With just a few days left before the Caribbean’s best music festival – Jamaica Jazz & Blues unfolds at the Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny, event organisers, Art of Music Productions Limited are confident that with an impressive roster that includes international star Celine Dion, Ce Lo Green, the irrepressible Shaggy, Dancehall’s first king Yellowman, Marcia Griffiths, Luciano, Freddie McGregor, Richie Stephens, Gentleman, The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, Heads of State, Earl Klugh, Jully Black, Nicole Henry and Destra Garcia, this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever.
Walter Elmore, executive producer of the festival, in a recently telephone interview from Jamaica said “one of the big things about the festival is we are celebrating 50 years of Jamaica’s independence and I am celebrating the 16th anniversary of the festival. I am dedicating the first night to our music (reggae), our culture, our people and our history” he disclosed.
“We are a small island but the message of reggae around the world is powerful. It is something that takes brand Jamaica around the world. It carries a positive message and it is something that we embrace. On top of that, we always try to put our best foot forward and present the biggest and best event this side of the world.”
With excitement about the festival reaching fever pitch here in the Diaspora, a plethora of music lovers will head south to see the stars perform. Bobby Clarke, founder and CEO of NY’s Irie Jam Radio who has attended every staging of the festival except one said, “Jazz fest has been a permanent part of my annual calendar. With all the stress of last year and the cold wave in the north now…its the perfect way to start 2012.”
Clarke said he is eager to see the production and to see Celine perform. “Ms. Dion is a mega star and her presence in the hemisphere will inspire excellence from the producers. Walter has outdone himself this time. He has put together the best lineup ever.”
Captain Kirk from WAVS radio in Florida is planning to attend the festival as well. “I am looking forward to the festival this year. I am especially excited about Thursday’s lineup that with showcase the best acts the reggae genre has seen over the past 50 years” Kirk said.