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Jr Gong To Close Jazz Fest 2012

Published: Wednesday | January 18, 2012

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer


Grammy megastar, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley will close the curtains on the ‘Sweet 16’ Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival next week Saturday night, January 28.

Dubbed, The Art of Music’, Marley, the youngest son of reggae legend Bob Marley, shares the spotlight with Cee-Lo Green, Heads of State (featuring Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant), Earl Klugh, The Temptations Review, featuring Dennis Edwards and Trinidad’s Destra.

Like Marley, the Art of Music Productions (AMP) has booked the indomitable Maxi Priest, adding the renowned reggae artist to Thursday night’s line-up, kickstarting Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations, says Walter Elmore, AMP chairman.

“We are honouring our country and our music, it is only fitting that we have the King of Reggae’s youngest son close the show. If Bob was alive, he would definitely be closing the show,” stated Elmore.

“Damian has been doing such an amazing job, and if you attended Shaggy & Friends concert, you would have noticed the powerful performance from him and his brother, Stephen,” said Elmore.

The young Marley, whose breakthrough came with his 2004 single Welcome to Jamrock, has won two Grammy awards, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him appear onstage with his megastar siblings, Stephen and Ziggy Marley.

According to Elmore, the opening night, of the three-night event (January 26-28), is dedicated to all the rich sounds that have shaped Jamaica’s music over the past 50 years, and will feature ska, rocksteady, dancehall and reggae, the island nation’s influential contributions to world music.

Cadre of musicians

Elmore and his team have carefully selected a cadre of musicians led by the incomparable Shaggy; Richie ‘unquenchable’ Stephens and Gentleman; the man known for his 1,000 volts, John Holt; the man who took the ’80s by storm, Yellow Man; the veteran Half Pint; Marcia Griffiths; Lloyd Parkes and We The People; George Nooks; Luciano; Mykal Rose; AJ Brown; Pluto Shervington; Etana; Chris Martin; Marcia Barrett (Boney M); Derrick Morgan; Assassin (Agent Sasco); and Byron Lee’s Dragonaires.

The reggae acts have set the motor in motion for the most-anticipated star to hit the Jazz stage since its inception 16 years ago – Celine Dion. The Canadian sensation will grace the stage on Friday night.

The 2012 Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival is supported in part by the Jamaica Tourist Board, Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, FLOW, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Half Moon – A RockResort, Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Sunset Resorts, CVM TV (official television partner), The Gleaner(official print partner), Scotiabank, Pure Country, Loyal Haylett Management Services, Delta Air Lines, Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, Heineken, Johnny Walker and Smirnoff.

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