Three Days of Jazz

Was this year’s mainstage event worthy of praise or did it fall flat, succeeding only in being mediocre at best? Depends on who you’re asking.

Thousands attended the three day festival which featured stellar acts like OMI, Shaggy, Omarion Kassav, Kool & the Gang, Air Supply and Marc Anthony amongst others. However, whereas some performers shined, others paled in comparison, failing to keep the attention of a bored audience.

Jamaican singing sensation OMI, failed to impress at Friday’s show, despite showing off his Jackson-esque moves and bringing ‘Insaniti’ revellers to join him on stage. It was a good effort by a talented newcomer; however the artiste’s performance was a tad lacklustre.

T.J (Teddyson John), however, went all out, making his mainstage jazz debut a special one. The Saint Lucian artiste slowed things down a bit, showing off a different style that night. It was refreshing and unlike his past performances—what local audiences are used to. The artiste took things up a notch by playing the piano and later, the biggest surprise of them all, inviting regional stars Da’Ville (from Jamaica), and Kes (from Trinidad), to share the stage with him—it was a terrific high.

Friday’s headliner Shaggy who wasn’t new to Saint Lucia’s mainstage gave a performance bordering on average. The Jamaican artiste spoke many times during his set (something audiences often detest), and tried his best to inject humour throughout. He even surprised attendees by bringing out Jamaican dancehall star Popcaan for a cameo, however, that did not make up for his overall mediocre performance.

Saturday’s show according to many was unparalleled, as French band Kassav headlined the event. The band,which hails from Guadeloupe, has been to Saint Lucia several times to perform at the festival and once again showed why they are often requested.

American artiste Omarion plummeted however. The ‘Post To Be’ singer performed a measly three songs then proceeded to make his exit but returned after a handful of fans pleaded for more. It was one of the biggest disasters the festival had ever seen and in no way was a ‘performance’ of any kind. The artiste who obviously hadn’t rehearsed, barely sang his songs, but rather showed off forced dance moves; he later brought his son on stage in an attempt to win the crowd over.

Thankfully, Omarion was the only dud that night. Local talent Irvin ‘Ace’ Loctar who also performed on Saturday gave his all, showing that locals too, are ‘mainstage worthy’. The artiste, who performed a number of his old songs as well as new ones amongst others, performed effortlessly, keeping the audience entertained throughout.

Sunday’s mainstage featured Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson’, George Benson, Air Supply, Kool & the Gang and Marc Anthony as headliner. It would have been an excellent show as the artistes’ were superb—the sole disappointment that day was headliner Marc Anthony. The American singer (of Puerto Rican descent), came out with a bang, opening with one of his English hits, but to the dismay of many, only performed Spanish singles thereafter. It was a big letdown for the predominantly English speaking crowd as the singer has a number of English hits under his belt.

The action wasn’t taking place on mainstage only however. A number of locals impressed on side stage this year including bands Black Sheep and Skip Monday as well as Michael Robinson, and Jesse Leonce.

Was this year’s mainstage event worthy of praise or did it fall flat? Depends on who you’re asking.

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