HBO Special on JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival Showcases Brand Jamaica

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The 2012 instalment of the much celebrated JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival – The Art of Music will once again take over The Greenfield Stadium, Trelawny with three days of music and magic from January 26 - 28

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The JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival has proven to be an important tool for marketing Jamaica throughout its 15 year history. The Festival’s ability to do this was further augmented this year with the premier of the HBO documentary special titled One Love: JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival, which widened the Festival’s audience from the several thousand who attend annually to the over 300 million viewers of the cable network.

The One Love documentary eases aside the curtain to the spectacle and entertainment at JAMAICA Jazz and Blues and takes the Festival audience behind the scenes where it allows them to delve into the making of one of the Caribbean’s premiere music events. One Love provides an acute lens through which to explore the Festival and is richly seasoned with glimpses of some of Jamaica’s major tourist attractions.

One Love captures the sights, sounds and most important the good vibrations that are at the core of the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival - The Art of Music. The insightful documentary also presents slices of the country’s history and its cultural strength. Additionally, with HBO’s prominence in creating an in-depth look at some of the world’s most popular music performances, the documentary cements the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival as an important music event on the international landscape.

One Love: JAMAICA Jazz and Blues presents interviews with key planners, members of the audience interspersed with performances from the stellar 2011 line-up. The documentary features interviews with and snippets of performances by Maroon 5, Natalie Cole, Regina Belle, Diana King, Alison Hinds, Taurus Riley and Air Supply. Additionally, along with performances from the stars of the 2011 Festival, the documentary also presents previous performers at the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues such as Gladys Night, Lionel Richie, and Jon Secada.

One Love explores the time, lengthy planning process and intense labour that goes into creating the high calibre Festival. The documentary also showcases the Festival’s strength as a unique musical event that features various genres of music and celebrated artistes from around the world, an excellent example of the Featival’s diversity with its offering of Jazz, Reggae, R&B, Adult Contemporary, Soul and Soca. With the line-up already announced for 2012, patrons can expect the same at the upcoming installment.

By snagging international performers from across the world each year, the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival has played a major role in bringing visitors to the island, a role highlighted by One Love.

Walter Elmore, Chairman of the Art of Music Productions, the producers of the Festival, points out that JAMAICA Jazz and Blues is deliberately designed to allow patrons to enjoy not just the great music at the Festival, but also explore the numerous attractions that the island has to offer during the day. “The Festival usually culminates by about 1:30 each night so that patrons can experience a great night of music and then wake up the next day and enjoy the diverse and authentic experiences, amazing people, and wonderful attractions that the country has to offer,” he said.

One Love also promotes this concept. Along with presenting the sights and sounds of the Festival, the documentary treks across the breath of the north coast and turns the lens on major attractions in Negril, Trelawny and St. Ann. Ricks Cafe, Cool Runnings Water Park, the Green Grotto Caves and Mystic Mountains are some of the attractions that are showcased, highlighting the diversity of attractions that can be found on the island.

More and more, film and television shows are proving themselves as important to the promotion of the tourism product. With viewership in over 23 countries, the promotion of Jamaica on an HBO special is a significant achievement, which was engineered through the partnership between HBO and the telecommunications company Flow.

Indeed, through the celebrity interviews, One Love provides the rare opportunity of having major celebrities singing the island’s praises, as they exalt the warmth of the people and the island. This therefore strengthens the Festival’s importance for packing guests into the hotels far beyond the period of the Festival. John Lynch of the JTB remarks that the documentary presents a ant boost to the country’s marketing initiatives.

“One Love presents the music and culture, the attractions and natural beauty that Jamaica offers and will undoubtedly stir the interest of viewers to come and experience Jamaica first hand,” he said. “It provides tremendous exposure for destination JAMAICA, and it is critical that we continue to generate interest in the destination through innovative programmes.”
This year’s line-up includes international artistes such as Grammy Award winning Celine Dion, The Temptations featuring Dennis Edwards, Destra Garcia, Jully Black, Nicole Henry and more.

In recognition of Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence, the Thursday night line-up will be dedicated to the history of Jamaican music with performances from across the various musical eras: ska, rocksteady, dub and reggae. Some Jamaicans scheduled to perform are Pluto Shervington, Luciano, Shaggy, Freddie McGregor, Etana, Half Pint, George Nook, Marcia Griffiths and many others.

The 2012 installment of the much celebrated JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival – The Art of Music will once again take over The Greenfield Stadium, Trelawny with three days of music and magic from January 26 - 28.


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Carlette DeLeon