When the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival – The Art of Music sets the nights to music at the Trelawny Stadium on January 26 - 28, 2012, there will be two important anniversaries being celebrated. The 2012 edition will be the Festival’s sweet sixteen, and even more importantly it will also be the first major event to commemorate Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence. The result is that organizers are preparing a show that will leave audiences wowed.
At the Festival launch, which took place at the Ballroom of the Wyndham Kingston Hotel, Walter Elmore announced to the star-studded audience that JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival – The Art of Music 2012 will be an amazing historical event. “It will be a great event,” he said. “We will be celebrating our history, our music, our culture. This will be the most memorable event we’ve ever staged as a company, maybe even as a country.”
The announcement of the 2012 line-up, which will include multiple award winning Celine Dion, as well as Grammy award winner Cee Lo Green have already sent ripples of excitement about the event. Elmore pointed out that the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival – The Art of Music remains committed to being one of the best festivals in the world by bringing the best artistes to the island. He noted that in 2012, the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival would be the only event graced by Ms. Dion outside of Las Vegas.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, noted that in 2011 he had charged the Festival’s production team with delivering the calibre of festival in 2012 that would generate a significant rise in tourist arrivals to the country. He congratulated them for having risen to the challenge and successfully pulling it off. “What I wanted was a festival that delivered heads to beds, feet to the streets and that converts lookers into bookers,” said Minister Bartlett.
The JAMIACA Jazz and Blues Festival – The Art of Music will once again be a Flow powered event. The telecommunications company will be providing broadband internet access and Wi-Fi which will allow patrons to have real-time interactions with their favourite social networking sites and more. Michele English, President and Chief Operating Officer of Flow, pointed out that one of the company’s major goals is to showcase Jamaica in the best possible light. “We want to show the world that not only does Jamaica have the best talent, it has the best technology as well,” Ms. English said.
Ms. English explained that Flow is very aware of the importance of JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival – The Art of Music 2012. She explained that in recognition of this Flow has once again engaged HBO in developing a special documentary feature surrounding the Festival. The intention is that the documentary, though focused on the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival will also pay keen attention to the country’s culture and history in celebration of the 50th anniversary. Flow TV will also produce its own documentary special on the Festival.
The JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival – The Art of Music 2012 will also commemorate Jamaica 50 through its Thursday night event which will be dedicated to showcasing 50 years of Jamaican music. Thursday night will present a musical tapestry featuring some of Jamaican music’s greatest from then and now. The impressive roster includes the irrepressible Shaggy, Dancehall’s first king Yellowman, reggae empress Marcia Griffiths, poet and philosopher Luciano and the timeless Freddie McGregor. The line-up will also feature John Holt, Half Pint, Etana, Michael Rose, George Nooks, Boney M, AJ Brown, Lloyd Parks and the We the People Band and the Dragonaires.
Corporate support for the Festival has been favourable with the Jamaica Tourist Board, Iberostar and Flow returning along with RIU, Half Moon Resorts, Hilton Rose Hall, CVM TV (the official television partner), The Gleaner (the official print partner), Scotiabank, Pure Country and Loyal Haylett Management Services
The night ended with a taste of the music that patrons can expect at the highly anticipated Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2012. Guests were treated to stirring performances from Richie Stephens and Dubtonic Kru. The stellar line-up for the 2012 Festival also features Richie Stephens, The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, Heads of State, Earl Klugh, Jully Black, Nicole Henry, Destra Garcia, and Gentleman.