Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet at the Earshot Jazz Festival

Steve Turre

My trip down to the Caribbean for the first annual Tranquility Jazz Festival was a washout-literally. While visions of lying on the sandy white beaches of Anguilla, sipping rum punches in a Speedo, snorkeling for coral and otherwise cavorting in enticing pools of aqua blue surf danced in my head, the reality was record amounts of rain that approached biblical proportions. Not knowing whether to begin building an ark out of discarded coconuts and conch shells or embrace the foul elements by making the best of a wet situation, I decided to let the drama unfold, hoping for a ray of sun to break through the monsoon-like conditions from day to day and put a smiley face on the relentlessly gloomy, rain-soaked proceedings. It never happened. Locals on the tiny island, a British Dependent Territory, said it was the most rain they had gotten in November in more than two generations. The relentless rainfall produced widespread erosion on the primitive dirt roads, which made traveling difficult, along with oodles of puddles of water, which produced tons of mosquitoes and-you get the picture.

In the four days that I spent in Anguilla, I never donned my newly purchased sunglasses once and never cracked the seal on a fresh bottle of sunscreen. The prevailing weather system which hovered over the island like an evil shroud of doom, combined with an abundance of lightning dancing around our tiny propeller-driven plane on a frightening ride from Anguilla to San Juan on the way back home, turned this journey into my own personal Fear And Loathing in Anguilla. Thank god there was a continual supply of free rum punches, courtesy of the Anguilla Tourist Board, to help wash away the blues that wouldn’t leave.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published