Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jazz Heaven! Jazz Festival spreads wings, turns seven-day long event

The second city of Montego Bay will be stepping into seven days of musical heaven as the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival spreads its wings and moves from a three-day musical experience to an explosive seven day expression of The Art of Music. The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Rose Hall Developments, Air Jamaica, CVM and several of the major hotels have partnered once again with TurnKey Productions for the now seven day event which takes place from January 24-30.

Known for spectacular entertainment and soulful sounds, the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival will now take over the second city for all of seven days, staging different events at several venues in Montego Bay. The Festival will culminate with the signature three-night musical expose at the Aqueduct in Rose Hall, St James.

Walter Elmore, executive producer of the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival, explained that “the concerts from January 24-27 will be held at various hotels on the North Coast including Sunset Jamaica Grande, Iberostar, RIU, Sunset Resort Montego Bay and the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston. The main event as usual will be held at the Aqueduct at Rose Hall from January 28-30.”

The JAMAICA Jazz and Blues has grown phenomenally, and that is part of the reason why patrons can expect an enhanced Festival experience for 2010, which also represents the Festival’s 14th staging. Throughout the years, the Festival stage has seen memorable performances from the likes of Alicia Keys, Kenny Rogers, Air Supply, John Legend, Patti LaBelle, Kenny G, Erykah Badu, Dione Warwick, Michael Bolton, Gladys Knight and many other timeless acts.

Elmore said, “the concerts will be about two hours long and will feature one main artiste with possibly one or two opening acts. The actual schedule is yet to be decided but will include acts such as Secada, Joe-Ray Jackson, Maxi Priest, Robin Banks, Roy Ayers and the winners of the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Band Quest. The main stage will feature a full line up of performers such as American idol Jennifer Hudson.” More acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

For Elmore, the decision to expand the Festival into a week-long celebration of music was to offer more entertainment to persons who can spend longer than just three days in the country. He explained that the Festival will be specifically looking at tourists from Canada and Europe and will allow hotels to sell more hotel rooms, for longer periods of time to visitors.

Since the announcement was made at the launch of the Festival in New York (USA), the executive producer says the response has been good.

“The response from the tour operators we have spoken to abroad has been positive, and the local hotels are very excited about it as well and they will also promote through their internal marketing systems” Elmore said.

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