Jamaica Jazz And Blues Band Quest Goes Online


Through its Art of Music Campaign, the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival is again giving a platform for young talent to perform at the world renowned Festival in January 2010 on it’s now famous ‘Talent Stage.’

A chance to perform on the stage is a dream come true for many, with popular musicians such as Tessanne Chin and Rootz Underground getting the kick-start to their lucrative careers from performances on that stage.

But for 2010, Festival organizers are certainly kicking it up a notch, with the introduction of the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Band Quest competition.

It was the next logical step for us and developing our Art of Music idea,” says Walter Elmore, head of TurnKey Productions, producers of the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival. Now, persons all over the world will have a chance to showcase their talent at the Festival, thanks to the new Internet-based competition. Talented amateurs wishing to enter will have to visit the Festival’s savvy website, and become a member of the JJ&B Fan Zone. With that membership, persons will be able to upload their music and performance clips.

According to Marcia McDonnough, marketing manager for the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival, “There are many activities that persons can do in the JJ&B Fan Zone to get points, and the Band Quest entrants might very well attract new fans, who have the power to vote for them and that also brings entrants closer to performing on the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Stage.”

She added that up to 60 entrants with the highest number of points will be chosen as finalists and be invited to audition Live in the USA as well as in Jamaica. Entries opened on Sunday November 8 and will close on December 5, 2009. These sessions will be judged by a selection of qualified persons, selected by the Festival organizers.

If you qualify in the finalists but can’t make it to one of the live auditions, then there is no reason to worry as persons who fit this bill will be entered into a second online competition, from which one act will be chosen to perform at the Festival based on their point acquisition and voting.

McDonnough said that the performances of all the winners at the live auditions will be recorded and subsequently uploaded to the Festival website and the winners will be added to the Festival line-up. Interviews with the judges and the winning entrants will also be uploaded to the website, which she says “will give the public a chance to get to know the acts before their performance at the Festival.”

But in the end, there can only be one winner. The bands that make it to the Festival stage will be put through the ultimate test – the judgment of a Jamaican audience. Patrons of the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival will be given numbers to text and indicate who their favourite act on the Talent Stage each night was. In addition, their performances at the Festival will be uploaded to the Festival website for yet another Internet vote. The band with the most points gained from the text messages as well as the Internet votes at the end of the voting period, will be named the champion of the 2010 JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Band Quest and will take home a flurry of prizes including a guaranteed booking to perform on the main stage at the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival in 2011.

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