This April, music lovers from around the world are invited to join together on the island of Tobago to experience a unique fusion of electrifying performances as the island celebrates the fifth annual Tobago Jazz Experience. The popular spring event has always featured some of the world’s top jazz, R&B, neo-soul, fusion and of course local and regional acts. In addition to music, the nine day festival held April 19-27, 2014 represents Tobago’s vibrant culture and history, unique gastronomy and friendly residents.
Festival-goers will take a musical trek through Speyside, Signal Hill, Scarborough, Castara and Pigeon Point Heritage Park, each hosting multiple events, including:
Saturday, April 19 - Jazz in the East gets the party started in the village of Speyside. Big ticket names on the 2013 soca circuit are set to share the stage with some of Trinidad and Tobago’s emerging acts to set the vibrant tone for the week. Famous for its dive sites, Speyside has no shortage of diversions and many visitors choose to arrive early and spend the day.
Sunday, April 20 – Against the magnificent views of Tobago’s coastline, Signal Hill, a.k.a “heaven on a hill” hosts Hillside Jazz, where upcoming talent are invited to showcase their creativity and dynamism.
Monday, April 21 - After a successful debut in 2012, Edu-Jazz returns to the festival schedule for the benefit of the next generation of musicians. Jazz education and performance workshops will take place at various schools, allowing students to interact with, and learn from, the seasoned performers featured during the festival.
Tuesday, April 22 - On Easter Tuesday, the coastal village of Buccoo comes alive with the Buccoo Goat Races which includes traditional goat and crab races. Skilled jockeys race specially trained goats for a year’s worth of bragging rights while patrons have the opportunity to try their hand at crab racing. The event starts with a street parade, where booths offering local crafts, food and drink line the streets. Many residents even open up their homes and invite visitors to sample authentic cuisine after working up an appetite at a day at the races.
Wednesday, April 23 - The Milford Road Esplanade hosts a New Orleans-style affair, Jazz on the Waterfront, where party-goers can enjoy simultaneous acts of unplugged solo, duet and band acts while shopping from local vendors and sampling local flavors.
Thursday, April 24 – In preparation for the biggest acts of the week, visitors can relax with toes in the sand, refreshing cocktails and the sounds of reggae and jazz at Northside Jazz on Castara Beach. Visitors are encouraged to sample authentic dirt oven bread indigenous to the village of Castara. This one-of-a-kind culinary delight is prepared in a vintage dirt oven using wood fire and dough wrapped in wet banana leaves. The oven is located directly on the beach, so guests can enjoy the music and bread making all at the same time.
Friday, April 25 – The weekend kicks off with World Music Night at Pigeon Point Heritage Park. The Caribbean breeze and moonlight create the perfect backdrop for the concert where nine-time Grammy award winner John Legend will perform his hit single ‘All Of Me’ along with favorites ‘Ordinary People’, ‘Green Light’ and ‘Best You Ever Had.’ Grammy-award winning R&B singer Brandy will also take the stage, performing hits from her five studio albums, including “Two Eleven,” “Never Say Never” and “The Boy is Mine.”
Saturday, April 26 – Pantrinbago is set to perform a special set of pan and jazz that has morphed into the Pazzazz experience. Spellbinding performances by celebrated artistes like Len “Boogsie” Sharpe and Earl Brooks have all featured in recent years. In addition, the Jazz on the Beach series hosted at Mt. Irvine Bay will feature some well-known and lesser known artists from international, regional and local circles. Visitors to this program are sure to enjoy themselves as they lie on the beach and relax to the beat of jazz and crossover.
Sunday, April 27 - Tobago Jazz Experience comes to an end with Beach Jazz Fiesta at Pigeon Point Heritage Park. This year, the Fiesta will feature singer and songwriter, Keyshia Cole alongside American Music and Grammy award-winning Earth, Wind & Fire. Keyshia will perform popular hits, including “Trust” and “Believe,” “I Choose You” and “Enough of No Love” while the award-wining masters of soul, Earth, Wind & Fire combine elements of African music, Latin music, funk, disco, soul, jazz, pop and rock to ensure a crowd-pleasing set no matter what one’s taste in music.
For more information and ticket information, visit www.tobagojazzexperience.com.