The 14th annual St. Kitts music festival opens with a focus on the Caribbean


Legendary Music Icons Capture the Moment

The opening night of the 14th Annual St Kitts Music Festival  featured a captivating blend of some of the best past and contemporary music the Caribbean has to offer. From the first act right through to the last, St. Kitts’ Warner Park stadium came alive Thursday night, the first of three consecutive nights of world class stage performances.

“I think the opening night’s experience verifies that the St. Kitts Music Festival mix of local- and regional-conscious reggae, soca and classical calypso is the right mix for the opening night,” said Senator Ricky Skerritt, Minister of Tourism & International Transport.  “We always have seen ourselves as a Caribbean Festival first. In fact, we pride ourselves in being the leading ‘truly Caribbean’ Music Festival, with the eclectic mix of music reflecting the rich and diverse heritage of our region.”

Perennial favorite reggae group Third World, celebrating 37 years together, headed off the evening’s line-up, playing their vintage favorites for almost two hours with the crowd always demanding just one more.  Up next was local calypso icon, King Star Shield.  The former calypso king had the crowd cheering with appreciation from song to song.

The legendary King Ellie Matt followed next and immediately connected with the lively audience in a way that that brought back fond memories of his past years of international calypso and soca excellence of ‘Ellie Matt & The GI’s Brass’ fame. Perhaps the most powerful and defining moment of the evening for all St. Kitts & Nevis nationals and calypso lovers came towards the end of Ellie Matt’s performance when he sang the song that many credit for uniting Kittitians in the Diaspora, “St. Kitts I Love You.”  Singing at that point without any backup music, his enraptured and adoring homeland crowd joined in with his every word as he captivated the audience with his remarkable melody and simple yet powerful words.

Trinidad & Tobago soca super star couple, Bunji Garlin & Faye Ann Lyons took center stage next and moved the action to a higher energy level, with the large, party-hungry crowd “jamming and moving” in all directions for more than an hour.  The lively response from the St. Kitts Music Festival fans seemed to excite the multiple ‘International soca monarch’ winners to give St. Kitts one of their best ever joint performances. Bringing the first night’s action home just short of 4:00 a.m., the renowned Jamaican master, Capleton, treated the large audience to a “prophetic” performance that ended the evening with the crowd already looking forward to the Festival’s second night.

Gates open at 5:00pm and performances begin at 8:00pm each evening.  Tickets to the 14th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival are US $40 per person, per night.

Now in its 14th consecutive year, the festival attracts both residents and visitors alike and is known for featuring rising local talent alongside internationally-renowned acts. It features a mix of musical styles on the popular market, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Gospel and Contemporary, to name a few. Past artists have included such prominent acts as John Legend, T-Pain, Michael Bolton, KC & the Sunshine Band, Wyclef Jean, Ne-Yo, Air Supply, Dionne Warwick, Billy Ocean, Sean Paul, Boyz II Men, King Konris, Stephen Marley, Regina Belle, Maxi Priest, Biggie Irie and Lord Nelson.    

Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Kitts offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and the more traditional vacation pastimes such as watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, gaming at one of St. Kitts’ two casinos or simply relaxing on one of the island’s sandy beaches.  Guests can select from accommodations ranging from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels or resorts.
Source = St. Kitts Tourism Authority
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