Dominica WCMF Night One – A Zouk Paradise

Antigua’s Soca diva Claudette ‘CP’ PetersAntigua st. john's - Three nights of pulsating rhythms is what was promised and if one were to make a projection based on the standings of night one of the World Creole Music Festival’s entertainment weekend – it is undoubtedly clear that the Dominica Festivals Commission (DFC) is spot-on in keeping its promise.

Dominicans living in Antigua & Barbuda who would have flooded the Nature Isle over the past few days were undoubtedly evident in the masses. Antigua’s Soca diva Claudette ‘CP’ Peters, who boasts a proud Dominican ancestry, was among the performers of the opening night of festivities.

The ‘Sweet 16’ chapter of what has quite rightly matured into one of the Caribbean’s premier annual events, opened fittingly with the ‘Creole’ of the Caribbean.

With headline acts like LADRAC - Thierry Marthély out of Martinique, Disip Gazzman of Haiti, ASA Bantan, Tanya St. Val and WCK, there was no way that the crowd of thousands of creole music lovers were going to budge from the Windsor Park Roseau venue.

The performances, which had all been delivered beyond expectations, tapped into both the jumpy and groovy type sections of the genre.

And despite the absence of the acclaimed Kreyola - Luc Leandry, Stephan Ravor and Zouk Machine all added tremendously to top off the night seamlessly with breathtaking and energy-infused performances that blended effortlessly together.Claudette ‘CP’ Peters

Haiti’s Disip Gazzman delivered an energy-filled Compas show as the band entered the stage second in line, and all but committed its performance to Dominica’s late great Jeff Joe in whose honor the first night of performances were dedicated.

The band’s lead singer Gazzman Couleur performed exceptionally well in tandem with the serenading sounds of guitars and saxophones, and of course audience interaction.

Further down the lineup were legends of Zouk music, Tanya Saint Val and – the ‘all-girl-band’ that rose to stardom in 1989 – Zouk Machine. These ladies are the ones considered to have really set the tone for the night.

Following the legends was quite fittingly Luc Leandry, who had also reigned supreme in the genre’s golden age of the 1980s. He delivered a one-off performance in what seemed like a determination not to be outdone by the ladies who preceded.

Leandry performed with Stephane Ravor and produced a reflective kind of ambiance that not only touched those who lived through the Zouk golden ages, but also instilled a sense of belonging in the new generation of Zouk lovers.

There was no better way to end the night, or rather the morning, but with Dominica’s own WCK Band. This energetic group never fails to deliver in the Bouyon genre, especially when at home.

WCK, which featured briefly Antigua’s Claudette Peters, is considered by far among the top groups of Bouyon music, performing constantly across the Caribbean, North America and Europe. The band has become something of a customary showcase of the Dominica World Creole Music Festival.

Night two of the festival is poised to open with the Fanatik Band, and then move forward with Fredo and later with Antigua & Barbuda’s Onyan.

Triple Kay, Krosfyah, and Rah are also to be showcased along with reggae legend Tarrus Riley.

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