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January 24, 2013
Star Entertainment


Jazz & Blues triple treat ... Celebrate the art of music with Heineken, Ciroc, Johnnie Walker

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 photos

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell (left) makes a point to Ian 'Juicy' Wong (centre) and Mayor of Port Maria Richard Creary at the Johnnie Walker bar in the Frenchmen section of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium last year.

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 at this year's festival from January 24-26.

Jazz aficionados can groove to the sounds of John Legend, Mary J Blige, among others, while enjoying 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 world's 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.

Spirits Brand Manager Marsha Lumley, said that "Johnnie Walker and Frenchmen complement each other. Consumers will enjoy a deluxe whiskey brand in the sophisticated setting of the Frenchmen lounge."

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.

a deeper purpose

With the motive of getting the most out of Jamaican music for its people and country, Red Stripe is said to be on a deeper purpose in sponsoring Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, which has always opened opportunities for Jamaican music on the international market.

Pointing out that "we do more for music by being involved in it," head of marketing at Red Stripe, Jomo Cato, adds, "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."

Like the approach of Thanks Giving 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 artists. 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, who has been on Jamaica jazz FB Live Chat, headlining the event, with many more popular international in the line-up.

The jazz and Blues Festival comes to a climax on Saturday, with the legendary multi-award winner Dionne Warwick, after a slew of top international artists. Warwick, who famously added her voice to the multi-Grammy Award-winning charity song We Are The World, is highly 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.

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