While we waxed rhapsodic about the gentle breezes, hypnotic beaches, groovacious vibes and the overall pleasantry of a musical visit to the Cayman Islands, we also noted that the lineup of last year’s Cayman Jazz Fest had only a tenuous connection to jazz.
This year’s is a bit jazzier, with jazz/R&B keyboardist George Duke, jazz/crossover vocal legend Al Jarreau, smooth guitarist Earl Klugh, straight ahead tenor and soprano saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, pop-jazz saxophonist Najee, and gospel vocalist Yolanda Adams, all headlining the second annual Cayman Jazz Fest, December 1, 2, 3 in Grand Cayman, the Cayman Islands.
Local Caymanian musicians will also be featured in the festival, including jazz group Intransit, rock/blues/soul island band Hi Tide, Pandemonium Steelband, husband and wife duo Barrie and Chuck with their island jazz band SEA N’B, and soul diva KayKay.
Thursday DEC 1
Hotel Ballroom (Westin)
Friday DEC 2
Pageant Beach TBC
Saturday DEC 3
Pageant Beach TBC
Notch And Club Dred
Pot and Kitchen Band
Dance Unlimited (Cultural Dance)
Just 480 miles south of Miami, the Cayman Islands (island video here) consist of three islands — Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac — in a tropical paradise totaling 100 square miles of white sandy beaches, crystal blue waters and warm sunshine. The Cayman Island Jazz Festival is but one of the fascinating attractions of Grand Cayman, the largest of the three islands. There are outdoor activities such as golf, snorkeling, horseback riding and parasailing.
The otherworldly Butterfly Farm tropical garden is a palette of the colorful, velvety creatures from around the world. There, you can witness the life cycle of these beautiful insects as they emerge from their eggs and begin their cycle from caterpillar to chrysalis to elegant fliers.
Grand Cayman’s Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a spectacular 65 acres filled with exotic flowers. For a sense of the islands’ history, the National Museum holds more than 4,000 artifacts pertaining to the island’s rich heritage. Other noteworthy attractions on Grand Cayman include the Old Savannah Schoolhouse, the Cayman Turtle Farm and the Pedro St. James Historic Site.
Grand Cayman’s George Town also boasts a vibrant nightlife and shopping districts. The Caymans are duty-free destinations, which can translate into savings on liquor, crafts, souvenirs, clothing, and jewelry. When night falls, the city lights up with an array of dance clubs and bars, ranging from hip-hop and disco, to reggae and calypso.
The Caymans have close to 100 restaurants, from roadside grills and fast-food joints to five-star establishments. Caymanian cuisine is heavily influenced by Jamaica, so expect lots of delicious jerk-chicken, curry, plantains, breadfruits and various seafood dishes.