The launch was held at the Iberostar Suites in Montego Bay yesterday as an obviously excited Walter Elmore, chairman of the festival, made the announcement. It was also announced that the Art of Music Productions (AMP) is the new company that will produce the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2012. Jamaica Jazz and Blues will be AMP’s first major event. The festival is scheduled from January 26-28 at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium, with Dion being the closing act.
“Bringing an act the magnitude of a Celine Dion is something I have dreamt since the day I started the jazz festival16 years ago,” Elmore admitted, adding that he never thought he would be able to do it. With admiration, the AMP chairman spoke of the multimillion-dollar album seller, Dion, “A factor in the entertainment. When you see a Celine Dion performance, it is etched in your mind,” he asserted.
“We wanted a name that was versatile and spoke to the product we currently offer,” he concluded.
Dion, a Canadian singer, has been making a name for herself since the 1980s. Extremely popular locally, she is known for hits such as The Power of Love, I’m Alive, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, All By Myself, My Heart Will Go On,among countless others. According to Sony Music Entertainment, Dion has sold over 200 million albumsworldwide.
Dion, who really does not share the limelight with other artistes because of her reputation, will play alongside the cadre of a R&B sensation Kelly Rowland, Jamaican/Canadian Jully Black and jazz great Nicole Henry who graced the stage in 2004.
In celebration of Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence, AMP has announced a stellar mix of musicians who will showcase the evolution of the country’s music. They include Toots Hibbert, Marcia Griffiths, Yellowman, Shaggy, John Holt and Half Pint. Celebrating its 17th year in 2012, Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival will operate with under one the largest budgets ever, says the new CEO. He estimates that the event will cost approximately US$3 million this year.
Again this year, the event has attracted sponsors such as The Gleaner, RIU Resorts, Iberostar, Jewel Dunn’s River, Sunset Beach Resort and Spa and the Jamaica Tourist Board.