The BVI Music festival 2010
One of the most popular events in the BVI is celebrating its ten-year anniversary in 2010, and organizers are touting this annual event as bigger and better than ever. Held this year from May 28th through the 30th, the BVI Music Festival regularly brings together musicians from our islands and the Caribbean region with world-famous artists on the beachfront stage in Cane Garden Bay. The picturesque setting of the BVI’s most popular beach creates a unique concert experience – one where you can dig your toes in the sand while listening to reggae, soca and R&B hits.
Last year saw a pumping Friday night lineup with Peter Ram and Busy Signal capping off a Soca Explosion. Saturday started off with Quito & The Edge playing on their home turf, just a few steps from the Gazebo, before hit maker Serani performed the crowd-pleaser No Games, and reggae star Sizzla closed the night. Puerto Rico’s Daddy Yankee was a huge crowd draw, and he didn’t disappoint with his pyrotechnic-laden stage show. It was clear that the chart-topper brought his full act to the BVI, as everything was perfectly choreographed and all the flames and fireworks went off without a hitch.
Sunday’s performers are usually a bit more mellow, and often start with some local jazz and fungi bands. Also on Sunday, The Drifters performed their hit Under the Boardwalk right on the sand, and reggae songstress Tanya ended the evening, and the festival, with her many hits.
The 2010 BVI Music Festival promises another star-studded lineup. In addition to Fantasia Barrino, Iyaz and The Spinners, the three days of non-stop music will also feature the Puerto Rican American Club R&B duo, Nina Sky, as well as a roster of Caribbean socca , reggae and calypso artists including Imo, Maccabee, Empress Ruth and Sista Joyce, plus the BVI’s MBJ Baltimore.
Performances this year will be scheduled earlier, with the headliner acts beginning at 10pm, says David Archer, the committee’s public relations officer. He also says that groups will play longer with close to full concert length performances. For late night party-goers there will be “after parties” at various Cane Garden Bay venues – and for those who can’t stay up late, there will be more daytime community events.
“The festival is about music, laughter and fun, but it is also a way to contribute to the wider community,” says David. The event’s economic impact on the BVI is one of the committee’s many focuses, and to that end, the committee has partnered with event promoters in the US to spread the word and increase the number of people who travel here. Concludes David: “What we are aiming for is more fun, more music and more people.” So dig your toes in the sand and be prepared to enjoy yet another great music festival.
For the latest information, check the festival’s website, www.bvimusicfestival.com.
Jazz on the Hill 2010
On May 21st and 22nd Virgin Gorda will host its 5th annual Jazz on the Hill concert series featuring jazz artists from here and abroad. The two day event is held on the grounds of St Mary’s Episcopal Church and School. The sloping grass covered hillside with its huge boulders makes it easy to spread your blanket under the stars, the ocean crashing beyond and surrender to the serenade.
That is just what Father Michael Clarke had in mind five years ago when after a Sunday morning service in April he looked to the water and said to parishioner Warren Wheeler, “I’d like to have a jazz concert out here to help raise money for our school.” And so the scramble was on to put together this musical event that has evolved into an annual happening. All proceeds go toward the operation of St. Mary’s School.
Past performers include Tom Browne (Funkin for Jamaica), Flautists Bobbi Humphrey (Harlem River Drive) and Sherry Winston, Arturo Tappin, and the North Carolina University Jazz and Vocal Ensemble, who played with Branford Marsalis at last year’s prestigious Newport Jazz festival.
This year’s line-up promises to bring you an eclectic mix of Jazz, R&B and Gospel. Guests include vocalist Melba Moore whose numerous credits include R&B hits This Is It, You Stepped Into My Life and her Grammy nominated signature song Lean On Me. Her recording of Lift Every Voice and Sing, so moved the US Government, that the song was entered into the Congressional Record as the official African American National Anthem. There has long been a connection between jazz and the church, and this year, God’s Men of Harmony, a five member a capella group, from North Carolina will demonstrate that connection.
Jazz on the Hill 2010 will treat you to the music from new and emerging artists as well as the familiar sounds from the tried and true. Don’t miss these two evenings under the stars. Bring your blanket and your friends for… All that Jazz… and such!
For Festival ticket information go to www.jazzonthehill.vg For concert ferry schedules from Tortola call Speedy’s at (284) 495-5240.