The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival have been given a burst of local talent to enhance its already impressive lineup. The organizers have announced that In Digg Nation Collective’s Lila Iké and Tessellated have joined the line up for the event. Other acts who have been added include Richie Stephens, Jah9, and Jon Secada. The event, like many others on the island, will take place virtually. It will span three days from January 28 – 30.
The festival has returned after an almost six-year hiatus. Promoters have also disclosed that patrons can look forward to who the other artistes are in the coming weeks. They’ve confirmed at least five of them so far. In all, they expect 16-18 acts to grace the virtual stage. The winners of the Band Quest Competition are also expected to join the cast. The Band Quest Competition was created to encourage local bands to vie for an opening spot at the festival on the opening night.
Adrian Allen of the Steady Image Media Group spoke with The Gleaner about the festival and his association’s choice of artistes. He is working alongside Marcia McDonnough of Touchstone Productions.
“In deciding on the artistes for this festival we have taken into consideration the fact that over 400 acts have performed at Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival over the years. Most of the international acts that we want have already performed here, so we decided to bring back one act who has been on the show before, and then look to some new acts to take in the younger demographic of our target market,” he said.
He went to say that understanding the demographic was very important and that they tried to cater to both young and old music lovers.
“We are looking to cover the younger, middle and older market segments, taking into consideration the traditional, but not leaving out the younger market which is more familiar with the digital space,” he said.
The Jamaica Jazz and Blues was first held in 1996, and some major international acts have performed at the event, including Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, and Michael Bolton, to name a few.