Services Sector Development & Export

Belize To Take The Stage At New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The Belize Coalition of Service Providers (BCSP) in collaboration with the Directorate General for Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade, and Commerce announces the upcoming opportunity for the music industry to export their services as the Music Industry Association of Belize (MIAB) and Music Ambassador have worked along with festival organizers and BELTRAIDE to showcase Belize’s unique and diverse cultural heritage, – Maya, Mestizo, Garifuna and Kriol – as they will take centre stage at the 46th Annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, April 22nd through May 1st at the 145-acre New Orleans Fair Grounds and Racetrack, just outside the world renowned French Quarters of New Orleans, Louisiana.

The event is expected to attract 500,000 attendees who will see Belize celebrated at a specially-curated and eclectic line-up of musical performances, dance troupes, cooking demonstrations, cultural displays and a photo exhibit. In addition to the Belizean musicians, many world renowned headliners will be performing, including Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Snoop Dogg, Paul Simon and more.

Belize is the focus of the Festival’s 2016 Cultural Exchange Pavilion. Each year, the pavilion, which is in the centre of the Fair Grounds, amidst 14 stages and tents, spread out over the Fair Grounds’ infield and grandstand, puts the spotlight on a contributions of specific nations, such as Haiti and Brazil, or important New Orleans culture providers, such as Mardi Gras Indians and, most recently, NOCCA in 2015.

Along with music (Punta Rock, Brukdown, Paranda and other Belizean beats by The Garifuna Collective, Talla Walla Vibrations, Sweet Pain with Chico Ramos and Supa G, Bredda David & Tribal Vibes, and the Wagerirale Drummers in and outside the Cultural Exchange Pavilion, there will also be live demonstrations of Jippi Jappa basket weaving, slate carving, drum making and the preparation and baking of Cassava bread—a Garifuna staple—on a fire hearth. For a full schedule of performances, please visit

Valérie Guillet, Cultural Exchange Pavilion Coordinator at the Festival, said “When time came to select a country to highlight at the 2016 Jazz Festival in New Orleans, Belize was a natural choice for the Festival Producer, who had witnessed the power of Afro-Caribbean traditions in Punta Gorda decades ago, while attending the Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations.

We are excited to share Belize’s best-kept secrets at the Festival Cultural Exchange Pavilion this year, by inviting Garifuna, Creole, Mayan and Mestizo artists to present the country’s exceptional range of musical styles and traditions to our audience.  Fans come to Jazz Fest from all over the world, and we know they will be as enchanted as we are with the culture of Belize.