Grammy star R. Kelly set for St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival

Bevan Springer | 2/7/2013, 1:45 p.m.
NEW YORK (Feb. 7)-A leading Caribbean music festival has a new name and a new...
Jamaica's Butch Stewart picks Almond in Barbados

NEW YORK (Feb. 7)-A leading Caribbean music festival has a new name and a new lineup for 2013. The Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, formerly St. Lucia Jazz, will be headlined by Grammy-winning R&B star R. Kelly.

Sharing the glittering bill are the O'Jays, calypso revolutionary David Michael Rudder, bandleader and mambo musician Tito Puente Jr., celebrated St. Lucian guitarist Ronald "Boo" Hinkson and Senegalese-American hip-hop sensation Akon.

Presented by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and sponsored by Digicel, the 22nd festival, founded by tourism visionary and former Cabinet Minister Allen Chastanet, culminates on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 12, after a rollicking, music-packed weekend of entertainment.

More than 50 artists will perform at the 13-day event, which is expected to attract hundreds of visitors, mainly from the Caribbean, to the historic Pigeon Island national landmark and to a variety of locations around the island.

St. Lucia's Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries Lorne Theophilus said St. Lucia needed to redefine not only itself, but its flagship special events activity. "As we seek to implement our new strategic focus, it became necessary to forge closer linkages between the traditional festival lineup and a now-burgeoning creative industries sector."

While drama and dance, steel pan, spoken word and fashion will be featured this year, "several of our traditional community celebrations, like the Friday night street parties, fish fries and creole music, will be woven into the fabric of the redefined Jazz and Arts Festival and showcased in all their splendor in a fresh and exciting way," said Deputy Director of Tourism Tracey Warner-Arnold.

Performances at the indoor Gaiety venue will feature Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles and Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca, while the Pigeon Island main stage lineup also includes R&B singer Ginuwine, St. Lucian songwriter and producer ACE, as well as the heralded musical family the Jacksons.

For more information visit www.stluciajazz.org.