Saint Lucia Jazz ends on high note of praise

Monday, May 13, 2019 - 07:30

Sounds of praise went up on Sun­day from the fi­nal venue which host­ed the grand fi­nale of the 2019 Saint Lu­cia Jazz Fes­ti­val.

Shangri-La Es­tate in Rod­ney Bay, Saint Lu­cia, was the home to Chris­tians and non-Chris­tians alike who came out to sup­port and en­joy the fi­nal show of the six-day fes­ti­val which be­gan last Tues­day.

From far, some of the el­der­ly came with their walk­ers, while fam­i­lies brought pic­nic blan­kets and chairs to make their time spent "in the house of God" a com­fort­able one.

The gospel com­po­nent of the an­nu­al fes­ti­val was in­clud­ed for the time in the 27 years it has been in ex­is­tence.

Tak­ing to the stage first was Saint Lu­cia’s own mul­ti­ple gospel award win­ner Shirley-Ann Cyril-May­ers, who led the au­di­ence in some vin­tage gospel with the song, “I Will Call Up­on The Lord.”

Im­me­di­ate­ly, one recog­nised a strik­ing vo­cal sim­i­lar­i­ty to Caribbean gospel singer Wendy Mitchell. Dur­ing her stint on stage, Cyril-My­ers belt­ed out a num­ber of praise and wor­ship clas­sics–jazz­ing them up every once in a while. She paused be­fore mov­ing on to the song “I Give You the Praise” to speak to the au­di­ence, as­sur­ing them that no mat­ter what they may face in life, God will al­ways make a way and will work it out.

In a sub­se­quent in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia, Cyril-May­ers gave God all the praise for in­spir­ing the or­gan­is­ers for in­clud­ing gospel in the fes­ti­val, as she be­lieves it is a mile­stone that the church was able to par­tic­i­pate in such a ma­jor event. She added the fes­ti­val was now an­oth­er plat­form to spread the gospel of God.

Of­fi­cial­ly bring­ing down the cur­tain was in­ter­na­tion­al Gram­my award-win­ning Amer­i­can hus­band and wife jazz duo Mar­cus Bay­lor, a for­mer drum­mer with The Yel­low Jack­ets and Jean Bay­lor, a for­mer mem­ber of the R&B group Zhane, which had great suc­cess in the mid-90s.

Jean, the lead vo­cal­ist of the band, was the per­fect fin­ish with her an­gel­ic voice. Of the num­bers she per­formed, her ver­sion of Halle­ju­jah was with­out a doubt the most mov­ing de­liv­ery, ev­i­dent by the hearty ap­plause she re­ceived to­ward the end.

 - by Bobie-Lee Dixon. Photo by Abraham Diaz.