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Jazz on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands Vacation
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
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.
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.
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!
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."
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."
Nearby St. Thomas island
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