YOUNG & RISING LOCAL TALENT TO DOMINATE JAZZ ‘SIDE STAGE’

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SAINT LUCIA (May 11, 2012) – It is not solely the influx of visitors that create an opportunity for local industry during Saint Lucia Jazz, but primarily a deliberate thrust by presenting sponsor – the Saint Lucia Tourist Board – to facilitate the promotion of priority sectors during the Festival.

From 1999, the main festival venue – Pigeon Island – has continued to evolve with the addition of more side attractions and performances of a decidedly local flavour. The aim of this is to build on the festival experience with strictly authentic heritage accents, in the process achieving an inimitable, uniquely Saint Lucian music festival brand that sells the destination as well as the Festival.

This year, parallel to the Jazz main stage, Saint Lucia’s Junior Panorama Champions Diamond Steel Orchestra will profile on the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC Caribbean Limited) sponsored Side-Stage alongside the Saint Lucia School of Music Orchestra, Saxophonist Rob ‘Zi” Taylor, and a number of other young local artistes who released CDs over the past year, which are deemed to be of export ready quality.

Saxophonist Rob Zi Taylor

“This emphasis starts a trend which we hope to maintain, as we push to create linkages at the individual and sector levels. One can argue that the festival has contributed to the entertainment sector, with a decided focus on pop genres in some instances, on production in others, on performance and definitely on the business of artiste promotions. Through the Jazz side stage, we facilitate by giving a platform to those showing potential and exposure by international press and prospective talent scouts,” said Director of Tourism Louis Lewis

Mr. Lewis says that it is also “quite fortuitous” that the current Minister of Tourism also holds the portfolio for Creative Industries. “So we know the will and the vision to continue in that vein will continue over the short term.”

A somewhat quirky story attends the sole non-local Side Stage act this year, and one which the SLTB Director cites as a prime example of the fact that not only Saint Lucians artistes set their sights on the opportunities promised by Saint Lucia Jazz.

“The exception is a band which won the SLTB Jazz band Competition during the Board’s overseas promotion of the Festival. The US Based Atlanta Band won the competition, after having tried unsuccessfully to get a pick for the main stage. Their performance is part of the prize package for winning the competition,” quipped the Director.

Mr. Lewis expressed the hope that this both serves to demonstrate the competitiveness of music industry while at the same time reassuring the domestic industry of the commitment of the SLTB to contribute towards the export of our entertainment products.

For more information on the full line-up for Saint Lucia Jazz 2012 along with show dates, venues and ticket sales, log onto www.stluciajazz.org.

–          ENDS –

About Saint Lucia Jazz

Ranked among the top five around the world, Saint Lucia Jazz remains the premier music festival in the Caribbean region.  Noted for attracting a slew of acclaimed national and international Grammy nominated and winning artistes, the legendary Festival marks its 21th edition in 2012.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia call 1-800 456-3984, or 1-800 4STLUCIA or visit www.saintlucianow.com

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