Fans gearing up to descend on the Caribbean's biggest party this month are being advised to forget last year's traffic woes and prepare for a great time and smooth driving.
That's the word from the executive producer of the annual Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, Walter Elmore. "Our new highway and underpass are now open and complete and this will greatly reduce the congestion to and from the venue," said the phenomenal jazz fest producer this week.
Elmore added that festival organizers of the January 24-26th Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues at the Aqueduct Rosehall in Montego Bay, Jamaica will be working in tandem with the Head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent of Police Elan Powell, to ensure there is a smooth flow of traffic to and from the venue. "We also have a 2 Lane Underpass that links the outer lanes with the venue and also the parking lot across from the shops of Rose Hall," he explained. "This will allow the shuttle buses to come and go without crossing traffic."
And to top it off, festival organizers have put in place an official whose sole responsibility will be all parking lots at the venue. That official will be overseeing several properly trained attendants to
ensure vehicles are parked quickly and efficiently. Additionally, in order to ensure the comfort of patrons is further enhanced, the Jazz Fest team have introduced for the first time this year a 'Park & Ride' lot. Fans will be able to use a very efficient bus system located across from the Holiday Inn hotel to get to and from the venue.
"All in all we foresee no traffic problems this year," said Elmore.
The festival will also serve to recapture the intimacy of the old Cinnamon Hill venue but also give fans the space they need to jive to the music while soaking in the breathtaking scenery and breathing in the fresh air of the trade winds blowing in directly from the ocean.
But it is the Grammy winners and 2008 Grammy nominees who are set to rub shoulders and thrill music fans in Montego Bay, Jamaica in a matter of weeks that's the talk of the town. Three of the 2008 artists set to perform at the Festival recently picked up nominations for next year's 50th Grammy awards. While two others on the bill already hold the prestigious statuettes. Grammy winner Jill Scott, newcomer Ryan Shaw and Spyro Gyra all been nominated for next year's 50th Grammy Awards, set for February 10, 2008, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Scott, who already holds two Grammy's, has been nominated three times for the 2008 awards. She's up for 'Best Female R&B Vocal Performance,' for "Hate On Me," 'Best Urban/Alternative Performance,' for her collaboration with Lupe Fiasco on "Daydreamin" and 'Best R&B Album' for the "The Real Thing."
Shaw has received his first nomination in the Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "I Am Your Man," while Spyro Gyra has gotten the nod in the Best Pop Instrumental Performance category for "Good To Go" off the album, "Simple Pleasure" as well as for Best Pop Instrumental Album of the year. Shaw is a 26-year-old singer/songwriter from Decatur, Georgia who recently launched his debut album, "This Is Ryan Shaw" on the One Haven/Columbia label.
The 2008 nominees and two-time winner will be joined at the prestigious festival by eight-time Grammy Award winner, Anita Baker.
The line-up also includes Legendary singer, Diana Ross; revered 'Caribbean Queen' singer, Billy Ocean, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Yerba Buena, Taj Mahal & The Phantom Blues Band, pianist Marjorie Whylie, JT Taylor, Kool & the Gang's former " Legendary Voice," Jessica Yap; AJ Brown, Dwight Stephenson and 13- year-old powerhouse Nikki.
This year the festival is being presented by key title sponsor, Olint along with support from Air Jamaica, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Oasis Bottled Water, Viva Sparkling Water, Audi, Vitamalt, Power and Charmin.
For more information and tickets log on to AirJamaicajazzandblues.com or call Air Jamaica Vacations at 1-800-LoveBird to make travel plans