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Posted: January 30, 2012
K'Shema Francis's picture

Friday night saw the biggest turnout at the 16th annual staging of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.

Celine Dion was an absolute hit. The venue was almost full to its capacity. The international song bird belted out hits after hits as the huge crowd gathered sang along and swayed to and fro. Diana King was a pleasant surprise as she joined Celine on stage for “Treat Her Like A Lady”. Celine Dion gave Jamaica a top class performance.

The organizers however, fell short as traffic piled up for hours. Many people had to park on the roadside and along the streets as there wasn’t enough parking to facilitate Jazz goers on the Friday night. Other memorable acts on Friday night included Nicole Henry who was soulful.

Thursday night, which was in celebration of Jamaica’s 50th dubbed Reggae Night, was also a success despite a fair turnout.   

The veterans showed why they are timeless. Spectacular performances came from John Holt, Marcia Griffiths, Derrick Morgan, Pluto Shervington, an energetic Yellow Man, Luciano, Byron Lee’s Dragonaires, George Nooks and Lloyd Parks and We the People Band.

Other entertainers who did well were Shaggy who was joined during his set by International R&B singer Neyo and Rick Roc, Assassin, Etana and Kymani Marley.

Meanwhile, the final night of the festival was poorly supported. Despite the lengthy band changes, patrons saw entertaining performances from Damion Junior Gong Marley. The Temptations Review did their thing, while Heads of State and Cee Lo Green were so, so…

Soca sensation Destra, who was looking fab, was high energy as she delivered her soca songs. However, Destra’s attempt to perform Whitney Houston’s songs Didn't We Almost Have It All, Saving All My Love, I Have Nothing and I Will Always Love was unsatisfactory.

All in all the 16th staging of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival saw tight security but was fairly supported. Organizers will have to sort out a few glitches which include parking, tighter band changes and ensure each night has a top act that will pull the masses out.

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The station officially went on air on August 1, 1990. Reggae in the morning, Reggae in the evening, Reggae in the night was the cry. Critics said it was impossible to sustain a 24-hour Reggae music station. In fact, so strong was the impact, it proved that this format was something the Jamaican public yearned for. The 'little station that could' got all media houses in Jamaica to stand up and take note.

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