By Tad Richards

Cruisers have hauled their boats, or have hauled ass with their boats, heading for Europe or the rocky coast of Maine, but if you’re still here in the Caribbean — and you know who you are — there’s still a lot to do, a lot of good music to hear. There are extravagant carnivals in Puerto Rico (Festival del Jíbaro Comerieño in Comerio, June 9-11), Bermuda (Carnival, June 13-17), St. Vincent (Vincy Mas, June 28-July 12) and the Caymans (CayMAS Carnival, June 29), including a fashion showcase featuring “Miss S&M” — might think twice about taking the kids to that one. Costa Rica’s Love Fest, June 20-24, is a celebration of the love of nature. Food and drink are highlighted at Belize’s Hopkins Mango Fest, June 8, Bonaire’s Rum Week, June 12-16, the BVI’s Taste of Tortola, June 29. Flowers get their turn in the sun in Puerto Rico’s Festival de las Flores de Aibonito, June 28-July 7, and Dominica, the nature island, takes the festivities undersea with the Dominica Dive Fest, June 26-July 3.

And now for the music. And there’s still plenty of it.

San Juan, Puerto Rico’s big music venues will be active in June, starting on June 1 as the Coliseo de Puerto Rico turns itself over to an evening of sacred music with the renowned Christian singer Christine D’Clario. A very different vibe will be happening at the same venue a week later, on June 7-8, when multi-Grammy-winning “King of Latin trap,” Bad Bunny, takes the stage. And on June 9, Silvestre Dangond brings his blend of Latin rhythms and urban grit to the Coca Cola Music Hall.

May 31-June 1: Caribbean Sun Splash, Willemstad, Curaçao

Hip-hop giant Busta Rhymes is the latest addition to a lineup that includes  Gente de Zona, Beenie Man, Skinny Faboulus, Tarrus Riley, Jeon, Omah Lay, Kamo Mphela, One Flavaz, Semii Marten, ORiRi, and Essence.

June 19-22: International Choral Festival for Peace, Costa Rica.

The organizers offer an opportunity to be part of “a powerful global movement that harnesses the transformative power of music to promote peace, understanding, and cultural exchange,” which has to be a good thing, and to do it in “a land where people live in peace, champion democracy and uphold human rights, while cherishing their connection with nature.”

Choirs will tour the country, bringing choral music and the message of peace to cities, towns, villages and rural areas. For more information, check out

June 21: Fête de la Musique, all French West Indies

This is the day to be part of a worldwide Francophile celebration of French and French-inspired music, and you can listen to or join in the celebration of music in Paris, in Normandy, in Algiers or Cameroon or the Côte d’Ivoire, in Quebec or New Orleans or … almost anywhere, as the event has burst out of its French origins and is now celebrated in over 100 countries around the world as World Music Day. But why not enjoy it in the enchanting French Caribbean? Perhaps on the fictional island of Ste. Marie, where the Gallic festivities might be interrupted by a murder, but a goofy British detective will be on hand to solve it. Or perhaps in Pointe-à-Pitre, in Guadeloupe, where the streets will be filled with open-air concerts and performances from local artists. Or Gustavia, in St. Barts, where concerts will take place on the Quai General-De-Gaulle.

June 27-29: St. Kitts Music Festival, Basseterre

Small Axe Band

The St.Kitts Festival features a vivid cross section of Caribbean musical styles performed by some hot Caribbean artists. A local group with an international reputation is the reggae and soca jam band Small Axe Band, a popular attraction at the St. Kitts festival since its inception over a quarter century ago. Hip powerhouse and Epic recording artist Rick Ross has lived the gangsta life he raps about (though he’s also seen the other side as a corrections officer in Florida). Eazl brings Afrobeat from Nigeria, and all the contemporary island styles are represented: soca with Speedy, Tbone, KT Dan, and Akaii U Sweet; dancehall with Mical Teja, Hi-Light, Alkaline, and Tommy Lee Sparta; reggae with Third World and Mr. Mention. Find out more at

June 28-29: Aruba Summer Music Festival, Oranjestad, Aruba

No lineup has been announced yet, but their headliners in the past have been internationally known hitmakers. You could try for more information, but as we went to press, the site was undergoing renovation.

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