US university band to perform at Jazz ‘n Creole

Dr. Esprit is coordinator of the exchange program
Dr. Esprit is coordinator of the exchange program

An Afro-Cuban/Brazillian Jazz band from a university in the United States for the first time will perform at this year’s Jazz ‘n Creole Festival slated for Sunday, May 24 at the Cabrits National Park.

The band, Mas Que Nada, is an ensemble of the top students from the Jazz Department in the School of Music at Western Michigan University (WMU) and will be part of an exchange programme organized by the Create Caribbean Research Institute at the Dominica State College.

The band is expected to open the show on Sunday.

Coordinator of the exchange programme for the group, Dr. Shuyler K Esprit said at a press conference held at the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC) office on Thursday that the exchange is possible because of “Dominican connections.”

“One of the members of the Jazz studies programme is the Artistic Coordinator of Mas Que Nada, Dr. Rhea Olivacce… she is a Dominican national,” she stated.

She revealed also that Dr. Olivacce is also employed as a Voice Professor at the University.

She pointed out that Chairman of the Jazz Studies Department at the school, Tom Knific, will join the band on its trip to Dominica.

Knific, a classically trained bassist, composer and educator has toured extensively worldwide.

“Recent highlights include tours of Europe, a tour of South Africa, a Master classes and concerts at the China Conservatory, Beijing,” Dr. Esprit stated.

She said the goal of the exchange programme is to have the students of the WMU learn more about indigenous culture in Dominica and indigenous musical forms.

“So they will be studying everything from Creole infuse Jazz and songs from Michele Henderson and her performances to Jing Ping and other types of musical songs, sort of authentic to Dominican musical culture,” she explained. “While they are here they will also be sharing their classically trained experience with students who will be hosting a workshop at the state college …”

Meanwhile, organizers of the event have made it clear that no bottles and smoking will be allowed on the premises of the festival.

Tickets for the event costs $75 for adults at the gate; $25 for persons between 12 and 18. Children under 12 enter free.

This year at the fringe events there will be a 15 percent discount on the tickets.

Tickets purchased before the main event will be sold at a discount price of $60 rather than $75.

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7 Comments

  1. hello!
    May 10, 2015

    i would like to know where i can purchase a ticket please!!!

  2. Patrol Loaf
    April 24, 2015

    Didn’t read the story, just came to look at her picture… My GOD she is gorgeous. :-D

  3. Purple
    April 24, 2015

    That’s great that the students will get that exchange of knowledge and skill.

    DNO, do you mean that there will be no GLASS bottles allowed? Or no bottles period? lol

  4. Chakademus
    April 24, 2015

    I am fascinated at the mention of Dr Rhea Olivacce, Dominican. Can we have some more info about her? It would be nice to learn of the achievements of our diaspora, especially with such an illustrious surname.

    • wow
      April 24, 2015

      What is an “illustrious surname”? How ignorant. Typical Dominican mentality. Your surname determines how you are treated and if you are respected.

    • Affa
      April 25, 2015

      Sorry chaka, they are my people, Bobby is my boy, but unfortunately u hinting on the milat wozo mentality of the past. That era is long gone, fragments of it only still exists in Haiti though I must add, but dwindling……..sorry padna!

  5. Lady
    April 24, 2015

    Great initiative. What about no alcohol being served or sold at the venue? I went to a similar event in Guadeluope on Easter Sunday with Kasav as headline acts and there was strictly no alcohol on the compound. It was a family event for the entire day and that was very impressive.

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