The Naniki Music Festival took its inaugural musical ride in January 2013, launching in the beautiful, historic island of Barbados over five music-filled days. Since its inception, the concert series has continued in the breathtaking islands of Antigua, Grenada, St. Vincent, and Suriname, featuring an impressive lineup of international musicians, with the signature annual launch in Barbados each January.
The shows treat jazz fans to both international and Caribbean performers of the highest caliber in exotic settings, with legendary as well as emerging talent, including: Roy Haynes, Randy Weston, Mary Wilson, The Oscar Peterson Legacy Band, Cedar Walton, David ‘Happy’ Williams, T.S. Monk, Danny Mixon Quartet with Denise Thimes, Melanie Fiona, Neena Freelon, Elan Trotman, Jeff Lorber, Tia Fuller, Kellylee Evans Quartet, Cynthia Holiday, Shakura S’aida, Archie Alleyne & Kollage, and Derek McKeith.
Naniki has also presented a phenomenal lineup of Caribbean artistes including: Arturo Tappin, The Mighty Gabby, Tessanne Chin, Maxi Priest, David Rudder, Denise Jannah, Andy Narell and Relator‘s ‘University of Calypso’, Rhea Drakes, Ricky Brathwaite, Soca Queen Alison Hinds, Cameron Pierre, Reggie Boyce, Buyu Ambroise, Alexis Baro, Nikita, Peter ‘Zack’ Bernard, Shontelle, Alternative Quartet, Quiet Fire, Emily Rapier, Guy Marc Vadeleux, Mario Canonge, 1688 Big Band, Frankie McIntosh, Pabo Nahar, and the Happy Lewis Project.
The Naniki brand is building worldwide recognition and becoming synonymous with tourism development by combining inspired and high quality jazz musical performances with educational programs and leisure activities such as golf and bridge. The safari concept reflects the excitement and movement of the events as we journey across countries to new and appealing venues, attracting a wide variety of visitors, international music and entertainment personalities, media personnel and music enthusiasts.
The safari features a first for jazz offerings with the exciting MUSIC IS FUN interactive sessions for young musicians, who are also admitted free at selected outdoor venues during the safari. This regional outreach, with its fundamentals in quality performance, education and tourism, shines the Caribbean light.
The Naniki Music Festival is the brainchild of Tom Hinds, managing director of Damal Investments and well-known producer of high-quality jazz events at his scenic Naniki Restaurant and Lush Life Resort in St. Joseph, Barbados. The unique event is under the aegis of Damal Investments, the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the tourism authorities of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.
Naniki has been recognized as the home of jazz in Barbados for more than a decade. The popular ‘SundayJazz’ buffet with live jazz has become a feature on the Barbados entertainment calendar where locals and visitors savour the fine food, great music and the incomparable panorama in the cool St. Joseph hills. He has welcomed icons such as Oscar Peterson, Frank Morgan, Miriam Makeba, Monty Alexander, Roy Haynes, George Cables, David Hazeltine, David ‘Happy’ Williams and many others.