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Jazzing up Bridgetown.

Collymore Hall in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, will be a-jumpin' and a-thumpin' for five days in late May, every one of its 491 seats occupied for the Seventh Annual Barbados/Caribbean Jazz Festival.

If you just happen to be on that beautiful windswept Caribbean isle at the time, drop by. The price couldn't be more right--just US$50 for five jazz-packed concerts featuring some of the region's top talents, or US$20 for an individual concert. If you can find an empty seat, that is.

The headline attraction for the May 23-26 event will be fusion flutist Dave Valentin of Puerto Rico. Valentin will be accompanied by Ron Hayes of the U.S. on drums; Jimmy Heath (also known as "Little Bird") on tenor saxophone; Rudy Smith, a noted steel pan player from Trinidad; Steve Williamson, pianist and bright young star of the British jazz scene; Cecil Payne on the piano, and Charmaine Neville, vocalist. Barbados will be represented by the hot Adrian Clarke Quintet.

A fourth concert will be an open-air event in Bridgetown, the scenic Barbadian capital; and a fifth will take place aboard the Bajun Queen, an excursion ship which travels along the scenic west coast of the island. In addition, there will be jazz sessions nightly at The After Dark, the island's leading jazz club.

Since its start in 1985, the festival has become a uniquely international musical event with a strong Caribbean flavor, featuring musicians and groups from Antigua, Barbados, Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, Guadaloupe, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.

Organized by the National Cultural Foundation, the festival has always been held in late May. As the tourist season is winding down at that time, the event does not attract a flood of new visitors to the island, a tourism official declared. He added, however, that the festival draws extremely well from among the tourists and jazz fans still in Barbados, as well as from the Barbadians themselves.

"There is a simple reason that it has become an annual event," he said with a smile. "It's popular."
COPYRIGHT 1991 Organization of American States
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Seventh Annual Barbados/Caribbean Jazz Festival to be held in Collymore Hall in Bridgetown, Barbados
Author:Goethals, Henry
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Article Type:column
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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