From the Archives of Judy C Deterville – Ants at Jazz

First published in the Mirror Newspaper – Friday May 26 1995 – 

MOTHER ANT: Ouch, don’t you dare sit there! Give me back my biscuit. who do you think you are? What are you doing? This is my space! Move over; don’t stay there. Oh no, not another one.

FATHER ANT: Two days ago this place was so peaceful, now we can barely breathe. What is going on? Why are these people here in such droves? Where are we supposed to go?

SON ANT: Let’s form a line and move out. There must be a track that we can follow. Let’s get everybody together. Come on, quickly!

FATHER ANT: Okay; all solders take the lead. Men, fall back to the rear. Women, children, middle. Stay together. Everyone be quiet. Listen for the signal. If anything goes wrong, scatter. When you hear the scream, fall back in line. Move out.

JAZZ ENTHUSIAST: Look, there’s a row of ants. Kill the buggers!

FATHER ANT: (quietly) If he touches you, bite his finger off! Show no mercy.

JAZZ ENTHUSIAST: (Screams Loudly)

SOLDIER ANT (#1): Looks like we’ve lost two good soldiers. But we can’t stay here, let’s move on quickly.

SOLDIER ANT (#2): Why should we leave? Why can’t we fight for our space? We were here first. Nobody asked us whether we wanted to be part of the festival. No one gave us free passes. There are enough of us here to attack them all.

FATHER ANT: What? Are you crazy? Don’t you see the great numbers of people here? We can’t even circle the whole area! And they are so large! We can’t get through the undergrowth without being spotted. Use your commonsense and think! There must be a better way.

SON ANT: Well, we could just lie low and hear what it is that they are all so piped up about.

MOTHER ANT: What are you saying; listen to Jazz Music? Like the Humans?

FATHER ANT: Well, you could have a point there you know. This could be something big. I mean they’ve been here from so early! Let’s try to find a good spot.

SOLDIER ANT (#1): While we’re at it, we might as well get some good food.

SON ANT: Ah! I’ve got it. Let us make a circle around this large family. We must get some goodies from them. Don’t get under the towels, you may get squashed. Avoid the legs and hands at all cost. Come on folks I hear the music starting.

MOTHER ANT: Well I guess these humans really know something we don’t. I can certainly dig that music. Why didn’t we come last year?

FATHER ANT: Look at it this way. We’ll make it much earlier next year, and we’ll book front stage seats.

SON ANT: Oh come on stop talking. Let’s just soak in some of this good Jazz Music…

2017 update: In 2016, Saint Lucia put on what some might describe as an incredible Saint Lucia Jazz event, in commemoration of 25 years of the festival, which by then had been re-branded as the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival. George Benson, Kool and the Gang, Ronald “Boo” Hinkson and Kazzav were among the head-liners.

This year, St. Lucia Jazz will be reworked into a summer of festival events spanning about 6 months. Welcome Soleil – A Summer of festivals;  SOLEIL – the Saint Lucia Summer Festival, a series of six festivals taking place from May through to October. Before the ink would have dried on this release, advertisements have already started running on broadcast media, building momentum for this year’s event. After all of the confusion – and there has been plenty – about whether Jazz is on or off on the island, and after 25 (successful) years of execution, we are still trying to get the formula right.

So it is on. At least the ads say so. I cannot get an update on how ticket sales are going, but I do not get a sense that people are rushing to ticket outlets, online or otherwise. It will be a slow climb to get there this year. But it is ironic that some of the very people who started the festival (26 years ago now) are among the ones who took the decision to change the festival, which is what has added to the confusion about the festival. But, change is good. I just hope that Lapli (rain) does not become the main event over any of the next 6 months.


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