Babonneau Jazz

Jazzing It Up in The Forest

By Toni Nicholas

Babonneau, located to the north eastern region of Castries, is a community known for its rich cultural heritage and running rivers, canopied by the overhanging trees of the rainforest.  Combining these elements with good music, was sheer brilliance on the part of organizers of the first ever “Rainforest Jazz in Babonneau.”  

The event was staged by the Babonneau Events Committee on Saturday May 6, within the space of Rainforest Sky-rides Chassin, Babonneau. The venue was breath-taking on two counts. First the incline from the park and ride drop-off tested the fitness level of some patrons, while the venue itself was awe-inspiring. Flanked by the towering foliage and the bridge across the river leading to Popo’s rustic restaurant and tree house, this was truly an undiscovered gem. 

The choice of performers also fitted nicely with the ambience and included the Babonneau All Stars Steel Band, David Fitz, Semi and Eeka and the Impak Band who soothed the audience amidst the afternoon heat. As the sun went down, the tempo went up with performances from African Roots, Secret Band, DYP and Midnight Groovers from Dominica. 

The event was very well attended and the audience, of mainly middle aged and older patrons, swayed, danced and sang along as African Roots brought back the nostalgia of a time when their type of repertoire reigned while Secret Band kept the culture alive. 

Later, DYP pulled out all the stops during their set and could have easily been the headline act, with their varied set-list, well-orchestrated to keep the demographic in attendance clamouring for more. By the time Midnight Groovers came on, it seemed as if the audience had already gotten their money’s worth. And while some left after just a taste of Groovers, their hardcore fans stayed on until the last note. 

With good music, good food, an amazing crowd at a wonderful venue, indeed Babonneau Jazz which went on without a hitch, was one of the best community events, for the return of the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival in 2023. And if those who attended would have a say, the event will be back next year.

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