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Just about every island nation has an international music fest nowadays, but there aren’t any others quite like Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival.

Set against the Nature Island’s colorful Independence Celebrations, the three-day October festival is distinct in its scope, spanning all variations of Creole music from Haiti to Africa and even New Orleans, along with the occasional reggae or soca superstar. Machel Montano and Busy Signal are among the draws at this year’s 17th edition, this Friday through Saturday (Oct. 25-27) at Windsor Park Stadium in the capital city of Roseau, but so are Kassav, Martinique zouk supergroup Kwaxikolor and Haitian compas kings Carimi. Latin music will also be represented in the form of Tito Puente Jr., son of the great Nuyorican percussionist. Representing Dominica are bouyon band Triple Kay Global (with guests Ole Benz and Nayee), cadence greats Fitzroy Williams (of Exile One) and Chubby of the Midnight Groovers, and a revue of the island’s top calypsonians including six-time Calypso Monarch King Dice.

LargeUp had the opportunity to experience WCMF last year, and we left so impressed it took us three photo essays to show you everything we witnessed. Check out some of last year’s photo highlights (or see the full series here, here and here) and watch a video of the Mas Band Jump-Up (a brief taste of Dominica’s Carnival, Mas Dominik) from 2012 below, and read an interview with WCMF founder Sobers Esprit here. And while this year’s fest kicks off this Friday, it’s not too late to make arrangements to visit Dominica—if you’re in the region, at least. Get more info at WCMF’s website here, and look out for more on creole culture and the Independence celebrations in Dominica on LargeUp shortly.

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