If there is anything that brings sailors together more than boats and rum – its music; although Grenada is a small island at the end of the Caribbean chain it has lots to offer budding musicians and music fans. Cruisers congregate here year round and where there are cruisers, there is music.
Of course, cruisers wouldn’t be cruisers if they couldn’t bring along their musical instruments and jam with others. A well-established jam session is the Tuesday Jam held at the West Indies Beer Co., in Lance Aux Pines.
Vanessa Haynes of Neptune II says: “The Tuesday Jam sessions have become an institution in Grenada over the years, thanks to the many cruiser musicians who get up there and give it a go”. Vanessa and husband Gary play guitar and sax respectively with their son Elliot (who looks after the mixing at the weekly event) and have been instrumental in organizing the jam sessions and helping the event grow. “Over the past five years the Cruisers’ Jam has morphed from an acoustic circle over in Whisper Cove to an open mic session at Secret Harbour, where it became known as the Tuesday Jam. As more cruisers, expats and local musicians participate the Tuesday Jam has made the leap to the West Indies Brewery,” Vanessa explains.
The Jam is a huge success, gathering together some incredible talent. The Brewery is a great venue and has been very accommodating, including investing in new sound equipment. A shuttle between the bays is provided for the cost of a beer, which you collect free on arrival. It’s one of the only places you can get a real ale or cider in the islands and they serve a cruiser priced menu as well.
For the last few years Nimrod’s rum shop in Lower Woburn has hosted Thursday night jam sessions with Country Dave and friends. Nimrod’s is an iconic setting, the epitome of what a Caribbean rum shop should be; rustic, friendly and welcoming. Country Dave and select friends hold the stage for a few sets before handing the mic over to other musicians – everyone is welcome, it’s a casual affair; just bring along your own instrument … Oh, and they serve the best ribs in town too.
Then there are the more unusual events, like the dinghy concerts –The brainchild of Dieter Burkhalter, owner of Le Phare Bleu Boutique Hotel and Marina, who wanted to bring his love of the sea and music together. The concert held on a barge, can only be reached by dinghy, making this a truly unique experience. It is heaps of fun and great opportunity to see some excellent talent for free.
The monthly Full Moon Parties at Benji Bay, Clarks Court, are a fantastic mix of local and cruiser artists and bands. As the moon rises over the stage the bands perform to a party atmosphere that runs well into the night. You can eat, drink and dance the night away under the glorious light of the moon.
There are many bars, restaurants and hotels where you can see live music, often unique and interesting blends of different styles and genres with a Caribbean flair. Prickly Bay Marina is the place to be on a Friday night if you want to listen to Steel Pan with a live band after. The Dodgy Dock at True Blue Bay, Le Phar Bleu, The Aquarium and Umbrellas are a few of the places you can easily get to from the southern bays. Every now and then the infamous Rogers Beach Bar on Hog Island will host a band on a Sunday afternoon to play on the cobbled together stage over-hanging the water’s edge.
Drummer Nigel Heaton from yacht Steel Appeal says: “Grenada has an active music scene that brings together an eclectic mix of music for all tastes. From Grenada’s very own calypso, reggae and soca to jazz, rock and folk, there is something for everyone …”
This is just a snippet of what is available in Grenada, new gigs and jams pop up all the time. There is so much on offer, if you are a cruiser and a music lover; Grenada is the place to be.