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Jazz on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands Vacation

Updated on June 5, 2014
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Music permeates Maren's soul, whether performing (voice, piano, drum, guitar, clarinet) or acting as a crazily enthusiastic audience member.

Jazz on the Beach

If you like Caribbean warmth, both the weather and the people, and jazz performed live - the diminutive island of St. John has the event for you. Every Sunday afternoon from 4:00 to 7-ish, one of the island restaurants features Jazz on the Beach. This is literal. The restaurant touches the beach and sets out plastic tables and chairs on its portion of the winding bay. For those who, like me, go for the sensual pleasure of wiggling one's toes in the glorious sand while sipping a Jamaican Red Stripe beer, bouncing to good tunes done well, "dees ees de place, mon!"

Sip a Beverage on the Beach and Hear Hot Jazz

A very inviting location: Carribbean restaurant-bar with tables right on the beach.  Am I in Heaven?
A very inviting location: Carribbean restaurant-bar with tables right on the beach. Am I in Heaven? | Source

The Beach Bar

That is its name. Simple enough to remember, yes? And, it is very easy to find. As the ferry eases in to the dock at Cruz Bay, the restaurant is visible about 75 yards/meters to the right. As the photo shows, there is a covered veranda protecting the oval bar. Also essential is the stage for performers which is at the end close to the stairs onto the beach.


New Friends

It seems as though all the locals know each other. So, if you get to know one, you soon know many people. We had the very good fortune to follow the recommendation of Julie about the Sunday jazz event. At the bar, we bumped into her and soon were part of her merry band of buddies. I can think of a few things that are worthy of one's time on a Sunday afternoon, and jazz on a warm, welcoming beach with good folks definitely makes my list.

Island Friendliness

"Yeah, baby!"  ;-)
"Yeah, baby!" ;-) | Source

Food and Drink

The food offerings are what I think of as "bar food:" fries/chips, sandwiches, and cooked, but fast, items. Portions are generous. The drinks include RUM (duh), mixed drinks with the islands' flair, and bottled beers. If sitting on the beach itself, one must place the food order at the bar, but it will be brought to you. Service was friendly and efficient.

De place was cookin'

As the music got hotter, the crowd got larger, but not uncomfortably so. Just a good size for a party. There is a core group of musicians which holds down this Sunday gig, but if a local musician or a professional visiting the islands drops in, you are in for a treat. Perhaps this was a regular feature, but I was delighted that some of the band's numbers included harmonica or flute. You don't count on that with a jazz combo, but done well, it is perfection!

Caribbean Sunset

Photo kindness of Bruce Thomson, copyright 2008.
Photo kindness of Bruce Thomson, copyright 2008.

If jazz doesn't call to you the way it does to me, "no worries." This restaurant still has much to recommend. The obvious is the location. The bonus of Sunday afternoon Jazz on the Beach is Sunday sunset on the beach. The most descriptive word for this is: "wow."

A markerSt John, US Virgin Islands -
St. John 00830, USVI
get directions

The Beach Bar is very close to the ferry dock.

Superlatives All Around

The Beach Bar's Sunday jazz on the beach has it all: great music, super food and drink, fantastic location, and perfect weather. As Robert Browning penned, "God's in His heav'n, all's right with the world."

Maren Morgan samba'd in the sand with the Caribbean Sea lapping at her toes, embraced the warmth of the sun, and laughed with friends. She WILL be returning to the Islands!

First two photos and text copyright 2008 Maren Morgan


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    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Wow-- well none of us can research everything before we go on a vacation. If you are lucky, you'll get to return and hear the Sunday jazz.

    • gailalovesbijou profile image

      gailalovesbijou 6 years ago from Wyomissing, PA

      Wish I would have read this before we went. Sounds very cool! We stayed at Gallows Point, which is a stone's throw away from the Beach Bar. Nice article!

    • profile image

      Bruce 7 years ago

      VERY IMPRESSIVE! And thanks for including my name and pictures.

    • dburlison profile image

      dburlison 8 years ago

      Very nice hub..I've been to the Beach Bar to listen and actually play a liitle jazz with the group on Sunday.(Also,excellent bar food).I use to live and practiced law on St Thomas a couple of years ago..You can actually walk to the Beach Bar from the ferry landing in Cruz Bay,St John...For some more local insights on the Virgin Islands, just go to my website: .

      Smooth sailing,D Burlison