The culture of Saint Lucia is rich in history. The culture has been influenced by African, French and English heritage. One of the secondary languages is Kreole, a form of French patois..
Saint Lucian popular music can be traced back to the 1940s, when calypso became a part of the island's musical culture. Along with calypso, Lucia has also imported the Trinidadian steelband and soca traditions.
Caribbean music genres:
Steelpan (also known as steel drums or pans, and sometimes collectively with the musicians as a steelband) is a musical instrument and a form of music originating in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Pan is made from a 55 gallon drum of the type that stores oil. The world of steelpan is still thriving. Many ensembles have emerged in recent years which combine the steelpan with other styles of music. More and more artists have begun including the instrument in various genres of music. Click on the Picture of the Steel Pan and view a Video
Soca, or Soul Calypso
The reputed father of soca was Lord Shorty (born Garfield Blackman), whose 1963 recording of "Cloak and Dagger" started the trend. It would be Lord Kitchener who would begin the noticeable and accredited transition and Byron Lee & the Dragonaires, which made soca a West Indian social wave, but the Baha men, Kevin Lyttle, Machel Montano, Walker and others in the 21st century brought it to American recognition. Nicole David is a soca artiste from Saint Lucia. She is referred to as "Saint Lucia's Queen of Soca"*Ref. Wikipedia
Jwé is a form of rural Lucian folk music associated with beach parties, wakes, débòt dances and full moon gatherings. Jwé is performed as an informal, social event that provide the chance for Lucians to show off their verbal skills, and communicate their comedic, social and political commentaries without offending people. Jwé includes both songs for men and women, both of which can be singers, though most Lucian folk instrumentalists are male. A jwé performance is considered good if the audience participates enthusiastically by clapping, responding to the leader and singing and dancing.*Ref. Wikipedia
Kwadril is a Lucian Creole folk dance derived from the European quadrille. It is performed primarily at private parties which are organized by a host in a private home or rented hall, with musicians paid by the host. Kwadrils are held throughout the year, except during Lent. The modern kwadril has declined in popularity; it had come to be seen as a symbol of colonialism around the time of independence, and was shunned as old-fashioned and out-of-date. More recently, some aspects of Lucian society have come to promote the kwadril as a symbol of Lucian culture.
In the month of July, a contest is held. "The Calypso Festival" encourages the finest singers to become King and Queen through competition. The Carnival also features a beauty Queen competition as well as a steel band contest. Colorful costumes move throughout the streets of Castries.
Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in Trinidad at about the start of the 20th century. The roots of the genre lay in the arrival of African slaves, who, not being allowed to speak with each other, communicated through song.
Music education has long been a part of Lucian public education in the primary school age groups. More recently, it has been introduced to older students, many of whom now participate in wind ensembles, steelpan bands and other musical enrichment opportunities. There is also a well-known private Saint Lucia School of Music.
The Ministry of Education sponsors a variety of festivals and other special events. The island is also home to the prestigious Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and the Creole celebration Jounen *Ref. Wikipedia