On May 13, 2023, Alfredo Naranjo and his Latin Jazz Quintet became the first Venezuelan group or artiste to perform on the stage and main stage of the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival; this time, in the framework of its thirty-first edition.
In the “Pigeon Island National Landmark”, a national park that offers breathtaking views of the north of the island of St. Lucia, in the moonlight, facing the Caribbean Sea and in front of more than 10,000 people, our Venezuelan musicians offered an extraordinary performance, with an amalgam of sounds, harmonies, rhythms, harmonic twists, percussion, African-Caribbean-Latin heritage, which caught and thrilled an audience not used to the sonic transition, almost chromatic, of the best of Latin Jazz, perfectly interpreted with versatility and arrangements of the highest level, to the irreverent and carefree discharge of our Caribbean-American, which has become internationally known as Salsa, a term that identifies the most representative of our Latin American identity.
Alfredo Naranjo with his vibraphone, Carlos (Nené) Quintero on percussion, Miguel Chacón on bass, Emilio Roldán Peña on guitar, Edgar Quijada with his voice, all musicians with extensive experience and international recognition, dressed the stage in a musical tricolor that has received great artists such as Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Elton John, Herbie Hancock, The Jacksons, Lauryn Hill, Santana, UB40, Air Supply, George Benson, Kool and the Gang, Marc Anthony, among others.
Since its creation in 1992, the St. Lucia Jazz Festival has become the largest Jazz festival in the Caribbean, which has been gaining renown.
It is worth noting that Alfredo Naranjo and his band performed on the Pigeon Island stage, which received in this 2023 edition, great artistes such as Buju Banton, from Jamaica, the French-speaking Kassav band from Guadeloupe, Ayra Starr from Nigeria, just to name a few, and whose closing oversaw international stars Shaggy and Sting.
Taking advantage of the visit of the Venezuelan delegation, the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Lucia, organized a master class last Friday, May 12, 2023, at the premises of the Cultural Development Foundation, with the presence of students at the Saint Lucia School of Music and music teachers from primary and secondary schools on the island.
This master class became an exchange of knowledge, where both Venezuelan musicians, as well as teachers and participating students, engaged in an interesting conversation about the historical and cultural connection and the African ancestral heritage that is part of our rhythms and musical forms of our countries.
Thus, for this edition of the Jazz Festival, Venezuela achieved two important milestones. First, accompanying with a delegation of musicians from the National Orchestra System, the founder of this important event (Luther Francois) in his investiture as a cultural icon of Saint Lucia; And on the other hand, the participation of a Venezuelan group (Alfredo Naranjo and his band) on the main stage of this important event, who thrilled a warm audience made up of locals and numerous international visitors, who despite the language barrier, at the end of Naranjo’s presentation, ended up shouting the name of Venezuela, while dancing and chanting in Spanish the chorus of the final salsa, rumba and guaguancó : Pa que bailen…pa que gocen¡. Long live Venezuela.
SOURCE: Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Lucia
Elton John and Rihanna have never performed at St Lucia Jazz..