Fans of good music has for years now had their every wish answered with each staging of the annual Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. This event takes place at the beginning of each year and it is by no coincidence that it’s timing coincides with the heights of the Jamaican tourist season. The festival is indeed an international event and features many exceptional, top of the line world renowned recording artists from Jamaica as well as the United States, Europe and as far away as Australia.
In 2006 the festival took place in Jamaica’s of Montego Bay at the Rose Hall Resort and Country Club from Thursday January 26 – Saturday 28.
Thursday night was headlined by the young rising artist named John Legend alongside the ever vivacious Shaggy, the conscious harmonizers Morgan Heritage, the handsome charismatic jazz flautist Nestor Torres as well as the much reformed Lyfe Jennings.
Friday night was headlined by long time gospel and R&B sensation Al Green, the soft rock duo of Air Supply, the influential father of rock and roll Bo Diddley, Jamaica’s own son and rising voice Richie Stephens and the multitalented and beautiful Nicole Henry.
Saturday night was a fitting climax to a well planned event and featured the revered Patti Labelle, the great rejuvenator Maxi Priest, the vocally unique James Ingram and the hardworking KEM. The highlight of the night was a tribute to Byron Lee for his 50 years contributing to Jamaica and Jamaican Music.
Economically the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival results in a welcome and vital influx of business. This influx affects not only Montego Bay but the entire North Coast. Resorts, shops, transport companies etc. report a significant increase of business during each each year’s staging and that can only mean a good thing.
From all accounts the festival was a smash hit and it’s patrons have had nothing but good things to say and many have already marked their calendars for the 2007 staging.