POWER PLAYERS: Bartlett, FLOW's Michelle English, and Grange in light convo at the launch of Jazz & Blues Sweet 16 on Tuesday at the Wyndham.
>> Walter Elmore, Chairman, Arts and Music Productions (AMP):
“For sixteen years we’ve been doing Jamaica & Blues. We never compromise on quality; and it’s a dream come true that we’ve been able to get an act like Celine Dion to come next year. It was no easy feat. When you come to see her perform, you will take that memory with you. You wil never forget it. [Jazz & Blues] is the only show she’s doing on planet Earth besides her Vegas [gigs]. This will be the most memorable event ever staged in Jamaica.”
>> Edmund Bartlett, tourism minister:
“[The government’ is happy that we continue to make Jazz & Blues an income-generating activity for Jamaica. Last year, the event generated some US$16 M this year and we are hoping for US$20M next year. We want this to be the greatest show ever in Jamaica and make it a [50th anniversary gift] to the people of Jamaica.”
>> Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, culture minister:
“[Jazz & Blues] offers another occasion to reflect on Jamaica and the achievements of our people. I am happy that [the festival] has found a home, and it’s such a perfect fit. Great ambience – and a lot of nice, clean bathrooms. We’ve been able to maintain [the Trelawny stadium] that it can host any world-class event and we can be proud that it was hosted there.
“I am very happy that [we] got Celine Dion. I was helping to get some other names, but Celine takes the cake. To be able to host such an acclaimed star is an incredible achievement.
“Jazz & Blues will be only the beginning of highlighting what our local talent is all about. The festival will be the first stellar event to launch Jamaica 50, which will be a year-long celebration. I couldn’t think of a better way.”
>> NEW ADDITIONS: Cee-Lo Green, Shaggy, The Temptations, and more