Words by Jesse Serwer—
Just about every island nation has an international music fest nowadays, but there aren’t any others quite like Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival.
Set against the Nature Island’s colorful Independence Celebrations, the three-day October festival is unique in its scope, spanning all variations of Creole music from Haiti to Africa and even New Orleans, along with the occasional reggae or soca superstar. It’s the only festival of its size in the Eastern Caribbean to focus primarily on the region’s indigenous music. So while Machel Montano and Busy Signal are among the draws at this year’s 17th edition, this Friday through Saturday (Oct. 25-27) at Windsor Park Stadium in the capital city of Roseau, so are Kassav, Martinique zouk supergroup Kwaxikolor and Haitian compas kings Carimi. Latin music will also be represented in the form of Tito Puente Jr., son of the great mambo/salsa percussionist and bandleader. Representing Dominica’s homegrown bouyon and cadence sounds are Triple Kay Global and Fitzroy Williams (of Exile One) and Chubby of the Midnight Groovers, while a revue of the island’s top calypsonians will feature six-time Dominica Calypso Monarch King Dice, among others.
LargeUp had the opportunity to experience WCMF last year, and we left so impressed it took us three photo essays to show you everything we witnessed. See some of last year’s photo highlights (or all of them here, here and here) and watch a video of the Mas Band Jump-Up (a brief taste of Dominica’s Carnival, Mas Dominik) below, and read an interview with WCMF co-founder Sobers Esprit here.
And while this year’s fest kicks off this Friday, it’s not too late to make arrangements to get there. Get more info at WCMF’s website here, visit Dominica’s tourism website here, and look out for more on creole culture and the Independence celebrations in Dominica on LargeUp shortly.