Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival
Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival 2014
The 18th Annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival is just around the corner… On Jan 30th – Feb 1st 2014 the small town of Trelawny, Jamaica will be host to some of the best acts from around the world. If it’s anything like last years festival it’ll be one you’ll want to attend, if you can! – Said by many to be the best Caribbean festival going!
Founded in 1995 to encourage more tourists to come to the island during the seasonal tourism slump, the Jamaican Jazz & Blues festival (formally known as the ‘Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival’) has grown from strength to strength each year. Originally attracting between 1,500 and 2,000 visitors, it has grown over the years and now caters for crowds well in excess of 35,000.
Originally the festival was hosted in November, but due to bad weather, the organizers decided to change the dates to the end of January which is another poor time for tourism in Jamaica.
The festival was not however always a huge success. It was said by many to be on the brink of closing down before it was sold to Walter Elmore, an original founding board member. Elmore took this festival by the horns and with his many years of experience arranging festival, he formed a business called TurnKey Productions (which now also organize and produce many other large music festivals around the Caribbean) and made the festival a massive success once again. As a good kind of guy, in 2009, Elmore gave up his title sponsorship to the Jamaica Tourist Board. From this day on the festival was known as the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.
Whilst technically still a Jazz festival, the festival caters to many different types of music genres also including R&B, blues, Latin, Reggae, Soca, and various types of musical fusion.Show More History...
The 2010 festival was slightly different in the fact that it was extended to 7 days and was hosted at various venues around Kingston, Jamaica and Montego Bay. This was somewhat of a one-off and is now always hosted at the Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny.
In 2011 is was said that the festival was to bring in some $3 billion (Jamaican Dollars!) into the economy.
According to the official Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival Wikipedia Page the festival has attracted numerous international artists over the years, including Gladys Knight, Maroon 5, Natalie Cole, Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers, Anita Baker, Hall & Oates, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Maxi Priest, Babyface, The Whispers, Joss Stone, Monty Alexander, Billy Ocean, Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige, Dionne Warwick, Estelle, Lionel Richie, George Benson, Chuck Mangione, Smokey Robinson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, Boyz II Men, Micheal Bolton, Jill Scott, Brian McKnight, Atlantic Starr, India.Arie, Norah Jones, Harry Belafonte, Julio Iglesias, Patti Labelle, Air Supply, Al Green, Queen Project, Mary Mary, Robin Thicke, Lou Rawls, Erykah Badu and Céline Dion
In 2012, Jamaica celebrated 50 years of independence and as promised by the event organizers, they made the festival bigger and better than ever before by hosting a couple of internationally renowned artists (Celine Dion and Shaggy!) who were said to have changed the festival’s future forever!
More Photos in the ‘Gallery‘ Tab below.
The 2014 Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival lineup has been partially released but the event organisers have still yet to give an official announcement (5th January 2014).
The confirmed lineup for this years Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival are as followsToni Braxton
Toni Michelle Braxton (born October 7, 1967) is an American R&B singer-songwriter, pianist, musician, record producer, actress, television personality, and philanthropist. Braxton has won 6 Grammy Awards, 7 American Music Awards, and 9 Billboard Music Awards. Throughout the years, she has sold over 66 million records worldwide.
Braxton topped the Billboard 200 with her 1993 self-titled debut album and its hit singles “Love Shoulda Brought You Home”, “Another Sad Love Song”, “Breathe Again” and “You Mean the World to Me”. She continued that streak with her second studio album, Secrets, which spawned the number-one hits “You’re Makin’ Me High” and “Unbreak My Heart” in 1996. Although she had successful albums and singles, Braxton filed for bankruptcy in 1998, but then returned with her chart-topping third album, The Heat in 2000, which included the international hit single “He Wasn’t Man Enough”. In 2009, she returned to the spotlight with “Yesterday”, a No. 12 R&B hit which served as the first single from her new album Pulse, released on May 4, 2010, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard R&B Album Chart. Braxton was involved in the 7th season of the reality show Dancing with the Stars.
