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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » “THIS YEAR’S LINEUP IS NOTHING SHORT OF SPECTACULAR” SAYS PROMOTER OF THE JAMAICA JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL!

“THIS YEAR’S LINEUP IS NOTHING SHORT OF SPECTACULAR” SAYS PROMOTER OF THE JAMAICA JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL!

By Richard Johnson—
Top: Magic!
 Bottom: Mariah Carey(L) & Soja

WALTER Elmore, executive producer of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival, is confident his line-up for this year’s event rivals similar festivals worldwide.

The 2015 staging — from January 29 to 31 at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium — is headlined by American Grammy-winning megastar Mariah Carey, former Gap Band singer Charlie Wilson, Peter Cetera formerly of Chicago, The Pointer Sisters, American reggae band SOJA and Canadian reggae-fusion band Magic!. Barbadian sax man Arturo Tappin, Jamaicans Richie Stephens and sibling band Morgan Heritage have also been added to the line-up.

The Pointer Sisters

The Pointer Sisters

“This is nothing short of spectacular,” Elmore told the Sunday Observer. “When you look at this roster, the artistes have a total of about 100 hit songs… Where are you going to find this package for this price? You will have a Mariah Carey concert, and a Peter Cetera concert, but to have them on one event is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Elmore.

Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson

He said in the 20 years he has been associated with the show, only two other years have given him the buzz he feels about this year’s show.

“In 2006 when we had Patti LaBelle, Air Supply, James Ingram, John Legend, Al Green and the tribute to Byron Lee, and in 2012 with Celine Dion, are the only two year’s which come close to this years line-up.”

With this, Elmore and his team are hoping for the crowds to turn up like they did for Dion in 2012. The clincher, he hopes, will be the performance by Carey, who is giving her first concert in the Western Hemisphere since 2006.

Walter Elmore

Walter Elmore

“We can’t wait to see what Mariah Carey brings to the table. Her pull is that she has material to appeal to all ages… that should make her entertaining.”

Elmore remained tight-lipped about his line-up for the opening night of the festival which will be a tribute to reggae star John Holt, who died of cancer in October last year.

“We are still finalising the line-up for that night. We want it done properly, so we are working out all the details before making any announcement,” said Elmore.

The event producer still has a wish list of acts he would love to see on the Jazz and Blues stage in Jamaica. His bucket list includes Neil Diamond, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Bruno Mars and Prince.

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