Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
For the second year, FLOW has teamed up with HBO to showcase one of the most important musical events in the region: The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.
The documentary, titled Where the Music is Always Alive: Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2012, will debut in the Caribbean on August 4. The half-hour programme will have a repeat showing on August 6, just in time for the country's Independence Day.
In a private screening held on the lawns of The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, the documentary showcases not only Jamaica's musical talent, but also brings the emblematic landscapes of Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Dunn's River Falls, and the Blue Mountains into sharp focus.
The programme shows highlights from performances at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival with narration from some of the country's biggest and brightest musicians as well as international artistes. These include Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Shaggy, Celine Dion, and The Temptations, among others.
Michele English, president and chief operating officer of Columbus Communications, told The Gleaner that Flow was thrilled to be sharing this key moment with HBO.
"Flow's commitment is always to leverage our partnerships and technology so we can highlight the country and brand Jamaica. HBO is a wonderful partner and they do a tremendous high-quality product that is watched around the world. We felt that they would be a good partner to develop a world-class show that highlights the country. It's really about working with our international partners so that we can provide the exposure to the rest of the world for brand Jamaica," English said.
Last year, HBO's documentary One Love: Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2011, showcased the culture of Jamaica to more than 300 million viewers.
According to Lori Del Vecchio, director of affiliate sales for the HBO Latin America group, this year's programme came at a significant time and paid tribute to the island's 50th anniversary by showcasing the best of what Jamaica has to offer.
"Flow has been a great partner of ours for several years. There's so much to showcase in this country, between the wonderful Jazz festival that has amazing musical artistes and also working with the tourism board, we were able to put together a phenomenal programme for the second year," Del Vecchio told The Gleaner.
Minister of Tourism Wykeham McNeill said the project would reinforce that Jamaica is the entertainment capital of the Caribbean and would continue to provide destination Jamaica with significant exposure in the Caribbean and Latin America.
HBO Special: Where the Music is
Always Alive: Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2012 will air in the
Caribbean throughout August and September.