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'80s sensations head to Jazz and Blues

Published:Thursday | January 13, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Ron Isley

Ron Isley, Tavares and Air Supply bolster event's lineup

American R&B, funk and soul music group Tavares have been added to the increasingly impressive 2011 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival line-up.

The now four-member Cape Verdean brothers, who hail from New Bedford, Massachusetts will be delivering the art of music to their many adoring fans as they rekindle memories with hits from their string of 1970s and '80s collections such as She's Gone, It Only Takes a Minute, Whodunit, Heaven Must be Missing an Angel and Penny For Your Thoughts.

The group is currently made up of brothers Perry Lee 'Tiny' Tavares, Arthur 'Pooch' Tavares, Antone 'Chubby' Tavares, and Feliciano 'Butch' Tavares. They have produced 11 studio albums with various record labels, namely Capitol Records and RCA. The group, who were once known as Chubby and the Turnpikes, signed their first major record deal with Capitol Records back in 1967.

R&B hit

In 1973, they changed their name to Tavares and a year later they had their first number one R&B hit with Hall and Oates' She's Gone. In 1975, the group had their most successful year chart wise, chalking up a top-40 album (In the City) and their biggest hit, the top-ten pop number one R&B smash It Only Takes A Minute.

The group continued to churn out music right throughout the late '70s and early '80s. It was during the '80s that they had their last major hit, the ballad Penny For Your Thoughts.

In 1984, Ralph Tavares stepped down from the group and Tiny left in the mid 1990s, however, the other three brothers continued to tour. In early 2009, Tiny Tavares rejoined the group and is currently touring.

This month, Tavares will join Maroon 5, SWV, Diana King and Luara Izibor at the 2011 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in Trelawny.

The event which has grown from a modest 1,500 patrons to well over 25,000 will be held January 23 to 29.

Major sponsors for the 2011 edition are the Jamaica Tourist Board, Heineken, Baileys, Johnnie Walker and Flow.

The line-up will also include the additions of R&B crooner Ron Isley and the Australian super group Air Supply.

Air Supply, which consists of Graham Russell as guitarist and singer-songwriter Russell Hitchcock as lead vocalist, caused havoc especially among the ladies, when they first graced the Jamaica Jazz stage in 2006.

They later returned that year in Kingston to perform to stellar reviews once again. The group had a succession of hits worldwide, including eight top-ten hits in the United States, in the early 1980s. They are known for songs such as The One That You Love, Sweet Dreams, Even the Nights Are Better, Making Love Out of Nothing At All. The group will be performing on Saturday January 29 alongside Laura Izibor and Committed.

Isley, best known as the lead singer and founding member of The Isley Brothers, will perform on Thursday January 27 alongside Diana King.

Information on the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival can be found on the event website www.jamaicajazzandblues.com, as well as Facebook and Twitter.