Trinidad & Tobago Jazz Festival debuts this month

This year, the Jazz Alliance of Trinidad & Tobago (JATT) debuts the first annual Trinidad & Tobago Jazz Festival, running 12–14 March at various locations across Trinidad.

Festival Director and President of JATT Sean Thomas – whose recent events include Jazzalypso and Jazzang – insists that it will also have a unique selling point: “we are creating a truly indigenous T&T Jazz Festival and will be featuring Ravi B and Rikkii Jai and jazzing up the Chutney. We will also be doing that to the year’s winning Road March and Soca Monarch [“Palance”]. This will be a jazz festival with a difference!”

Here’s what audiences can expect:

Friday 12 March:

  • Launch (3–5pm, Brian Lara Promenade, free): poetry, flamenco and tap jazz fusion, featuring poet Muhammad Muwakil; dancers Candace Ellis and Nalini Akal; and musicians Larry Lee Luck, Modupe Onilu, Russell Durity, Wayne Guerra and Sean Thomas
  • Jazz @ Spalkers (9–11:30pm, Spalkers Restaurant & Sports Bar, free): featuring Wayne Guerra; Russell Durity; Jeffrey Pataysingh; Mikhail Salcedo; Marissa Gomez; and Sean Thomas

Saturday 13 March:

  • Master Class with Grace Kelly (11am–1:30pm, Centre for Creative & Festival Arts, UWI, free to musicians)
  • Headline Event (5–10pm, “The Greens”, Centre for Creative & Festival Arts, UWI; Tickets $200): hosted by Paul Keens-Douglas and featuring Moods Steel Orchestra; Ravi B; Rikki Jai; University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT) Faculty Jazztet (led by Dave Marcellin); Gene Lawrence & Friends (including Ray Holman and Kernal Roberts); and the Grace Kelly Quartet from the USA, with Sean Thomas
  • After Party (12:30am, the Corner Bar): free jam session with local and foreign musicians

Sunday 14 March

  • Film Screening (8:30pm, The Corner Bar, free): Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz 

The main concert event will also feature what JATT describes as “seven pillars”, including: the history makers (this year’s is “A Great Day in Gustine”, paying tribute to some of the foundations of Caribbean jazz); virtuosos (featuring Korean-American saxophonist Grace Kelly, and Gene Laurence); Latin jazz; Jazz in de Palance (where musicians will be riffing off of this year’s Road March and Soca Monarch hit, “Palance”, among other local soca hits); and Jazzing Up De Pop (where well-known pop songs will be given a Caribbean jazz treatment by Sean Thomas and his band).

Proceeds from the festival will go towards the Jazz Alliance’s Music Scholarship Fund. Tickets for the main event are TT$200 (entrance for children under 12 is free). 

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Caroline Taylor

Caroline is an editor and staff writer at MEP. She is also on MEP’s board of directors, and moonlights as an actor, singer, and director. She’s passionate about telling stories – on the page, on the stage, on screen – and in particular about documenting Caribbean lives and events. She’s currently trying to master unplugging from her iLife… For more: https://www.carolinentaylor.com.View Author posts

1 thought on “Trinidad & Tobago Jazz Festival debuts this month”

  1. Thanks alot Caroline looking forward to seeing you and everyone down at the Festival. FESTIVAL TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE @ FARIDA'S WEST MALL; STECHERS LONG CIRCULAR & TRINCITY MALLS; NIGEL KHAN BOOKSELLERS @ PRICE PLAZA CHAGUANAS; & CROSBY'S SAN FERNANDO.

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