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Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Aruba 2018

5 Unforgettable Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Moments of 2018

Two weekends ago, the 12th edition of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival took place on the One happy island!

A music festival that’s about more than just catchy tunes. It’s about art, food, emotions and sharing great times together.

This was my first Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival. Just studying the line-up, I was expecting it to be great, but I didn’t realize I’d get so much more out of it than just good music.

Upon arrival on Friday evening, I was immediately drawn to the indoor art gallery. I also heard some groovy music playing inside, so I decided to take a peek.

Images for Caribbean Sea Jazz Blog Post

1. The Art Was Amazing

As a bit of an illustration aficionado, the art gallery was my happy place. There were glorious painting and mixed media pieces, sculptures and more on display to be admired or purchased. The artists were present and they would explain the motivation behind the pieces to you.

Images for Caribbean Sea Jazz Blog Post

After having thoroughly explored the gallery, I followed the groovy tune I heard earlier further inside the room. On stage, Eric Essix, Kelly O’Neal, and Karen Bryant.

2. The Audience Enjoying the Music in Their Own Way

It was fantastic to see such a diverse audience at this event. People of all ages and backgrounds had gathered at the Purple Stage to enjoy great jazz. As the  upbeat music played, the audiences was fully captivated. Some people sat down in their chairs with their eyes closed to really take in the colorful sounds, while other people were dancing. Either solo, as a pair, or in a group. The ambiance was festive and the musicians did a great job at delivering a good time.

Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Aruba 2018

The performance was over, I was hungry. Hungry for more music, and hungry for a snack. Naturally, I started making my way over to the food court. On my way there I was delighted to see even more art. Local artisans had set up shop to sell their crafts, souvenirs, and accessories. After shopping around for a bit, I finally made it to the grassy food court, reminiscent of a picnic at the park.

Caribbean Sea Jazz Blog Post images

3. There was A LOT to eat!

One of my favorite things beside art is food! I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how many stands were selling food and drinks. There was a variety of options available, from poffertjes, a Dutch dessert classic, to juicy steaks sliders and so much more.

Satisfied from my delicious picnic, I followed the music to the middle of the venue. There was a very small stage with a single drum set, and a very talented musician passionately playing and drawing the crowd toward him.

Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Aruba 2018

4. Oscar Kraal and Cyril Directie Stole the Show on Drums

On Friday and Saturday, these musicians showed what real passion for your craft is all about. Their sets consisted of quickly changing bars and unexpected accents. Sweat was dripping off of the musicians faces, but that didn’t deter them from delivering a great show.

On both Friday and Saturday, crowds flocked back to the main stage when it was time for the headliners to steal the show.

5. Jorge Celedon and Di-Rect Perfectly Closed out Both Festival Days

On Friday, Jorge Celedon excited fans by singing his famous classics allowing them to passionately sing and dance along. While there were a lot of people, there was enough space to dance around a little without bumping into your fellow festival go-ers!

On Saturday, Di-rect gave a rocking performance, they had the audience jumping, singing along and screaming for just one more song towards the end. The band, mainly known for their rock songs have implemented melodic jazzy elements to their music in recent years, making them the perfect group to close out the festival with a bang! To everyone’s surprise Di-Rect brought out a special guest, Dutch rock legend Barry Hay, to do a song together. The audience was delighted.

There were so many more fantastic musical moments that took place during the festival, from the electric presentation of ANACAONA to Sister Sledge’s performance of their classic “We are Family” that got the entire crowd up on their feet. The entire event was unforgettable, and I look forward to the next one!

Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Aruba 2018

If you’ve missed this year’s edition of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival, don’t worry. Just be sure to stay tuned to the official Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival website for updates on future editions.


Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz, Music

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