Erik Eman and the organization of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival has just announced the unfortunate cancellation of this year’s popular series of concerts in September.
Eman shared the news with friends, crew members, artists, sponsors, volunteers, and past visitors of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival with a heavy heart.
The organization has been making progress lining up this year’s program having applied for its annual subsidy with branding partners such as the Aruba Airport Authority, Tropical Bottling, Renaissance Aruba Resort, Divi Resorts and various other generous entities when the news broke that due to budgetary restrictions the Aruba Tourism Authority will not be coming on board for 2019, withdrawing its support as the main sponsor. The subsidy request submitted by the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival was consistent with last years’ amount, yet unfortunately for 2019, the sponsorship has not been accredited.
With little time left until September, the plan to explore other options became unfeasible, and the organization had no choice but cancel what would have been the 13th edition of the event.
The Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival has been the longest existing locally organized festival in Aruba. It enjoyed a steady support of local musicians and it allowed them the opportunity to perform on an international level in collaboration with world renowned artists. The festival’s educational outreach introduced schoolchildren on the island to a different type of music, Jazz, and new instruments they have never seen before.
The festival has been growing in past years especially since its move to the Renaissance Marketplace area, and Eman’s desire to guarantee the reputation of the event in Aruba and overseas, convinced him that minimalizing the event for 2019 was not a good option.
Wishing to stay true to the original format and level of delivery the organization decided to put the festival on hold this year and fully focus on the 2020 edition.
That said, the organization still intends to produce a smaller version of the event in cooperation with loyal sponsoring partners in order to not disappoint music fans. Additionally, the smaller platform will serve as stage when Berkeley University visits the island for scouting purposes, eager to meet the Aruban musicians, practicing their talents in front of a live audience.
Eman, who gave the festival his all during the past 12 years, considers this a bump in the road. He is positive that eventually the cultural contribution of the event and its civic benefits will be recognized beyond calculated return on investment.
Music is part of our culture, and with the addition of jazz to the repertory of sounds played on the island, makes One Happy Island even happier.
Look forward to a small real “jazzy” festival, the “Casibari Music Festival” held at Casibari Music Café on September 20 and 21, 2019. So stay tuned.