Saint Lucia’s premiere saxophonist, Luther Francois, has been officially elevated to the status of Cultural Icon. Francois, who is the founder of the St. Lucia Jazz Festival, was bestowed with the honour on Thursday May 11, 2023 after his performance at the Pure Jazz segment of the event.
The musician was recognized for his contribution to Saint Lucian culture by the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) Chairman, Darwin Guard. Guard, noted the invaluable contribution of Francois to the development of the arts in Saint Lucia and noted the brilliance of music. “His works are priceless artifacts of Caribbean culture and with that stirring impact we confirm the designation of National Hero!”, the chairman exclaimed.
Mr. Francois’ impact on Saint Lucian culture is unquestioned. Referred to as the Godfather of Jazz in St. Lucia, the musician has been known to infuse Creole sounds into his music, creating a unique Caribbean-flavored jazz. In 1991 Mr. Francois gave the Creole jazz world one of its greatest annual events, when he created what is now known as the St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival.

In Photo: Luther Francois speaking at Pure Jazz event


After his performance at this year’s festival, Mr. Francois expressed gratitude for the recognition of his work. He also added that the whole concept behind the Jazz festival was to connect people and deepen their appreciation for musical art form.
“When I started this festival, I thought we would be able to bring people together. When we say we’re having a Jazz Festival, I believe we need to look at what’s behind jazz, and what’s behind the real jazz musicians in order to produce a worthy event.”
With this honour, Francois joins the ranks of other iconic proponents of St. Lucian culture such as Dame Sesenne Descartes and Roderick Walcott.

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