Tobago Jazz... what an experience.

I'd never been to any jazz festival, so when presented with the opportunity to attend not one, but all three Tobago Jazz events? I'm jumped at it. The Tobago Jazz Experience has been a stalwart on the Tobago calendar of events for years and 2023 was the return after Covid. Was I excited? Absolutely! So I needed to prepare for all the festivities. 

First step, get some outfits for the five days I'd be in the sister isle. A trip to one of my favourite boutiques Kaytique Store in Arima served as inspiration. 

@blessednelly_ #paidpartnership So I’ll be going to the Tobago Jazz Festival this month and since the theme is "Much more than music" it means that I have to find some outfit ideas to match not only the festival events, but also all the other activities that I may end up doing while I'm in the sister isle. So I paid a visit to @Kaytique.Store to get some outfit inspo. Which should I get? Which would you choose? #TobagoJazzExperience2023 #TJE2023 #TobagoFestivals #MuchMoreThanMusic #plussizefashion #trinidad ♬ Lockdown

Second step, some well needed pampering, so off I went to Sassy Suite in St Augustine to get a pedicure done and get waxed. 

@blessednelly_ #paidpartnership Can’t go on a trip without doing some beauty prep beforehand. So a quick trip to @Sassy Suite Ltd. was needed. The Tobago Jazz Experience is about a week away and the excitement is building. Hope to see you there. #TobagoJazzExperience2023 #TJE2023 #TobagoFestivals #MuchMoreThanMusic #trinitiktok #facial #pedicure #waxing #selfcare #selfcaretiktok ♬ Lo-fi hip hop

If you know me, you know that when it came to packing, I must have local brands in my luggage, and since we're heading to Tobago, a few of them had to be Tobago brands. 

@blessednelly_ Heading to Tobago for rhe Tobago Jazz Experience with some of my favourite local brands. @alchemistfragrances @A Little Local Luxury @caripure @Tobaglo Cosmetics Ltd @crownandluxe See you in Tobago for Jazz!!! #TobagoJazzExperience2023 #TJE2023 #TobagoFestivals #MuchMoreThanMusic #trini_tiktoks ♬ Toast

Prepped, pack and ready for Jazz, we head over on the ferry (I had a good journey over, others not so much) and after picking up our rental, we drove and checked into our suite at Comfort Inn in Scarborough. Our room was just what we need. Cozy yet modern and very comfortable. I should also make mention that the meals we had were all fantastic.

@blessednelly_ Comfort Inn Tobago is where I’ll be at for the Tobago Jazz experience and I am loving our room. It’s cozy and comfortable and right on the thick of the festivities! Plus the food we had for lunch at their restaurant was amazing! Definitely a place to keep in mind if you want to splurge a little on the sister isle. #TobagoJazzExperience2023 #TJE2023 #TobagoFestivals #MuchMoreThanMusic ♬ Where I'm From

NIGHT ONE!!! Gospel night! Now this was the first time that Tobago Jazz Experience hosted a gospel night and LET ME TELL YOUUUUU!! It was Holy Spirit filled. Every person who graced the stage at Shaw Park used their God given gift in such a phenomenal way and to me was the perfect start to all the festivities. 

@blessednelly_ GOSPEL NIGHT WAS EPIC! That's it, that's the caption. Every performer stood out in their own beautiful way to both entertain and inspire us in worship. I can only hope that the other Jazz events bring the vibes as much was experienced for Gospel Night. #TobagoJazzExperience2023 #TJE2023 #TobagoFestivals #MuchMoreThanMusic #Tobago ♬ Your Great Name

NIGHT TWO!!! Speyside Jazz! Now I can't lie, the thought of driving to Speyside was a bit intimidating to me, however I managed it both ways fine. Speyside Jazz was a more eclectic night, filled with a mix of jazz, reggae and soca, with the latter two being more predominant. 

@blessednelly_ SPEYSIDE JAZZ WAS WORTH THE DRIVE! If I had to use one word to explain this jazz event, it would be eclectic. From soca to conscious, R&B to Jazz and everything in between, the plethora of performances at Speyside Jazz had me on my feet for most of the night. I left tired but happy. The quality of performances I’ve seen thus far are top tier and it makes me so happy to see so local (especially Tobagonian) artistes take the stage and do so well. #TobagoJazzExperience2023 #TJE2023 #TobagoFestivals ♬ original sound - Nelly B. 🇹🇹

FINAL NIGHT! International Night at the Dwight Yorke Stadium was easily one of the best shows I have ever attended. Every performance was top tier. Now don't get me wrong, Boyz II Men? Fabulous! Koffee? Oh she was fantastic. But yuh see Ms Vaughnette Bigford and her band? When I tell you how much I was in awe of their set! I could listen to her all day every day and never tire of her. 

@blessednelly_ INTERNATIONAL NIGHT!!! What a way to end the Jazz experience! The line up had me dancing from the get go and the performers gave their all on stage. The Tobago Jazz Experience owes me NOTHING!! Tobago owes me NOTHING!! I’ll be reminiscing until the next one. Thank you to the @tobagofestivals team for having me. The whole experience ended on a high note. #TobagoJazzExperience2023 #TJE2023 #TobagoFestivals #MuchMoreThanMusic @Nelly B. 🇹🇹 @Nelly B. 🇹🇹 ♬ original sound - Nelly B. 🇹🇹

What's my verdict? Tobago Jazz Experience was indeed an experience, one that was well enjoyed. Tobago has so much to offer, so in between the events we explored the food, nature and other activities that were going on at that time. 

Will you be headed to Tobago for next year's Jazz experience? I'm pretty sure I will be. See ya there!

Tshenelle aka Nelly B.