SuperBlue and Ronnie McIntosh for North Coast Jazz
Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons and Ronnie McIntosh will be on cast at this year’s North Coast Jazz which takes place from May 26-28.
The organisers also hope to grow the festival into a regional and international event, generating revenue for Trinidad and Tobago.
One of its organisers and former Port of Spain mayor Louis Lee Sing, said they decided to add a different flavour to this year’s event at the Blanchisseuse Recreation Ground, Blanchisseuse.
North Coast Jazz was one of the first events to return after the lifting of the harshest covid19 restrictions last year.
Lee Sing said, “This year we have an exciting programme. We have some very interesting, new artistes. We have ensured that we build on the heritage component of the jazz, which is to say, the art, craft and cuisine.
“In addition, we are doing our damnedest to ensure all of our support services, for example, our park and ride (PTSC bus transport from the Paddock, Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, to the festival grounds), that it operates efficiently.”
“The demand for people wanting to take the park and ride has grown considerably,” he added.
Burt Marcellin’s Brass 2 the World is also on cast and SuperBlue and McIntosh are vocalists with the band.
“They will engage our audiences with a full repertoire of not only the soca in jazz but also the music that they have become famous for,” Lee Sing said.
Pannist and arranger Duvone Stewart, Mungal Patasar and calypsonian Stacey Sobers are also among the new artistes added to the event’s cast.
Lee Sing said this was Patasar’s first time at the festival and he would be releasing a new CD at the event.
Krisson Joseph, the son of late calypsonian Penguin, and his band will also be there. So, too, will Marva Newton and Kairi Kaiso. Dean Williams Quartet returns as the event’s resident band.
“We are confident the cast of musicians doing music that will be uniquely prepared for North Coast offers the uninitiated and initiated an opportunity to be part of an amazing production,” he added.
The festival begins with its movie night on Friday, May 26 and will show the 2018 movie, Hero, by director Frances-Anne Solomon which tells of the life of late Caribbean war hero and judge Ulric Cross.
“We go back to a simple Sunday where the community council is going to have a brunch at 10 am and going until 1 pm. The last day of the festival is really a kind of family day for the community of Blanchisseuse,” he said.
Lee Sing said the planned J’Ouvert did not work as was anticipated last year and, once something does not work, the organisers take corrective action.
“Our intent is to seek as many foreign visitors, whether from the islands or the diaspora. While we do get the support of the local community, and they have allowed the jazz to grow and survive, an important component is to see how we break out of just the TT market and we reach across the seas, reach beyond our borders. It is the only way it will truly become a real festival.”
He said the festival’s tagline is born here, played here and it fits in with a thrust by TT’s tourism body to sell what is grown here.
“North Coast Jazz has always made the point it is not just about Carnival. We certainly believe it is about things that are born here, that can play here.
“We make the point all the time that, at any hour during the day, there are thousands of TT musicians rehearsing, practising and honing their trade – whether they are writing scripts – and North Coast jazz is one of the opportunities that allows them to ply their trade and demonstrate their capability,” he said.
He said the organisers also record and film the event which it shares with the world via young TV channel, WESN.
Lee Sing said TT’s jazz season is growing.
“We want to see North Coast jazz become unparalleled with New Orleans jazz or even Montreal Jazz. This is going to be the jazz festival that tells the story that TT has joined the dance but come not to only witness the dance but we have come to dance in the dance.”
He said the entire North Coast was enjoying the economic benefits of the festival, also stating that last year’s room count forgot up to 107.
He thinks that that number is likely to increase this year.
"SuperBlue and Ronnie McIntosh for North Coast Jazz"