Pigeon Island National Landmark - Home of Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, Pigeon Island National Landmark is one of the Caribbean's most historic landmarks and certainly one of the most beautiful spots in Saint Lucia. Connected to the mainland by a causeway and surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, Pigeon Island National Landmark serves as the ideal venue for the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival main stage event dubbed "Amidst the Ruins". While its rich history dates back to the pre-Columbian times, Pigeon Island National Landmark is most famous for its role in the 1782 Battle of the Saints. Patrons to this venue will want to explore its 44 acres of sloping grasslands, dry tropical forests, beaches and twin peaks, wandering around its landscape and taking hikes up to the Fort Rodney to see where the Atlantic Ocean joins the Caribbean Sea. Many entertainers have said that this is the most beautiful venue that they have ever performed at and many have returned.
In 1994 when the organizing committee of the first Saint Lucia Jazz Festival decided that free daytime entertainment would be a nice touch, they never envisaged that these very events would have grown so much in popularity that they would seem even as rivals of the main festival in size and diversity.
In the early years, these activities were vastly limited to Castries; that is after a disastrous attempt at a straight ahead jazz concert in Soufriere. The local audience was having no part of acclaimed jazz pianist Terrence Blanchard not even for free. That jazz stuff was too esoteric. This led to a re-think of the free concert and village jazz idea and as the years went by the "Fringe" events now more fittingly referred to as Supporting Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival events were born.
A series of lunch time concerts with a festive atmosphere of music, food and merriment, Jazz on the Square has become synonymous with Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. Located in the heart of Castries City at a picturesque square named for Derek Walcott, one of the island's Nobel Laureate (Literature 1993), A great place to make friends on a Pan-Caribbean basis.
"Jazz in the South" started out in 1997 as a small community activity. It quickly distinguished itself through great planning, support and excellent artiste selection as one of the main actors in the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, with its focus on Caribbean and Creole Jazz. "Jazz in the South" is an offspring of Labowi Promotions, established by a small group of people from the southern village of Laborie. It is a cultural project with the ambition to promote and support Caribbean music and musicians, including those residing in the diasporas of Europe and North America, by exposing their work and giving them opportunities to meet, collaborate and create. It is also a community-based project, rooted in the South of Saint Lucia, conceived as an instrument to support economic activity, business opportunities and social cohesion in host communities. This year, Jazz in the South concerts will take place at four different venues, including the magical Balenbouche Estate in Choiseul, the Rudy John Beach Park in Laborie and Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in Vieux Fort. In addition, Jazz in the South will for the first time include a concert in Castries, at the National Cultural centre.
Soufriere Jazz has been touted by many as being the epitome of village jazz. Another Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival must do, Soufriere hosts a myriad of shows at various locations around the town. Jazz on the Waterfront, Sulphur Springs Jazz at the world renowned and only drive-in-Volcano and Jazz at Fond Gens Libre all adorn a delightful calendar that seeks to please any would be patron.