Sun | Oct 21, 2018

How Mariah Carey jazzed up

Published:Saturday | January 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM


HOURS BEFORE hitting the stage at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival last night (Friday), multi Grammy Award winner Mariah Carey tweeted, "Don't stop funkin' for Jamaica, #JaJazz see you tonight."

The best female-selling artiste of all time, who has sold more than 220 million albums, while earning 18 Billboard Hot 100, was ready to repeat the full-blown spectacle the people in Asia experienced in 2014.

"Nothing was spared in satisfying the needs of the Always Be My Baby singer," said the festival's executive director, Walter Elmore.

In fact, days before the icon's arrival in Jamaica, her production team was here meeting with the Jamaica Jazz and Blues lighting and technology team, ensuring they pull off a First-World, first-class production.

"Big, bold visuals; bigger and larger-than-life screens than we would normally use, were just some of the things we had to employ to pull off this production," lighting designer John DaCosta told The Gleaner.

Admitting that all the equipment had to be imported into the island, DaCosta said the type of video and audio equipment was doubled for the two-hour show that the singer, producer, actress, and songwriter planned on delivering to the thousands expected to converge on the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium.

Carey was billed to share the stage with jazz saxophonist Arturo Tappin, reggae ambassadors Morgan Heritage, and singer Richie Stephens. The only difference was that her show was integrated, with things happening exactly and precisely at moments in the show.


"She is using a syncing technology that syncs everything together," DaCosta revealed, adding that the mood and colours would change depending on the song selection.

What was evident from early was that Mariah came to Jamaica to satisfy the hearts and souls of the people, and she did her homework.

"She said she wanted to please the audience by taking them down memory lane and singing the songs they, too, love to sing," said Elmore, pointing out that she requested and was sent the playlist of the Jamaican radio disc jockeys.

Elmore described Carey's appearance in Jamaica as a lifetime opportunity to see one of the biggest stars in the world.

"It's her first time performing in the region," he boasted, having proven again that the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is home to some of the biggest names in the music industry.