New March date for Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival


The organisers of the first fully virtual Jamaica Jazz and Blues event have announced new dates. Originally scheduled for January 28-30, with a promise to ‘Bring Back the Magic’, the three-day festival will now be held from March 4-6, 2021.

COVID-19 concerns reportedly prevented some international acts from participating in the festival, based on the necessity to observe the attending protocols in the cities that they reside, in particular California, festival officials say. The restrictions and their concerns for safety would prevent them from being able to deliver their performances for the January date. The Jamaica Jazz and Blues joins 2021 Grammys Awards show, originally scheduled for January 31, and which has been postponed to March.

Producer Adrian Allen remarked, “All things considered, we believe that this is the best option for all concerned. Just a day ago we were advised by an international artiste, almost on the point of confirmation, that he would not be able to do the performance within the required dates, due to the California COVID-19 restrictions. This was a big disappointment to us, and in trying to replace him we realised that the other performers we could target were subject to the same issues. We decided that it was best to postpone the event,” he explained.


Allen is resolute in his decision to maintain the winning Jazz and Blues formula and the new date provides an opportunity to fulfill that mandate. “The festival has always presented a mix of international and local performers and we did not wish to change that formula. As a responsible festival, we have to be concerned about the health and safety of the artistes. The extra time will allow them more flexibility to ensure their safety. It will also allow us more time to produce the most magical virtual presentation of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. All local and Caribbean acts are confirmed and ready to go and we will be announcing them in the weeks ahead.”

“We have discussed the new dates with our sponsors and all are in agreement with the change to March,” remarked Marcia McDonnough, co-producer of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. “With the extended timeline we will be able to engage a much larger audience in our pre-event promotions, which automatically increases the potential audience for the show. An added advantage is that this will give additional exposure to the brands, thus increasing the sponsors’ return on investment in the festival, and this of course is one of the major objectives of our marketing campaign.”

Richie Stephens, Jah9, Cuban-American singer Jon Secada, Lila Iké and Tessellated have been revealed as some of the performers at the 2021 staging of the festival.

Some 16-18 acts are expected to take to the event’s virtual stage, including the winners of the Band Quest Competition. This competition is an open call for local bands to vie for a spot on the festival’s opening night. The winner will be determined by public vote.

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