Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival returns virtually from January 28 -30, 2021, after a four-year hiatus from the music arena. The event is licensed to Florida based Adrian Allen from steady image media and is in partnership with producer Marcia McDonnough of Touchstone Productions. Both original organizers have been involved in staging the festival for 12 years and have decided to execute the festival on a digital platform which will be staged over three nights.
Under the theme “Bringing Back the Magic,” the festival will feature a mix of local and international performers and will be streamed free of cost. So far, three acts have been confirmed in the lineup of 16 to 18 performances. Latin singer Jon Secada is the first international act to be named, and is the winner of two Grammy awards, selling over 20 million records. His 1992 album containing his hit song “Just Another Day” was the number one selling Latin album, and won the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album.
Secada is joined by local artist Richie Stephens, who is bound to take patrons on a journey with his featured song “Circle Jamaica” taking listeners on a 360-degree adventure across the island, to explore the culture, food and people of Jamaica. Jam9 who currently resides in Africa is known for being a change-maker and will bring exhilarating energy to the stage with her jazz and dub. The names of the other artistes will be announced intermittently in the upcoming weeks as contracts are finalized. Pre-festival activities will kick off with a band search with amateur musicians entering a bandquest competition dubbed “stars on the rise”. The winner will have the opportunity to be showcased on night one of the virtual festival.
Over the years the Jazz and Blues Festival has attracted thousands of visitors to the island, and has helped to build the economy. An entourage of international stars have graced the stage such as Alicia Keys, Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers, Michael Bolton, Chaka Khan and others. The festival will bring back the magic of yesteryear, and promises to deliver a spectacular digital presentation to a global audience.
Sources: Caribbean Weekly; Jamaica Observer; Jazzandblues.com; Urban Islandz.