Music, community unite at Capella Music Festival

Damian Marley standing in front of yellow wall
Grammy Award winner Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley will return to Cayman for the first time since 2013.

With a stellar line-up of household names and local favourites, Capella Music Festival sets itself apart by bringing together a diverse range of musical artists and introducing alternative genres to Cayman’s entertainment scene.

Headliners for this year's event on Saturday, 27 April, on Camana Bay's Festival Green include a mix of award-winning and chart-topping performers. They include Caribbean-bred and beloved artists like Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Kes the Band and DJ Puffy as well as international sensations like American soft-rock singer Richard Marx, British dance-pop artist Becky Hill and Nigerian afrobeat singer Ayra Starr.

Beyond its star-studded allure, festival organisers continue to intentionally create experiences that resonate with and benefit its Cayman audience.

“At the heart of the Capella Music Festival lies a commitment to uniting our community through the power of music,” said Kenny Rankin, managing director for Capella Music Festival. “This annual celebration serves as a testament to the profound impact that shared musical experiences can have on fostering connections and building a stronger, more vibrant community.”

Now in its third year, the festival is expanding with additional events and activities, carving out more opportunities to give back.

“Not only do we aim to provide entertainment for residents and visitors to the Cayman Islands, but we also seek to make a difference in the community through our charity initiatives and talent outreach,” said Rankin.

Spotlighting local talent
Cayman’s talented music scene has been consistently showcased at Capella, with many local artists returning this year. However, the festival has taken its outreach a step further to introduce a talent search.

Up-and-coming Caymanian artists have been invited to apply to "Capella Star" – a virtual contest where the public and a panel of judges vote for contestants. Three new artists will emerge to perform, two in premium slots ahead of the headliners and one on the Supernova Stage – one of the festival’s two alternative stages offering a mix of genres and performances. There will also be cash prizes to sweeten the deal.

Supporting local charities
With other community-focused goals in motion, Capella will support four charities over the weekend, with two fundraising events set to kick off and wrap up the festival.

Capella’s Soundbites Dinner returns on 25 April and a newly added Soundbites Brunch is set for 28 April at Agua. These are ticketed events benefitting mental health support organisation Loud Silent Voices and The Breast Cancer Foundation, respectively.

In previous years, some of the festival’s artists, like 2023’s headliner UB40, graced the Soundbites event with their presence, mingling to make the event even more special.

As another new initiative this year, Capella is raffling off a new Suzuki Grand Vitara to support Meals on Wheels and Jasmine. Raffle tickets can be purchased in the weeks leading up to the music festival.

This article was published in the April 2024 print edition of Camana bay Times. 

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