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‘This is a surreal moment’ - Tessellated excited about Jazz and Blues call-up

Published:Saturday | January 23, 2021 | 12:07 AMShereita Grizzle/Staff Reporter
Calling it an ‘iconic platform’, Tessellated says he is excited to be performing at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in March.
Calling it an ‘iconic platform’, Tessellated says he is excited to be performing at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in March.

I Learnt Some Jazz Today hitmaker Tessellated recalls watching moments from the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival and being completely ignited by the performances.

Having watched several re-runs of past shows, Tessellated told The Gleaner that he came to understand just why his parents would fuss about the event so much. Describing the show as an “amazing production”, the entertainer admitted that he was saddened by the fact that he did not get a chance to attend. His sorrows deepened when he decided he wanted to be an entertainer and realised that he would not get the chance to make an impact on the ‘Jazz and Blues’ stage. So one can imagine the young artiste’s excitement when he was added to the official line-up of the show’s comeback event scheduled for this March.

An overjoyed Tessellated said he was at a loss for words as he gets ready to perform on what he dubbed an “iconic platform”. “Jazz and Blues was definitely something I would have wanted to do. It was an iconic festival that would bring all these interesting acts down to the island and my parents were always talking about it but by the time I got to a place where I understood and appreciated what all the fuss was about, it was gone,” he said.

He added, “It was one of those things that you would have wanted but didn’t think it would be a possibility and then boom, it happens. So you can imagine that this right now (being added to the Jazz line-up) is a surreal moment for sure. Knowing that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to perform on a stage of that magnitude was just unexplainable. But, in the first year back, I get billed; that is just the dopest experience ever. I am just glad to be a part of it.”


The entertainer said he is particularly pleased that he gets to be a part of the show when it has sought to diversify its line-up. Organisers of the event have injected a dose of youth to the show’s usually mature billing, having booked the likes of Sevana, Lila Iké and Mortimer. Tessellated said he believes the decision was a solid and smart one.

“I think that these [things] evolve over time. The older heads not gonna be around forever, and so I think the festival realised that they need to start bringing in the new generation and I am just happy to see it,” he said. “I am happy to see people being open-minded about younger artistes and our sound because it is different, but that difference doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get a chance to perform on these established platforms. I am glad that they (the organisers) are looking at us like competent musicians and artistes and are allowing us to do our thing. We will definitely remember this because I mean, everybody has to start somewhere.”

Tessellated, Sevana, Lila Iké and Mortimer will join the likes of Richie Stephens and Cuban-American singer Jon Secada at the 2021 staging of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. First held in 1996, the festival was created to encourage visitors to come to Jamaica during a traditionally slow tourism period for the island. Its first staging had Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Toots and the Maytals, Ernie Ranglin, and guitarists George Benson and Buddy Guy. In subsequent years the festival has attracted the likes of Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Dionne Warwick, Mary J. Blige, and Billy Ocean.