You pulled the plug on the wrong thing!

CSJF 2019 cancelled

I remember the shock I felt mid-2017 when a press release from Percy Pinedo announced that CURAÇAO NORTH SEA JAZZ 2017 CANCELLED. The release said: “The Curaçao North Sea Jazz will not take place in 2017 after all. This has been decided, with a heavy heart, by Fundashon Bon Intenshon and Mojo Concerts. After a renewed effort, sparing no trouble or expense, to realize a high quality program, it turned out that no main acts were available for the festival weekend.”

Wow, I thought, the issue is not the issue, they must have run into money or political problems, otherwise why abort an incredibly effective, island-wide, money-makers.

I did not feel like that when I heard that Aruba’s beloved Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival cancelled for 2019. It was never a money-maker, and in terms of ROI, return on investment, it didn’t add up, but it was a source of incredible artistry and memorable moments. It consistently delivered a much-needed cultural experience, all other crazy music & drink fests failed to bring.

The Metropolitan Opera in New York suffers from that same plague, in terms of ROI, the sacred return on investment, things don’t add up there, especially after paying world-class musicians, chorus members and prima donnas.


You cannot judge the vibrant Metropolitan Opera House, on Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, in strictly economic terms, you have to take a broader view and look at it in terms of its cultural, civic and social contributions to the society in which it operates.

We must make room for Performing Arts, because of their related added-value, namely cultural, civic and social contributions to the society in which WE live.

Year after year the CSJF delivered an opportunity to connect, to feel-good, to have a bonding experience, to network and to forge strong relationships among local concert-goers. It also brought in a modest number of tourists who wholeheartedly enjoyed the immersion experience.

We left the arena at the end of the concert walking on air, feeling good about the island, our friends, and life in general. We felt elated.

Take this away, and replace it by long lines at Ontvanger, road blocks due to road construction, rising gas prices, unchecked proliferations of UTV/ATV, incidences of spousal and child abuse, the off-season, lack of zoning laws, millennial apathy, scarcity of workers, the long wait at the ER, the heat, pis-pis and ticks, and you got yourself a fit to be tied bunch of local residents without a concert-weekend to look forward to in September, for relief.

Bottom-line: I am sure it hurt when Eric Eman and the organization of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival had to announce the unfortunate cancellation of this year’s popular series.

He is a consummate music lover and did an excellent job at consistently upgrading the experience over the past 13 years.

He is working on a smaller Jazzy Festival format, to be held at the Casibari Music Café September 20 & 21.

Question: Did his last name play a role in the decision to cancel the sponsorship and pull the plug on the subsidy?! Just asking.

Because if it did. You pulled the plug on the wrong thing!


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May 15, 2019
Rona Coster