Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | January 23, 2013
Home : Entertainment
Jazz & Blues triple treat - Heineken, Ciroc, Johnnie Walker headline festival
Reggae great Pluto Shervington (left) raps with Promoter and DJ Richie Poo at the Johnnie Walker bar in the Frenchmen section of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium last year. - Contributed
Three of the world's best brands from Red Stripe will headline the company's sponsorship of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival this year, offering patrons premium beverages as they celebrate with the stars.

Jazz aficionados can groove to the sounds of John Legend, Mary J Blige, among others, while accompanied by a drink of Ciroc, Johnnie Walker or Heineken.

Heineken, which has been affiliated with the premier event for the past 12 years, will have its most charismatic presence yet, since replacing shaken martinis in James Bond's latest blockbuster, Skyfall.

Coming on the heels of the movie, in which 007 drank a near-icy Heineken, this year's Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival is expected to highlight the 'cool' in patrons as they enjoy the world's most famous beer.

In another innovative move to provide added patronage to the festival, Red Stripe will be offering 'Ciroc Bottle Service'. This element is being introduced to make it easier for patrons at the well-endowed Trelawny stadium to access the ultra-premium vodka.

Those looking for the super premium experience will be able to enjoy the VVIP area, as Johnnie Walker once again partnered with the posh and trendy Frenchmen VVIP Lounge at the venue.

"Johnnie Walker and Frenchmen complement each other. Consumers will enjoy a deluxe whisky brand in the sophisticated setting of the Frenchmen lounge," said Marsha Lumley, spirits brand manager.

Red Stripe's involvement is not limited to the Jazz and Blues Festival. In fact, the company has spent over $500 million in sponsoring national events, including Reggae Sumfest and Smirnoff Dream Weekend.

With the motive of getting the most out of Jamaican music for its people and country, Red Stripe is said to be sponsoring the festival because it has a goal that more than meets the eye.

Opportunities for j'can music

The festival, a release from the organisation explains, has "always opened opportunities for Jamaican music on the international market".

"We do more for music by being involved in it," said head of marketing at Red Stripe, Jomo Cato.

"We can get so much more out of Jamaican music but there needs to be a greater level of participation in investment, not only to put on the best events but also to develop music and artistes so that there will be continuity and sustainability of the music industry," he added.

Like the approach of Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the United States, the annual Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is generating much nostalgia, boasting the usual strong line-up of genres, such as Jazz, Blues, R&B, Latin, Reggae, Soca and various music fusions.

The 17th staging of the show this year includes Thursday, which has been added to showcase classic reggae bands and artistes.

As expected, it is headlined by Third World, who will be celebrating 40 years as a band, with several reggae artistes, such as Cocoa Tea down to perform.

Friday, the traditional opening day of the show until this year, will see Mary J. Blige, Michael Bolton and smooth Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin.

The Jazz and Blues Festival comes to a climax on Saturday, with the legendary multi-award winner, Dionne Warwick.

Warwick, who famously added her voice to the multi-Grammy Award winning charity song We are the World, is expected to sing many of her favourites, such as Walk On By, That's What Friends Are For and I'll Never Love This Way Again.

Get your tickets!

Tickets are now available at www.jamaicajazzandblues.com.

Cost

General admission: US$50 for Thursday night, and US$80 to access the venue on Friday and Saturday nights.

VIP tickets: US$120 each night.

Season passes: US$200, season passes which provide access to the event Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

VIP season passes: US$350

The organisers are offering savings on discounted weekend passes (Friday and Saturday only) at a rate of US$150.

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