ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
When the calendar rolled over to January 26, 2011 in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the bold print at the top of it was the 8th Bequia Mount Gay Music Festival. Nestled in the midst of the Music Festival was another festival called the Mustique Blues Festival organised by Basil Charles and Dana Gillespie. Taken together, it was four days of ear candy held at various locations. (Now, name me another festival-in-a-festival, anywhere in the world!)
One could tell that the Bequia Music Festival was not billed as a star-studded event, if you know what I mean. The impression was that the double-festival was more about presenting the local and visiting crowds with honest-to-goodness entertainment in a holiday setting that is Bequia.
The welcome mat was laid out for a steelpan orchestra, Blues and Jazz ‘n’ Blues bands, a Rock, Hip-Hop and Pop band, a Jazz, Blues and Rock band and a String Band.
In came a London Blues Band, a Blues pianist, a trumpeter and a guitarist from the US, a piano and sax duo from out of Europe and singer Marie Claire (Giraud) from the Commonwealth of Dominica. Marie Claire participated in an impromptu Jam Session involving some twenty musicians at the Bequia Beach Hotel in Friendship on the Saturday afternoon.
Well represented on the stages of the double-festival were Vincentian bands, which was a refreshing outcome. The Vincies brought String band music to the festival, their very own Vincentian Blues Band with keyboardist Robert “Patches” Knights and Bequia Blues Band, singer and songwriter from Bequia, Amanda Gooding, and soloists on keyboards and guitar.
But it is to De Reef in Lower Bay on the second big night of the double-festival that we go for the Caribbean Clash. In one corner was the Caribbean’s saxiest man, virtuoso Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin; and in the other was legendary Bajan Blues guitarist Toby Armstrong with panman David “Ziggy” Walcott.
“Arturo Tappin’s individuality and range of material transcended all the musical events I’ve seen in my life,” enthused Duane Arthur. “What he played in 90 minutes spanned about ten music generations. I was blown away!” Many more were lost for words just watching him play. (Source: begos.com)
Watch Toby Armstrong and David “Ziggy” Walcott – duelling guitar & Pan + guest vocalist Philip Scantlebury from Barbados
Apart from the begos.com review cited above, we have a few comments about and a Slide Show from the Bequia Music Festival
More to come…