticated, romantic ballads earned him his unique space in the realm of R&B.;
Singer and Songwriter, Phil Perry has worked with a stellar line-up of artistes including Anita Baker, Barbara Streisand, The Pointer Sisters and Wil Downing. Through eight strong albums highlighting both his ability to interpret classic songs well and his own superb genius as a songwriter, he remains one of the most beloved and soul stirring artists of all time.
Hewitt has also worked with a number of jazz artists such as Joe Sample, Brian Culberton and George Duke. His latest album was a soulful gospel album, The Journey.
Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson
Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson is a gifted composer, producer and guitarist whose unique style consistently go beyond the norm. The result is a fusion of contemporary jazz skilfully inflected with island nuances.
Having gained decades of success in the regional and international circuit with his group the Tru Tones, Boo went further to release albums like ‘Beyond’ which gained critical acclaim internationally.
His highly anticipate 2010 album - ‘Shades’ is set for release just ahead of Saint Lucia Jazz.
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.
Jean-Luc Ponty is a pioneer and undisputed master of the violin in the arena of jazz and rock. An innovator whose unique visionary spin has expanded the vocabulary of modern music, his all-encompassing creative passion has fuelled a 50+ year career that has produced countless collaborations with some of the industry’s best throughout Europe and North America.
Throughout the late-60s and early 70s, Ponty achieved mounting critical praise and popularity across Europe, which caused high demand for his signature talents by top recording artists the world over.
Jean-Luc Ponty has also toured the world repeatedly and recorded 12 consecutive albums which all sold millions and reached the top 5 on the Billboard jazz charts.
Undisputedly one of the most successful Konpa bands of this era, the sons of the grandfather of Konpa Robert Martino (of the famed Top Vice) are continuing to define their success through some high profile collaborations that has included Wyclef Jean, Buju Banton and Carimi.
Widely perceived as the face of the distinctively Haitain music form, the world travelled ensemble are currently working on an album scheduled for release this spring.
West African DOBET GNAHORE’s power is in her charismatic presence and evocative multi-lingual commentary. These attributes took her straight to the recent Grammy’s and landed her the award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance with her song Pearls, performed alongside Indie Arie.
On stage, her potency is intensified with a musicality (percussive) and choreography reminiscent of the motherland.
Her latest album ‘Djekpa La You’ was released on March this year.
Saint Lucia Sschool of Music
Under the direction of John Bailey, the Saint Lucia School of Music has been a veritable nursery, producing some of the most talented young musicians of the day.
The School is responsible for a large number of ensembles, including the Primary Schools String Orchestra, the Secondary Schools String Orchestra, the Advanced String Ensemble, the Secondary School Wind Band, a students’ jazz band (‘Black Antz’), a staff jazz band (‘Annexus’), a brass quartet and three choirs (community choirs at the Vieux-Fort Centre, the St. Lucia National Youth Choir and ‘Concert Choir’).
As with many contemporary artistes, Claudia Edwards has her origins in the Church. No stranger to the spotlight, the island beauty is a recorded artiste with her own unique style, honed through professional development pursuits in Europe.
After a few successful collaborations, she now performs at music festivals regionally and internationally in both French and English.
Performing with own band, Naked Chords’, Claudia has done it all and wants more.
Quito and the Edge
Self taught guitarist, Quito Rymer is a composer/ singer with a gift for translating life experiences into timeless melodies. Together with his band "The Edge", the BV Islanders combine soulful reggae melodies with hard hitting dance grooves to produce the unique sound of the EDGE.
With over 80 original tunes ranging from sweet island blues, to lover’s rock, to Ska, the EDGE is hailed as one of the hardest working bands in the region.
Their latest CD release “Cool Water,” offers a more mainstream sound “to broaden the fan base internationally”.
By 15 Esperanza Spalding had caught the attention of the Jazz world as a prodigy on the double bass. By 26, the self taught instrumentalist and singer had moved on from a stint as a musical instructor at the illustrious Berklee College of Music to join the league of the finest new voices in Jazz, having distinguished herself playing blues, funk, hip-hop, pop fusion, and Brazilian and Afro-Cuban styles.
Following Berklee, she toured extensively with many acclaimed artists, among them Joe Lovano, Patti Austin, Michel Camilo, Charlie Haden, Regina Carter, Pat Metheny, Dave Samuels, Spalding. In that time she also led her own jazz trio, recorded and released Junjo in 2006 followed two years later by and Esperanza.
Troisem (3M) is collaborative effort of two of St. Lucia’s formidable jazz/Blues guitarists, Monty Maxwell and Harvey Millar and St. Lucia’s pan virtuoso, Allison Marquis.
Harvey Millar is a 5-tiime music award winner is a regular performer in a number of Jazz Festivals around the world and no stranger to the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. Millar’s musical style is highly percussive and rhythmic reflecting the combined influences of Bebop, Caribbean idioms and modern day hip hop.
At an early age, Allison Marquis crafted a career based on his love for steel pan and an interest in melodious jazz vibes of Saint Lucian born Luther Francois.
A third of the musical eclectic band Troisem, Allison developed his own personal style through working with a number of steel pan groups and more recently, while working with his own group, Eclectic Pan Jazz.
Both creatively and in terms of commercial success, the multiple Grammy winning Steel Pulse is one of Britain's greatest, most prolific reggae bands. Steel Pulse started out playing authentic roots reggae with touches of jazz and Latin music, and earned a substantial audience worldwide.
Their 1978 debut, Handsworth Revolution, is still regarded by many critics as a landmark and a high point of British reggae. By the late '80s, Steel Pulse had won a Grammy and was working full-fledged crossover territory. They subsequently returned to a tough-minded, rootsy sound and have added touches of dancehall and hip-hop along the way.
Steel Pulse’s substantial discography record includes such compilations as Tribute to the Masters, Reggae Fever, Earth Crisis, Sound System – The Island Anthology and Smash Hits.
Laura Izibor At 22, this Irish phenomenon is growing in world acclaim for her distinctive lyrics, vocals, and masterful compositions. Her debut album Let The Truth Be Told was recorded over the course of four years in range of major cities, while touring constantly and performing to sold-out shows in Ireland.
She has opened for acts including James Brown, Angie Stone, and The Roots, she's earned the affectionate moniker "The Soul of Ireland" from the folks back home. On her debut album, Izibor continues the lineage set out by artists like Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott; artists who combine a reverence for the traditions of early R&B; with a thoroughly modern sensibility.
A natural made-for-stage talent, Teddyson John’s innate charm is as much a part of his musical brand – whether in soul or Soca mode, as is his electric vocal and stage performances.
The darling of pop music scene at his home base, Teddyson is an instrumentalist of varied skill – keys, drums and a touch of guitar; but it is his singing performances that have gained for him a growing fan base among a mixed demographic in major Diaspora cities and in St. Lucia.
Over three decades after breaking ground as leader of the pioneering Jeff Lorber Fusion, the Philly-born and bred composer, producer and keyboard legend is still keeping the vibes fresh and the grooves funky. On Heard That, his highly anticipated Peak Records debut, Lorber keeps the soulful momentum going, collaborating brilliantly on pop, jazz, R&B; and bluesinfluenced tracks--and even harkening back a bit to his early 80s Fusion heyday--with one of urban jazz’s top hit makers and sonic architects, Rex Rideout.
So as you’re grooving along to Jeff Lorber’s Peak Records debut, shout it out as loud as you can: I Heard That!
©2011 Saint Lucia Tourist Board