One of the leading music festivals of the Caribbean, Jamaica Jazz & Blues, has moved its main stage acts for the January 2010 festival to the Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny, just19 km east of its former home in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Turnkey Productions, producers of the annual festival, explained that for the past three years the festival has been housed temporarily at the Aqueduct at Rose Hall, which requires putting in major infrastructure for each staging, at significant cost to the festival. With the deterioration in the economic climate coupled with inflation of costs, it became unfeasible to host the event at the Rose Hall venue, officials say.
Additionally, with the loss of a significant parking facility, great inconvenience would have been caused to the Festival’s loyal patrons as they would have been forced to park at much farther distances from the event.
"With these realities, we had to weigh our options on whether to risk not being able to effectively stage the festival, as well as forego the comfort and ease of movement of our patrons, or find a new venue that would solve our major problems," said Walter Elmore President of Turnkey Productions. "The Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny which is only 12 miles or 12 minutes away from the old venue became the most ideal option when all needs were considered."
But organizers insist the experience will continue to be above par, especially with top performances coming from Empress Of Soul, multiple Grammy award-winning singer and former Motown icon, Gladys Knight. Other artists include Billy Ocean, The Whispers, Maxi Priest, Machel Montano, Joe Roy Jackson, Joss Stone, Hall and Oats, Jon Secada, Robin Banks, Monty Alexander, Roy Ayers, Third World and the Max Klezmer Band.
Additionally, in order to take the elite event to as many music fans as possible, the event will become a travelling experience, starting on Sunday, January 24th in Kingston before moving on to Ocho Rios and Montego Bay for three days before settling into its new main stage home for the Thursday, January 28 to Saturday, January 30th finale.
Hotel rates are available from as low as US$46 per person or US$92 for single occupancy and most hotels will offer shuttle service to the venue. Tickets and packages are available at www.jamaicajazzandblues.com or by calling a travel agent.
Jamaica Jazz since its introduction in 1996 was known as the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. It has attracted thousands of patrons from the USA, Europe, the Caribbean and Jamaica. International artistes that have performed at the festival include Diana Ross, Alicia Keys, Kenny Rogers, Kool & the Gang, Brian McKnight, Erykah Badu and Michael Bolton among others.
This year the festival is again being presented by key title sponsor, the Jamaica Tourist Board. Other sponsors include Air Jamaica, Iberostar, Rose Hall Resort, CVM TV and The Gleaner Company among others.