Back for their second year, Ferri Lighting Design & Associates (FLDA) lit the 5th annual Eleuthera… All That Jazz festival that takes place on the out-island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. The five-day festival, which performs all over the island in various locales, showcases Bahamian musicians as well as hosting prestigious international jazz musicians and promotes Eleuthera as a cultural tourist location.
Also importantly, the jazz festival acts as a fundraiser for Eleuthera’s Haynes Library, with profits from the event being donated directly to this essential community resource. The Haynes Library offers and provides much-needed services for the island’s residents. Supporting creative thinking and problem solving through its many programs, the library values its responsibility to the wider community and holds a special place in the daily lives of the residents and the life of the island.
FLDA threw their full support to the worthwhile cause as well by donating all of the lighting equipment and the manpower for the concert so those funds went to benefit The Haynes Library on Eleuthera. “When you go to a place, an island like Eleuthera, as a tourist, you tend to take,” commented Bruce Ferri, Principal of FLDA. “I think that it’s important to also give back and this is a way for us to give back to the island that we’ve all fallen in love with. Plus, we brought down everyone from FLDA for the weekend; flew them down and put them up. It was our corporate retreat! I think that it’s pretty ambitious to renovate and refurbish the library; it’s a really good cause and important to the community.”
The jazz festival is capped off with the Saturday night concert held at the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, located in the settlement of Governor’s Harbour. The pavilion’s botanical surroundings provided a lush backdrop for the evening of jazz music. Ferri described his lighting for this year’s big concert. “One of the things we wanted to look at this year was trying to streamline the equipment package even more than last year. Being an island the amount of gear is a big consideration because you have to bring everything in,” says the designer. “We really looked at what we had done last year and how we could improve the lighting. We stayed with many of the same solutions, but were able to tighten up the lighting package.”
The FLDA team also reconfigured the stage and made it a little more compact, but it gave better sightlines between the artists. “Last year, it was hard for the artists to see each other,” said Ferri. “The previous stage was along two sides of the open-air venue in the gardens of the preserve with a small thrust stage in the middle. This year’s design was a filled in triangular-shaped stage that really worked for the musicians, plus it provided much better sightlines for the audience.”
In terms of equipment, the FLDA team brought much of the same solutions that worked so well last year. The 30’x30’ open-air pavilion has a concrete slab floor and 2”x12” beams around the perimeter holding up the roof structure. “Last year, we purchased a 28’ piece of truss and created custom-fabricated hooks to hang the truss from the wooden beams of the pavilion,” explained Ferri. “We left the truss and hooks on the island so we knew that we had that on hand for when we returned to the island. It mounts diagonally across the beams and gives us a great position.”
FLDA is known for their pioneering use of LED lighting in their extensive portfolio of television lighting projects and they applied their expertise in this design aesthetic to the jazz festival by using an all-LED lighting package. The light plot featured a range of Chauvet Professional lighting products, including six Rogue R1 Spot moving lights on the truss for key lighting as well as two Ovation E-190 LED ellipsoidals, and 17 COLORado 1-Quad IP LED PARs. COLORado Batten 72 Tour LED strip lights were used to light the cyc behind the bands. For control an ETCnomad and a laptop with a touchscreen monitor in conjunction with an ETC Eos Programming Wing were selected. The lights and cabling were supplied from Spectrum Light & Sound in Nassau, Bahamas, and Altman Rentals, in Yonkers, NY provided the Eos Programming Wing, opto-splitters, and all of the expendables.
The FLDA team for the project included: Lighting Designers, Bruce Ferri and Matt Gordon; Associate Lighting Designer, Dale Knoth; Programmer, Tim Ruppen; Project Manager, Leigh Mundy-Fretz; Director of Production, Shannon Curran; and PA, Gina Bacchiocchi.
FLDA’s Shannon Curran agreed wholeheartedly, “We really believe that the Haynes Library is a great resource and we are more than happy to help them further their work supporting the local community. When you understand how important the library programs are to everyone on Eleuthera you want to help support that effort. We all enjoy working on the jazz festival and the time we get to spend on the island.”