16th St. Kitts Music Festival off to a great start
By Drizel Hanley
Now enjoying its 16th anniversary, the multi-genre and star studded St. Kitts Music Festival kicked off with a bang last night, June 28th at the Warner Park Stadium.
Last night was dubbed the “Soca night” and featured the very best artistes in the Calypso and Soca arena.
Starting off the night’s explosive performances was the three time Virgin Islands Carnival Road March Champions, the Spectrum Band, who commanded the audience’s attention with their multiplicity of music styles.
Following that was the Krosfyah Band out of Barbados who are well known for hits such as Road Jam", "Pump Me Up", and "Sak Passe". Lead singer and natural born entertainer Edwin Yearwood also commanded the crowd’s rapt attention.
Occupying the stage next was the Limitless Band who paid tribute to the late Masud Sadiki who was scheduled to perform that same night.
The 37-year-old local reggae superstar met his tragic death on May, 21st, 2012 and his mortal remains were laid to rest at the Springfield Cemetery on Wednesday, June 7th.
Local artiste Nicha B did not disappoint the festival goers as he had them rocking and gyrating to his popular tunes such as “School time lover” and “Bounce and Scant”.
In the past few years Nicha B has emerged as a local favorite.
The next Caribbean female Soca star out of Nevis, Ali Dee took the stage by storm and captured the revelers’ attention with hits including “With or without you” and “Jingle Ball”.
Ali Dee has somehow stepped into the soca arena and has dominated it locally since her first soca release.
The captivating and energetic Soca Diva, Shakki, connected with the crowd and kept them moving to beats such as “High for Carnival”, “Riders only” and “Vicious.
Ms. Starfire became the first St.Kitts-Nevis artiste to be nominated for 3 International Soca Music Awards. Her song “Party Plenty” was nominated in the Best Groovy Soca-Female category and “We losing it” was nominated in the Best Up-tempo Soca-Female category. She was also nominated in the best new artiste-female.
The five-peat Road March Champions, the Grand Master’s Band, ripped up the stage with an exciting selection of songs that had the crowd gyrating, rocking and prancing.
Completing the night’s line-up was Trinidad’s reigning Power and Groovy Soca Monarch and Road March champ Machel Montano and Team HD.
His powerful performance ended the night leaving festival goers wanting more.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Marriott Resort yesterday morning Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism, Sports & Culture, Sen. Hon. Richard Skerritt said that music is an important part of our Caribbean way of life today, as it has been throughout our history.
“Hosting premier music industry events like the annual St. Kitts Music Festival allows us to support local, regional and international artistes while simultaneously attracting Caribbean nationals and other tourists who have a strong desire to experience music as part of an overall vacation experience that connects them to our local people and culture”, said Hon. Skerritt.
Also speaking at the press conference was the Chairman of the Music Festival Committee, Faron Lawrence, who said this year’s musical extravaganza is expected to be another first class act, which could surpass the stellar performances of previous festivals.
He also thanked the many local sponsors who, despite the serious economic and financial challenges facing the country, helped significantly to make this year’s festival a reality and the success it will be.
The action continues tonight, Friday 29th with Lovindeer, Eric Donaldson, U.K Jazz musician, Courtney Pine; Reggae Band, Morgan Heritage; Reggae and Dancehall artiste, I-Octane, Dancehall artiste, Popcaan and Reggae icon, Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley.
The festival climaxes tomorrow, Saturday 30th with Roberta Flack, R&B star, Omarion and Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter, Toni Braxton.
The festival attracts both residents and visitors alike and is known for featuring rising local talent alongside internationally-renowned acts. It features a mix of musical styles on the popular market, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soca, Contemporary and Calypso.