Her professional partner was Alec Mazo. She was voted off in week five of the competition. It was announced on October 6, 2010 that Braxton had once again had filed for bankruptcy and was reporting somewhere between $1–$50 million in debts. A reality series entitled Braxton Family Values, starring Toni and her sisters, debuted April 12, 2011 on WE tv. WE tv ordered a 13-episode second season of the show after the third episode of the first season. On September 18, 2011, Braxton was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. - Source: Wikipedia
Chrisette Michele Payne (born December 8, 1982), known professionally as Chrisette Michele, is an American Grammy Award-winning contemporary R&B and soul singer-songwriter. She is signed to the Motown Records and won a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2009 for her song “Be OK”. - Source: Wikipedia
Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens; March 23, 1953) is a 10-time Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter whose career has spanned four decades, beginning in the 1970s as the frontwoman and focal point of the funk band Rufus. Often cited as the Queen of Funk, Khan has sold an estimated 200 million records worldwide. - Source: Wikipedia
Beres Hammond OJ (born Hugh Beresford Hammond, 28 August 1955, Annotto Bay, Saint Mary, Jamaica) is a reggae singer known in particular for his romantic lovers rock and soulful voice. While his career began in the 1970s, he reached his greatest success in the 1990s. - Source: Wikipedia
Crystal Gayle (born Brenda Gail Webb on January 9, 1951) is an award-winning American country music singer. Best known for her 1977 country-pop crossover hit song, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”, she accumulated 20 number one country hits during the 1970s and 1980s (18 on Billboard and 2 on Cashbox) with six albums certified Gold by the RIAA. Crystal Gayle became the first female artist in country music history to reach Platinum sales with her 1977 album, “We Must Believe in Magic”. Also famous for her nearly floor-length hair, she was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 1983. She is the youngest sister (by 19 years) of singer Loretta Lynn and a distant cousin of singer Patty Loveless. Crystal Gayle has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, near Loretta Lynn’s star. - Source: Wikipedia
Aaron Neville (born January 24, 1941, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States) is an American R&B and soul singer and musician. He has had four top-20 hits in the United States (including three that went to number one on Billboard’s adult contemporary chart and one that went to number one on the R&B chart) along with four platinum-certified albums. He has also recorded with his brothers Art, Charles and Cyril as The Neville Brothers and is the father of singer/keyboards player Ivan Neville. Of mixed African American and Native American heritage, his music also features Cajun and Creole influences. - Source: Wikipedia
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2012 lineup is here in case you’re interested.
There will be no change of venue this year round. The Jamaica Jazz & Blues Fest will be held at the 25,00 people capacity Greenfield Stadium (Trelawyn).
What can you expect to find at the venue in terms of food? Well I would say lots of Jerk Chicken and Meat, Steamed fish and rice, curried goat etc. Get a list of the Twenty Most Popular Jamaican Dishes which I’m sure they’ll be serving at the festival in various formats.
The ticket prices for Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival 2014 vary from $50/$80/$80 Friday/Saturday/Sunday (standard) – $120/$120/$120/ (VIP) Friday/Saturday/Sunday of the festival. If you buy a weekend or season ticket it works out to be cheaper per day. More information on ticket prices can be found at their tickets page here.
The nearest international airport to the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival is Sangster International Airport (MBJ) otherwise known as Montego Bay Airport and it is located 35km from Greenfield Stadium (festival location) or roughly 5km from Montego Bay, Jamaica. There are two registered taxi companies operating from the airport JUTA Taxi & JCAL Taxi you should be paying around $15-$20 USD per every 10 miles with prices being higher if you use a taxi licensed to a hotel. Further information on Taxi Fares and Taxi Information in Jamaica.
Currently 6 airlines fly into Sangster International Airport (list of airlines here). To get the best flight deals I would always use SkyScanner as they take 0% commission and always (from my own experience) find the cheapest flight deals. Feel free to check prices using their official flight checker below:
Additional transport information on this festival can be found at the ‘Map & Transport Hubs‘ section along with the Festival News, Festival photos of previous years, user comments etc. Make sure you check them out below.
The cheapest accommodation options I could find in and around Montego Bay, Jamaica during festival period (End of January 2014 – Beginning February 2014) are shown below:
*** Prices will rise the closer you get to the festival dates so book early and avoid disappointment… ***
If you are on a super shoe-string budget then search HostelWorld and get a bed in a hostel for as little as $3! - (Private rooms often $20+)
For a full list of good hotels to stay in during the festival period I would highly recommend visiting Hotels.com – Montego Bay, Jamaica for more hotels.
Note that there is NO TENT CAMPING at the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival. Although the area immediately around the festival has no facilities geared towards people wishing to camp, you can still do it.
We currently have not been able to interview anybody at the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, if you work for the festival and would like to answer a few questions for this section of your listing, please contact me so that we can get something arranged, thank you.
Video Highlights from the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
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If you have any questions or would like to leave additional information about this festival for others then please leave a comment below.
NB. You will also find tabs below which display photo galleries, live festival news, transport information etc – make sure you check them out before you leave and visit again soon as festival pages are being continually updated with new info!!
- Official Website of Jamaica Jazz & Blues
- Top 20 UNUSUAL (but somehow essential :-s ) Festival Items
- Wikipedia on Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival
- 2013 Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival Review by Ebony.com
- News post on the financial status of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Fest.