Jamaica Jazz and Blues returns for 2021

Entertainment

Jamaica Jazz and Blues returns for 2021

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 04, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


The Jamaican entertainment calendar is scheduled to get a lot busier come January next year, as the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is set to make a return, albeit virtually.

The event — which has been on hiatus for the past four years — has been licensed to Florida-based Adrian Allen of Steady Image Media Group in partnership with local marketer and event producer Marcia McDonnough of Touchstone Productions, and will be staged over three nights from January 28 to 30.

Allen explained that having been part of the festival's staging for 12 years, he decided to take the step to execute the festival in order to fill the void on the local musical calendar.

“Marcia and I have been involved with Jazz over the years and we just decided to take the step and execute this year's event. The most difficult part is that we have to work to bring back a festival which has not been held for a number of years. But on the flip side, staging events is what we have been doing for the past 12 to 13 years, so it was right up out alley. We understand the brand and know what people want,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

The organisers were not willing to divulge the name of the acts for the festival, noting that contracts were still being finalised and an official announcement will be made in short order. However, Allen did note that the event will feature a mix of local and international acts, and will be live streamed free of cost of an online audience, with a number of elements thrown in for added entertainment.

“Our broadcast won't be your regular live stream. It will be engaging, immersive and interactive. Aside from the music component, we will be producing tourism-driven content. Our tagline says: 'The Magic is Back', we also want to show that Jamaica is open for business and we are welcoming visitors. There will also be various strategies leading up to the event to engage our audience,” he said.

“As for the line-up, when we looked at it more that 450 acts have performed on the festival over the years. So especially with the international performers, most of the ones we were thinking of have already performed here. So the decision is to bring back one acts who has been on the show before, and then look to some new acts to take in the younger demographic of our target market. We are looking to cover the younger, middle and older market segments, taking into consideration the traditional, but not leaving out the younger market which is more familiar with the digital space,” Allen continued.

Part of the audience engagement ahead of the festival will involve the selection of six young Jamaican bands, who will take to the stage on the first night of the festival.

“The first night is being dubbed the 'Band Quest Stage'. Come next week, we will be inviting Jamaican bands to submit their videos and the public will vote on the top six who will perform on the first night. Their performance will be interspersed with footage from past staging of the festival. Each day's performances will last for four hours. The second and third nights will be a mix of the local and international artistes,” said Allen.

The organisers are hopeful that the broadcast of the festival will reach a target audience totalling about 100,000 over the three days.

Launched in 1996, Jamaica Jazz and Blues (formerly Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues) was created to encourage visitors to come to Jamaica during a traditionally slow tourism period for the island. The first staging had a stellar bill: Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Toots and the Maytals, Ernie Ranglin, and guitarists George Benson and Buddy Guy.

Air Jamaica eventually faded from the Jazz and Blues Festival, which had several venue changes while attracting healthy crowds and a number of popular acts like Al Jarreau, Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie, Kenny Rogers, Air Supply, Maroon 5, Mariah Carey, Peter Cetera, The Pointer Sisters, Celine Dion, and Babyface.

It was last held in 2015 in Trelawny.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT