JAZZ IN THE SOUTH

Labowi Promotions is the main organiser of JAZZ IN THE SOUTH, a component of the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival.

Jazz has always been an interest of Labowi Promotions. For a period of two years, between 1993 and 1994, regular "Jazz at the Village" sessions were organised at the local cinema, which brought to this small village all the great names in Saint Lucian contemporary music, including Ronald Boo Hinkson, Luther Francois, Emerson Nurse, Third Eye, Richard Payne, Ricardo Francois and Rameau Poleon. This experience gave the group some of its early credentials in organising and producing jazz events.

Among several regular and occasional cultural activities, Jazz in the South is the group's main annual event. Jazz in the South began in a small way in 1997, with one free concert on the Laborie Market Square, a historic concert that featured Robbie Greenidge, Andy Narell and Gregory 'Shining' Emmanuel. This is how Jazz in the South was born, and since then it has grown to become an event to look forward to. Up to 2005, it included four free concerts, in the communities of Laborie, Soufriere and Vieux Fort and on the grounds of St. Jude Hospital, plus one major paying concert at Balenbouche Estate in Choiseul. During the period 2006 – 2009, Jazz in the South included one main concert, held at the Rudy John beach Park in Laborie, as well as workshops and master classes (with facilitators including Khalid Kouhen from Morocco and Charlie Labinsky from Martinique).

Since that first concert at the Laborie Market Square in May 1997, Jazz in the South has attracted to Saint Lucia some of the greatest names in Caribbean music, including world renowned Monty Alexander from Jamaica (who performed with veteran guitarist Ernest Ranglin), Grammy nominee Orlando 'Maraca' Valle and Nachito Herrera from Cuba, Strings, Carimi and RAM from Haiti, Malavoi, Xtrem' Jam, Saël and Friends, Paco Charlery, Bwakoré, Djo Dézormo, Mario Canonge and Kali from Martinique, Luther Francois, Neil Franklyn, Matrix, Ives Simeon, Barbara Cadet, Emerson Nurse, Monty Maxwell, Ronald Boo Hinkson, Bluemangó, Annexus and Carl Gustave from Saint Lucia, Chris Combette and Eric Bonheur from Guyane, Exile One, Michele Henderson, Nelly Stharre and Gramacks from Dominica, Van Lévé from Guadeloupe, Richard Bona from Cameroon, Andre Tanker, Panazz, and the Sean Thomas 'bop-so' Quintet featuring Clive 'Zanda' Alexander and Michael Boothman from Trinidad, as well as Arturo Tappin, James Lovell, Rhea Drakes (Saint Lucian and Barbadian Parentage) and Adrian Clarke from Barbados.

SOME OF THE ARTISTES WE INVITED OVER THE YEARS...


OTHER EVENTS

LABFEST

Following the successful staging of the Laborie Christmas Festival in the 1990s, Labowi Promotions, working in close collaboration with a number of cultural groups and organisations, is now responsible for an annual community arts festival called LabFest, the Laborie Festival of Arts and Culture. This Festival opens on St. Cecilia's day, the Feast of Musicians, and ends shortly before Christmas. It stages musical and theatrical performances, as well as exhibitions and panel discussions.

Other Activities

In addition to regular activities on its annual calendar (Nobel Laureate Week in January, Jazz in the South in May, Emancipation Day in August and LabFest in November-December) Labowi Promotions hosts, organises and sponsors a number of events and cultural activities in and around the community of Laborie. In particular, Labowi Promotions makes every effort to bring quality performances to the south of Saint Lucia. The main national performances hosted by Labowi Promotions in the past few years include the musical Sarafina in 2003, several plays directed by playwrights and directors Travis Weekes and Hayden Forde, an evening of poetry convened to celebrate Derek Walcott's Nobel Prize in 1992 and the Afro Caribbean Pot Pourri, Saint Lucia's presentation to Carifesta 2003 (staged in Laborie in January 2004).