Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is back

Published:Friday | December 4, 2020 | 12:26 AM

The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival returns in a digital format for three days in January 2021, promising to deliver a spectacular presentation across multiple platforms. The festival will feature local and international acts and will be totally free to viewers.

The festival also sees a change of management, as it is now licensed to Adrian Allen of Steady Image, in partnership with Marcia McDonnough of Touchstone Productions. Both are original members of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues team, with years of experience in various aspects of event production. Together they lead a strong team ready to execute the return of the event.

The three-day event unfolds January 28-30.

Allen, who is also the executive producer of the festival, says he is buoyed by the buy-in from patrons to the new virtual format. “The world has now embraced virtual events as the norm, especially for music events, and we are excited to be bringing back the magic of the festival, and Jamaica to our global audience. Our partners are excited by that prospect and the promise of a presentation like no other, delivered by some of the world’s musical icons.”

“I am beyond excited,” stated McDonnough. “Jamaica Jazz has been a part of my life for so long. Its absence created a deep void which was never replaced. Being offered this opportunity to bring it back at a time when the entertainment world has been so overturned by COVID has been such a wonderful gift, and to accompany that with a showcase of Jamaica for the world to see brings me a tremendous sense of satisfaction and pride.”

The Jazz and Blues Festival was first staged in November 1996 on the lawns of the historic Rose Hall Great House. It was called the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival at the time. Over the years, it has presented a variety of exceptional artistes, including Beres Hammond, Chakka Khan, Aaron Neville, Erykah Badu, Shaggy, Toni Braxton, John Legend, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, Michael Bolton, Tessanne Chin, Celine Dion, Maroon 5, Alicia Keys, and a host of others.

The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival was last staged in 2015.