The Young History of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival
Although the organizers prefer looking ahead to looking back, the rich history that the festival has already made since its humble beginnings in 2007 deserves mentioning. What was the spark that originally ignited this project? The festival started in the mind of organizer Erik Eman. A musician himself, and music lover through and through, Erik was sorely missing the successful annual Aruba Jazz & Latin Music festival that had taken place from 1986 till 2001. After years of draught, a similar festival was badly needed on the island.
Having lived in The Hague for many years, Erik was heavily inspired by the phenomenal Dutch North Sea Jazz Festival, once created by the legendary Paul Ackett. With tons of hard work and a very modest budget, Erik and his passionate team set out to bring the spirit of that festival to Aruba. And they pulled it off. Over the past seven editions, the event has consistently grown every year, and has managed to attract visitors from all over the world.
The roster of artists that has graced the festival’s stage is dazzling. Famous featured performers such as George Benson, José James, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Willy Garcia, Gualao, Chaka Khan, Oscar D’Leon, Fourplay, Randy Brecker, Pete Philly, Sven Hammond Soul, Kuenta I Tambu, Angie Stone, Eddie Palmieri, Candy Dulfer, Richard Bona, Raul Midon, Tango Extremo, Marcus Miller, Issac Delgado, Michel Camilo, David Sanborn, Izaline Calister, Randal Corsen, The Ploctones, Moon Baker, Anacaona, Praful, Cubop City Big Band, Cosy Cotton and many more have made the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival a truly international event of the highest caliber.
Local artists performing at the Caribbean Sea Jazz have included Armin Solognier, MichelAngelo, Rincon Boys, Time Banditsz, Flame, Lee Connor, Idyllmist, Delbert Bernabela, Johnny Scharbaay, Ivan Jansen, Carlos Bislip, El Prove, and young talents such as Live Xpression, Bambu, Sergio Jansen, Data Panik, Wild Fire, and of course: the SMRW Ensemble that kicks off the festivities each year.
When the steam train was first invented in the late 18th century, many people thought that the apex of technology had been reached. Look it up on your smartphone. With that in mind, we realize that the festival is still in its early stages and firmly believe that the best is yet to come. So jump aboard the CSJF train and take the journey with us!