The Guadeloupe Islands get ready for the Saint-Georges International Music Festival March 16-23, 2019

Press release


Following an acclaimed U.S. preview this January at the Schomburg Research Center in Black History in Harlem, New York

New York, February 7, 2019 - The March 16-23, 2019 Saint- Georges International Music Festival is a tribute to Joseph BOLOGNE (1745-1799), better known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges, historical figure born in Guadeloupe who was a virtuoso violinist, conductor and the first known Black composer. He influenced fellow composers of the time Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and authors including Alexandre Dumas. He was also a renowned fencer and the colonel of the famous "Légion Saint-Georges," the first all black military regiment in Europe where he fought for equality in the face of France’s Slavery Trade laws.

This second edition of the Saint-Georges International Music Festival will be the event of the year for the Guadeloupe archipelago as it will mark the 220th anniversary of the death of Guadeloupe’s first Champion, Virtuoso and Hero. Concerts will take place in some of the most emblematic landmarks of the butterfly archipelago such as The Memorial ACTe, St Pierre and St Paul Cathedral and also in the city of Baillif, birthplace of Chevalier de Saint-Georges. On the program of the festival: grand concerts, chamber music, cross over jazz nights, conferences and master classes.

An acclaimed U.S. preview of the festival was performed on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at the celebrated Schomburg Research Center in Black History in Harlem, New York. The preview concert featured 15 musicians from the Saint-Georges International orchestra and for the first time in the U.S. Guadeloupean Soprano Leïla Brédent, under the direction of conductor Marlon Daniel, the festival’s Artistic and Music Director.

“We are thrilled about this second edition, as the CTO has declared 2019 “The Year of Festivals for the Caribbean.” This Festival is unique because it celebrates the musical heritage of the first known Black composer and the most diverse orchestra in the world. The Saint-Georges International Music Festival is the symbol of Excellence in Diversity and we are looking forward to welcoming classical music lovers on the occasion of the 220th Anniversary of Guadeloupe’s first Champion, virtuoso and Hero” said The Honorable Ary Chalus, President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe.

Marlon DANIEL, one of the most dynamic conductors of his generation will be directing the festival and internationally renowned artists such as Soprano Janinah BURNETT, rising stars mezzo-soprano J’Nai BRIDGES or bass Solomon HOWARD (who has just received the Kennedy Center Marian Anderson Vocal Award) and musicians Romuald GRIMBERT-BARRÉ, Sami JUNNONEN, just to name of few of the 40 musicians that will compose the Saint-Georges’ International orchestra.

Press contact: Sandra VENITE -

More info about the festival:

Photo captions

Photo 1: From left to right : Sandra VENITE, US Director, Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board; Leila BREDENT, Guadeloupean Soprano; Marlon DANIEL, Conductor & Music Director of the Saint-Georges Music Festival; Novella FORD, Associate Director of Public Programs and Exhibitions at the The Schomburg Center.

Photo 2: Novella FORD, Associate Director of Public Programs and Exhibitions, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency