Trumpeter Etienne Charles will herald the return of the popular Eat, Drink, Jazz (EDJ) Music and Food Festival to the San Fernando Hill on September 30.
Charles and his Creole Soul band headline an impressive cast of jazz acts for the tenth anniversary of the annual showcase. Pianist Chantal Esdelle and her band Moyenne, gospel and R&B singer Nisa (Genisa St Hillaire), jazz singer Ancil Valley and his Ancil the Band, and NLCB Fonclaire Steel Orchestra will entertain.
Valley, the driving force behind the EDJ festival, says the time is right for “a soothing sound” to blow over Trinidad and Tobago, and the 2023 cast has exactly “the right energy the islands need,” a media release said.
Patrons are being asked to wear all white, Valley said in a the release.
“San Fernando Hill has become a mecca for jazz in the southland. Come concert night, we intend to use our combined talents to not only connect with our audience but deputise them as agents of love and change.
"We want to recharge their resolves and empower them with renewed positive energy that they take to their jobs, schools, communities and most importantly their homes, because that is where real, positive change starts.”
Valley said Charles is exactly the right man to lead that love movement. The University of Miami associate professor of studio music and jazz is a Guggenheim Fellow and NAACP Image Award winner for his work with young musicians.
Charles was also recently lauded by international media after a stellar debut of his new works at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan, New York.
“Etienne’s star is undeniably on the rise and we as a nation want to celebrate that and applaud the tireless work, he has put into mastering his craft and impacting the global space. Eat, Drink, Jazz is part of his 22-stop tour marking the tenth anniversary of the release of his break-out, chart-topping album Creole Soul, so he has also in turn made us a part of his celebrations,” Valley said.
For the past decade EDJ has brought music and food lovers together, 190 metres above sea level, for a unique sonic and taste-sensory experience, against the panoramic backdrop of the Gulf of Paria.
Cuban trumpeter Alexis Baro, US singer/songwriter AverySunshine (Denise White) and Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin have shared the EDJ stage over the years with local stars like the late calypsonian Shadow (Winston Bailey), acclaimed sitarist Mungal Patasar, calypso icon Lord Relator (Willard Harris), singer Vaughnette Bigford and soca stars Kees Dieffenthaller and Farmer Nappy (Darryl Henry), among others.
“The past ten years has been an incredible journey, literally building this series from the ground up to what you will see on September 30. We feel re-energised to keep doing the work, and genuinely excited as to what comes next. Whatever it is, we know it will continue to be entertaining,” Valley concluded.
The show runs from 5-11 pm.