Press Release:- Sadness abounds as another folk cultural icon – Patrick Jules popularly known as Kètonn passed away on Sunday September 12th 2021 two weeks after the passing of his father Emmanuel Jules. Kètonn who was an accomplished Violinist and banjo player had his last performance at the Pigeon Island National Park on Friday September 10th less than two full days before his death.
A passionate Kwòdwil and folk-dance musician, Kètonn began playing the violin forty-one years ago at age twenty-eight. A student of his father and Tigison Placide, Kètonn excelled to become a master violinist. After accompanying several folk bands over the years, He established his own folk band and was one of the most sought after bands throughout St. Lucia. A member of the Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre he participated in several FRC activities which required his violin skills.
Kètonn migrated to the United States where he formed another folk band entertaining St. Lucians and other lovers of Folk music in the Tristate area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Kètonn returned to St. Lucia and became a member of the Manmay Lakay Folk Band as a banjo player from 2017 until his death.
Kètonn joins a list of accomplished violinist who have passed-on over the years. Among them are: Tigison Placide, Yves Simeon, Ronald Ferdinand, Bethel, Boy Ramin, Joseph Jean, Kenny Orman, Cyril Lubin, Emmanuel Jules, Bill, St. Val among others.
With the passing of all these cultural icons, folk music particularly kwadwil is under threat of extinction in St. Lucia. Only two folk bands – Manmay Lakay and Eastern Folk Band exists and the musicians are aging.
Attempts should be made at all levels, particularly the School of music and the schools in general, to encourage the youth in becoming folk musicians to preserve this important aspect of our culture.
As an institution established to preserve and promulgate the folk culture of St. Lucia, the Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre (FRC) extends its condolences to the immediate family of Kètonn, the Manmay La Kay Folk Band and the wider cultural fraternity.
Like the many Cultural Icons who have passed, Mr. Jules will be sadly missed. His contribution to the cultural development of the country should not go unnoticed but etched in the annals of St. Lucia’s history.