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Jean-Philip Grobler grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, but wasn’t exposed to much mainstream pop until he moved to Liverpool, England, where he spent three years at music school.

In the process of absorbing alternative and world music, and meeting his wife and collaborator to be, Patti Beranek, Grobler would develop his love of artier forms and find his way to his adopted home of New York and launch St. Lucia.

Grobler is the creative force of the band, which includes Beranek and touring members Ross Clark, Nick Paul and Dustin Kaufman. While it’s tempting to pigeonhole St. Lucia’s music as synth-pop, Grobler’s deep immersion in music permeates its sound and defies a neat description. Horns, guitars and percussion feature prominently, and St. Lucia is a band, not just a keyboardist with a laptop.


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Photo: John Davisson

St. Lucia

And Grobler is a singer, too – a former member of South Africa’s famed Drakensberg Boys’ Choir, with which he traveled internationally.

St. Lucia cut its touring teeth with a long outing in support of Two Door Cinema Club in 2012-13, coinciding with the release of its debut When The Night, and a tour with Britain’s Ellie Goulding. Another tour as opener for Foster The People followed in 2014 before St. Lucia began selling out clubs and small theatres in its own right as a headliner.

By the end of the album’s tour cycle, St. Lucia was selling out larger venues such as the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Terminal 5 in New York, and Metro/Smart Bar in Chicago.


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Photo: John Davisson

St. Lucia

After taking some time off in 2015 to record its sophomore release, Matter, and take a short run opening for Empire of the Sun, St. Lucia is blowing up where it left off.     Kicking off the year with 1,500-plus sellout at New York City’s Webster Hall, the band is currently hitting larger clubs and theatres before launching the festival season with slots at Bonnaroo, Firefly, Outside Lands and Lollapalooza.