When Barbara Cadet entertains local fans and visitors with her music, she usually plays the saxophone. But this remarkable lady does way more than that: she’s a songwriter, composer, arranger, classically trained vocalist and keyboard player. With a wonderful personality, to boot!
A Mancunian – Caribbean with Talent
Barbara Cadet is following a family tradition by being an ambassador for Saint Lucia through her music. She has performed at regional jazz festivals as well as at the launch of the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival promotions in the United Kingdom, Bahamas and United States.
While Barbara’s family hails from this island, she was born in Manchester, UK. This qualified her to audition for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and, out of some 70,000 wannabes, she proved her capability by appearing on television in the final 200. And tells TT that she and Simon Cowell had a great chat about Saint Lucia – an island he knows well!
The Reluctant Teacher
Barbara has a touch of Essex girl in her – she was classically trained in voice, saxophone and clarinet at Colchester Institute. A career in teaching was the natural progression but this did not appeal so she took a year off and returned to her island home. While here, the Saint Lucia School of Music (SLSM) opened. Needing a job, she applied for a teaching post and was astounded to discover that she loved the work!
A believer in promoting opportunities for children, Barbara worked at the SLSM for seven years. Equally passionate about opportunities for women, she co-founded Allegro Pan Groove, an all-female steel pan band of 40 that shook up the male-dominated field. On the vocal side, she founded Sisterhood, a group of nine ladies who have wowed audiences with their amazing voices.Barbara writes music for theatre and has been commissioned to compose pieces to celebrate this country’s significant anniversaries of independence. She has documented, for the Saint Lucia National Archives, the music of four musicals written by Lucian-born Roderick Walcott. For her services to the nation, she was awarded the Saint Lucia Medal of Merit (Gold) in 2004.Barbara’s fans are grateful that, in spite of her busy life, she has made time to record three albums.
Fit for Kings
In 2012 Barbara performed at Buckingham Palace as part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. It seems that her talents are appreciated in royal circles: she took ten members of a steel band, complete with steel pans, with her to Rabat when invited to play at a birthday party for the Prince of Morocco. As for the ‘royalty’ of the jazz world, she has been the opening act for celebrities including Anita Baker, John Legend, Patti Labelle, Tanya Maria and Spyro Gyra.
See Barbara Cadet Perform
Coconut Bay – Monday evenings
Jade Mountain – Thursday evenings
The Landings – alternate Friday evenings
Sandals Halcyon – alternate Friday evenings
If you are not able to catch a live performance, check Barbara’s website: barbaracadet.com to sample her music and buy her albums.