• Anjaana Downes

The Tobago Jazz Experience: A Culture Lover’s Dream

Updated: May 6

If you’re a lover of food, culture and music, then the Tobago Jazz Experience is a festival that you need to add to your bucket list. Started in 2009, the event has developed into a cultural playground, where patrons from around the world mingle to partake in local food, crafts and music. Typically staged in the month of April every year, the event is a must-attend for many.

Local, regional and international mega-stars have graced the Tobago Jazz Experience stage including David Rudder, George Benson, John Legend, Lauryn Hill, Earth, Wind and Fire, Jennifer Hudson, Kool and the Gang, Mungal Patasar, Tessanne Chin, Trey Songz, Dionne Warwick and most recently in 2019, Toni Braxton and Michael Bolton.

Morgan Heritage Performing at Jazz in the East 2017
Photos provided by Tobago Festivals Commission Limited Morgan Heritage Performing at Jazz in the East 2017

Unfortunately, as is the situation in many countries around the world, the event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19. This year, in spite of the limitations to staging a live event, the Tobago Festivals Commission Limited, which is charged with producing the event, staged a throwback weekend, to ignite the nostalgia in those who have experienced the event previously. The activities included a YouTube playlist featuring some of the heavy hitters who have performed over the years, a day of user-generated content (UCG) encouraging persons to send in their favorite memories, which were posted on the Commissions’ Facebook and Instagram pages, and a Jazz throwback video featuring clips of performances from over the years including Kes the Band, David Rudder, Grace Jones, Ne-Yo, Fantasia and many more.

It is hoped that 2022 will bring with it perhaps the ability to stage an event with a live audience so that music lovers can enjoy the experience together. If not, viewers can stay tuned to their screens for even more digital content to follow.

Wyclef Jean mobbed by fans at the Tobago Jazz Experience 2017

For more on the Tobago Jazz Experience and other Tobagonian events and festivals, follow the Tobago Festivals Commission Limited on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube) using the handle:


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