New company to produce jazz festival; Celine Dion headlines event

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Céline Dion

The Art of Music Productions (AMP) is the new company that will produce the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2012.Making the announcement at the launch of the event yesterday at the Iberostar Suites in Montego Bay, AMP's CEO, Stephen Dear, said TurnKey Productions, under whom the event has been produced for the last 16 years, have been relinquished.Walter Elmore remains chairman and executive producer of the festival, but has added a fresh team from the business community that includes marketer Oliver Mair and accountant Winsome Minott. Financial guru Leo Williams complements an older group of directors which includes artiste management agent Jerome Hamilton, hotelier Carol Bourke and engineer Martin Elmore. Future revenue streams for the AMP will include large-scale music festivals; ticketing/box-office services; talent booking and artiste management; theatrical productions; equipment rentals and multimedia services. "Turnkey was quite a popular name worldwide and, therefore, difficult to do international business, and so the name-change process started five years ago," revealed Dear. With AMP's first major event being Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2012, the group announced a mega line-up of artistes who will perform come January 26, closing with headline act Celine Dion on the 28th. "Bringing an act the magnitude of a Celine Dion is something I have dreamt of since the day I started the Jazz festival 16 years ago," Walter Elmore admitted, adding that he never thought he would be able to do it. With admiration, the AMP chairman spoke of the multi-million-dollar album seller, Dion, "A factor in the entertainment, when you see a Celine Dion performance, it is etched in your mind," he asserted. "We wanted a name that was versatile and spoke to the product we currently offer," he concluded. Dion, who really does not share the limelight with other artistes because of her reputation, will play alongside Kelly Rowland, Jamaican-Canadian Jully Black and jazz great Nicole Henry, an amazing performer who graced the stage in 2004. In celebration of Jamaica's 50th year of Independence, AMP has announced a stellar mix of musicians who will showcase the evolution of the country's music. They include Toots Hibbert, Marcia Griffiths, Yellow Man, #Shaggy, John Holt and Half Pint. Celebrating its 17th year in 2012, Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival will operate with one of the largest budgets ever, said the new CEO. He estimates that the event will cost approximately US$3 million.
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