Jazzfest 2017 heads to FDR
The 27th annual Jamaica Ocho Rios Jazz Festival starts on May 27 and runs through to June 4, with a new Opening Day jazz venue/jazz village in the form of the FDR Hotel and Spa in Runaway Bay, St Ann.
Festival Director Myrna Hague Bradshaw, announced the dates and line-up during the recent launch of the event at New Kingston's Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.
"We are delighted to be working with FDR Hotel for the first time," she said. "Not only have they shown a tremendously positive disposition to the event, they have put together a fantastic package, and we look forward to a greatly enhanced event."
Bradshaw also acknowledged the Moon Palace (Jamaica Grande) resort, also in Ocho Rios, and the Somerset Falls attraction in Portland for their respective involvement in the week of activities. She further thanked all the sponsors and partners for their role in keeping the festival alive and for helping to fulfill the vision of founder the late Sonny Bradshaw in educating youth through music.
This year marks the return of a Souvenir Publication, the first since 2010, through a partnership with publishers Candlestone Inc.
In addition to the Jamaica Big Band, the line-up this year includes the Grand Beat (from Denmark), Project Grand Slam (from the US) - an all-girls band, Le Birrette (from Italy), as well as Jamaican vocalists Tony Gregory, June Lawson, and Marjorie Kay. South African jazz legend, Lorraine Klaasen - no stranger to Jamaica - is a late addition to the programme.
Following the opening day on May 27 at FDR, the events shift to Kingston Harbour the following evening, where the Jazz Cruise, a successful innovation last year, returns, as does the Portland concert, which this year, takes place at Somerset Falls, also on May 28.
On that date, the Moon Palace resort will host the first of its free performance sessions for their guests, which will continue on Tuesday (May 30) and Thursday (June 1). On Tuesday, the Ocho Rios Shopping Centre is the scene for another public interaction, while the Mico University College hosts a jazz seminar/workshop to be conducted by festival director, Myrna Hague Bradshaw.
Two evening Jam sessions - no cover charge - will unfold at Kingston's Alibi lounge, which is already building a reputation through its weekly "Cocktails and Jazz" series (Wednesdays). The Alibi sessions will be on Wednesday (May 31) and Friday evening (June 2), beginning at around 7 p.m.
The big closing day will unfold at Hope Gardens come Sunday, June 4, featuring the full line-up of acts.