Organisers of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Music Festival are anticipating that this year’s virtual event, scheduled for March 4-6, will attract millions of online viewers.
According to the organisers, they have enlisted top Jamaican and international acts to deliver the stellar performances to attract the audience, although this year’s event will be without an A-list American performer, unlike the previous year.
Jamaica Jazz and Blues was launched online Tuesday with messages and greetings from some of the artistes that will be performing, as well as sponsors.
“We don’t have a figure right now, but honestly…what we want is to have millions online. That’s what we want,”
said Marcia McDonnough of Touchstone Productions.
“We are trying to move away from the top act. We are booking more (acts) and we have an international act already booked, which is John Secada, who has been with the festival before.
“One of the reasons that we did have to postpone this (top act) a bit, is COVID in the (United) States is very bad right now. We are working at getting some international artistes, but we don’t have any to announce today,”
The event has returned from a five-year hiatus and before that, had at least one top international acts performing each year. These include Babyface, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Celine Dion and Toni Braxton.
The organisers have already booked John Secada among the international acts, which include Freetown Collective, Brainstorm, Caje and The Teddyson John Project.
Local acts that are slated to perform are Jah9, Lila Ike, Richie Stephens, Sevana, Mortimer, ATF Band, Earth and Fullness, 8 The Band, Zia Benjamin, Tessellated and Beky Glacier.
Meanwhile, Director of Tourism, Donovan White, believes the event will once again help to boost the musical awareness about Jamaica.
“We have missed the festival for a few years, so we are particularly excited at its return. With masterful production, class acts and an unmistakable Jamaican flair, the festival adds to the high demand of music events that make Jamaica the beat that moves the world,”
During the staging of the event, there will be three features that will showcase Jamaica. These are Stay With Us, Circle Jamaica and Artisan Village.
Stay With Us will take viewers into some of the island’s hotels, with Circle Jamaica giving insights into the Jamaican people, food and culture, while Artisan Village will highlight authentic Jamaican jewellery, arts and crafts.