There is just something smooth and sultry about jazz that makes it the perfect music for setting a romantic mood. While recorded jazz is great, live jazz is even better. Imagine listening to some live jazz with the one you love, at a historical waterfront venue on St. Croix, as the sun sets over the Caribbean…it doesn’t get much more romantic than that!
Some people say that jazz is America’s only true art form. Jazz music has a long, rich history originating from the African American culture in the late 19th century and rising to popularity in the mid-1900s, when it captured the attention of romantics across the world. The beauty of jazz music is in its diversity; you can opt for the fast-paced beats of scat jazz, or slow things down with the sultry and smooth rhythm of blues and Motown. Jazz has all the elements that other music has, plus a little something extra. Jazz has the melody of the song, which is the part you’re most likely to remember. It has harmony, and it definitely has rhythm (which is really the heartbeat of the song). What sets jazz apart is the improvisation, or ability of jazz musicians make up the music on the spot. Improvisation is an amazing skill unique to jazz musicians. Whatever makes jazz so different, it certainly sets a romantic tone.
Here on St. Croix, there are two FREE monthly events where you can enjoy live jazz at sunset: ‘Sunset Jazz’ in Frederiksted, and ‘Jazz in the Park’ in Christiansted. On the third Friday of each month, ‘Sunset Jazz’ is held in Frederiksted at the Buddhoe Park pavilion, just north of the Frederiksted Pier, from 6:00pm until 9:00pm. On the last Friday of each month, from 5:30pm until 7:30pm, ‘Jazz in the Park’ is held at the bandstand on the lawn of Fort Christiansvaern in downtown Christiansted. Both of these events include an impressive roster of local, Caribbean, and international jazz musicians for your listening pleasure.
While the act listening to jazz can be romantic all on its own, you can always up the romance factor to make the sunset jazz events even more memorable. Consider bringing a blanket for you and your special someone to sit on so you can cuddle up together as the soulful sounds of jazz wash over you. As the rhythm of the music begins to move you, embrace the one you love and dance as if no one else was there. As the melodic sounds of the music float across the water, hold hands and go for a stroll to watch the sun set and stars come out. You can also bring some bubbly and snacks and set up a romantic picnic for the two of you to enjoy during the show (or you can buy drinks and food at the vendor tables to support local causes).
Whether you are a resident or a visitor to St. Croix, I highly recommend that you take in at least one of these monthly jazz events. It is an evening of great music in an unforgettable setting. For a romantic evening, bring your someone special and make a date night of it. If you, don’t worry not! These events are fun whether you go solo, invite your friends, or even bring your family (since these are both family-friendly events). Remember to bring a blanket or lawn/beach chairs if you want to sit down, or feel free to dance the night away. In honor of the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans: ‘Laissez les bon temps roulez’ (or ‘let the good times roll’)!
– Jennie Ogden, Editor
Editor’s Notes: Christiansted’s ‘Jazz in the Park’ is sponsored by Community Music, Inc., a Virgin Islands non-profit organization formed to encourage and promote social harmony and educational enrichment through music, and to raise funds to create The St. Croix Music Center. The purpose of this center will be to promote musical growth, development, and production through instructional classes, workshops, recitals, and concerts. Donations are accepted to keep this event going and support Community Music, Inc.; you can show your support by giving a donation to any committee member during the monthly concerts or you by mailing your donations to: Community Music, Inc., P.O. Box 1427, Christiansted VI 00821.
Frederiksted’s ‘Sunset Jazz’ is sponsored by the Frederiksted Economic Development Assocation (FEDA) and it is a family and pet friendly event. To pay for the overhead and keep this event free to the public, FEDA sets up bar and food vendor stations. Please show your support of this ongoing event by giving them your patronage.