CaribPR Wire, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Jan. 25, 2010: The 2010 Jamaica Jazz And Blues festival kicked off its inaugural week of performances Sunday evening, January 24, with Roy Ayers and Tony Greene at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Kingston performance marked the first time in the event’s 14-year history that TurnKey Productions, producers of the annual event, has taken the show on the road and extended the event to an entire week-long focus on Jamaica.

The festival moves back to Montego Bay tonight at the Sunset Jamaica Grande with performances from reggae great, Maxi Priest along with Joe Roy Jackson and Ayers. On Tuesday night, Jan. 26th, the festival shifts to the Blue Beat Jazz Bar, Montego Bay with a number of performances. On Wednesday night, get ready for the party at Iberostar, Montego Bay with Jon Secada, Robin Banks and Kathy Brown.

On Thursday night, Jan. 28th, the focus will shift to the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival’s new main stage at the Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny where Kenneth `Babyface` Edmonds, The Whispers, Joss Stone, Monty Alexander and Joe Roy Jackson are set to open the 14th year set.

On Friday night, Jan. 29th, Erykah Badu, Billy Ocean, Machel Montano, Robin Banks, Queens Project – Tamia, Kelly Price and Deborah Cox will thrill the thousands of fans who have already bought tickets to the festival.

On Saturday, Jan. 30th, the curtains will come down with Gladys Knight, Third World, Hall & Oates, Jon Secada and Marion Hall.

Executive Producer of the festival, Walter Elmore is very upbeat about the facilities at the new home of Jazz and Blues, insisting that fans of the main event will not have to sit in stadium seats for the festival but as at the Aqueduct at Rose Hall in Montego Bay, fans will be able to sit or stand on the field under the stars and soak in the many extraordinary performances.

 “All of the focus has been on transforming the in-field of the stadium to create the intimacy and mystique that is undoubtedly Jamaica Jazz & Blues,” said Elmore. “It will not be a stadium-style performance but definitely an upfront and personal experience as our loyal fans remain our primary focus and we are dedicated to ensuring we continue to providing the unparalleled experience that has made us the number one musical event across the Caribbean.”

“The venue has a wonderful ambience all by itself,” he added. “The view from here is spectacular of the north coast of Jamaica, and Falmouth, and you can see them building the new cruise ship pier. We are creating a very similar ambience that we had at Rose Hall and there will be ample parking.”
Meanwhile, moved by the recent tragedy in neighbouring Haiti, TurnKey Productions, producers of the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival, have introduced a food relief programme to assist the victims of the earthquake.

Working with local agencies, TurnKey will collect and package non-perishable food items from patrons attending the annual festival for delivery to the impoverished nation. 

The annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, the Caribbean’s best musical event, has become synonymous with the culture of Jamaica and since its introduction in 1996 was known as the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, has attracted thousands of patrons from the USA, Europe, the Caribbean and Jamaica.

 This year the festival is again being presented by key title sponsor, the Jamaica Tourist Board. Other sponsors include Air Jamaica, Iberostar, Rose Hall Resort, CVM TV, Link Up Group, Jamrock Magazine and The Gleaner Company among others.

 Tickets and packages are available at www.jamaicajazzandblues.com.