The last edition of Jazz and Creole Dominica that I attended prior to this one was Jazz and Creole Dominica 2015, and needless to say, just like everyone, I was very eager and enthusiastic about Jazz and Creole 2017.
The success of an event is multifaceted: several factors come in play when it comes to reviewing an event, just like several things play a role, (consciously and unconsciously) into making a person like or dislike an event.
With that said, here are the 10 key features that I felt were striking about the Dominica Jazz n Creole 2017!😎
I have a lot of regards for an event that starts on time. While people tend to believe that punctuality rules differ in the world of entertainment, it is not the case. For Dominica Jazz n Creole 2017, it was even more important because the majority of people had to travel a relatively long distance to get there. I was impressed by the fact that Jazz and Creole Dominica 2017 started exactly on time. The National Anthem was sung at 2:00 PM (and I know this because though I wasn’t in the park at that time, the hosts were live on Facebook!)
2. The Transportation Logistics
The Cabrits National Park (Dominica Jazz n Creole 2017 venue) is a very “easy to access” area for a few vehicles, but when you have hundreds of vehicles coming from all the corners of the island at the same time, it can become quite convoluted. Luckily, shuttle services were provided to facilitate transportation close to the venue. However, it would have been even more effective to emphasize stricter rules to prevent congestion by other vehicles closer to the venue.
3. The Price
The adult price was XCD 75 (USD 25 – 30) which I believe is pretty decent for such an event. The fact that there was a children price (XSD 25, USD 8- 10) was also pretty awesome, and contributed to making the event more family friendly.
4. The Venue
The Cabrits National Park (Portsmouth) is a pretty great venue for such an event. Open space, large enough, and can accommodate a pretty huge crowd. And even when you’re not very close to the main stage (like I was at some point), you can still see the performers.
5. The Selection of Performances
I think the line up at Jazz and Creole was tastefully chosen. Each performing band and artist had something unique, different and interesting to offer. The selection was diversified, which made it enticing. Artists included Ti Orkest, NCCU Cadence Lypso Champions for two consecutive years, who presented a dynamic melee of their own compositions coupled with Dominica’s favorite creole songs; Breve, premiere jazz creole band on the Nature Isle who are continuously rising to local and international fame with singles like “Way O” and “Welcome to my Island”; the Vocal Song, original group from Venezuela known for singing a cappella while mimicking the sound of every instrument; Michele Henderson, Dominica’s prodigy, vocalist, flautist, author and composer of the CARICOM regional anthem “Celebrating CARICOM”, and whose immeasurable talent just keeps blowing my mind every time. Literally, every time; and finally, legendary british Jazz saxophonist, Courtney Pine.
For any budding artist, aspiring musician or instrument player, I think this was the perfect set up to see the magnitude of full blown (and ever-growing) talent.
6. The Choice of Masters of Ceremonies (MCs)
Nothing can downplay the value of a good, knowledgeable, dynamic and… stylish MC. And when you’ve been to events where MCs don’t always meet these criteria, the event just doesn’t flow the same and you tend to be very distracted unconsciously by trivial things such as what the MCs are wearing, what they are saying, or literally anything that they do wrong.
7. The Flow of the Event
A good event should not have too many gaps in between acts and performances, and I think at Dominica Jazz n Creole 2017, his was well covered. If the audience is left to wait too long, then they become impatient. But if there is not enough time in between performances, then people don’t have time to grab a bite or patronize the bar. And we want to grab a bite and patronize the bar.
8. The Food Choices that Fostered the Promotion of Small Businesses
I was particularly impressed by the fact that there were specific food stands highlighting specific local business, such as the Douglas Caterings and Desserts (hoping I got the name correct). Such events are a great opportunity for advertising local delicacies, of which Dominica abounds.
9. Of Course, the Bar(s)
There were a wide variety of drinks options at the Dominica Jazz n Creole 2017, and I think that on top of the fact that it helped to promote individual brands, it also helped to reduce unnecessary long queues at the bar. I personally chose to patronize “Angostura”. 😎
10. Up to You!
What else did you like about the Dominica Jazz n Creole 2017? Let me know in your comments below!😎
For a festival that has been running for 8 years now, I think this edition was pretty awesome. The quality, content and logistics of the event keep improving, and for this, kudos to the organizers. While waiting for the next edition, there is still so much in store, because the island never sleeps! Get ready for the 20th Annual World Creole Music Festival now! October isn’t so far away… These are going to be 3 nights of pulsating rhythms that you simply won’t want to miss!
PS: Photocredits: Zaimis Olmos Visual Arts (for the vast majority).