Faced with the need to increase the numbers of passengers travelling to the island, Allen Chastenet, the then Vice President of Air Jamaica envisioned an event that would solve his by encouraging visitors to come to Jamaica: Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival

Enlisting the support of well established and experienced producer Walter Elmore, he put together a team and in November 1996, with an audience of 1,500 persons, Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival was born overlooking the sea, on the beautiful lawns of the historic Rose Hall Great House.


Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival

Over the next three years, Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival presented a variety of exceptional artists.

George Benson, Erykah Badu, Najee, The Isley Brothers and Black Uhuru for example.

Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival was originally targeted at jazz and blues enthusiasts, attracted audiences of 1,500 to 2,000, and was held in November each year.

Various factors including heavy rains which occur at that time of the year encouraged the organizers to move the dates of the festival to the end of January, another traditionally slow tourism period.

With limited audiences and increasing expenditure, the event eventually became a drain on Air Jamaica’s coffers, and in 2004 the festival was sold to Walter Elmore, one of the original members of the festival team.

Dear Jazz Fans,

Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is taking a year off to re-group and focus on planning a spectacular 21th anniversary celebration in 2017.

While we are disappointed to not be back for 2016 and 2017 (and we know how much you were looking forward to the show) rest assured we really tried to make 2017 a reality.

However things just did not work out therefore instead trying to push and stage a Festival that would not be of our usual standard we decided to postpone it.

In the lead up to our 20th anniversary, we are planning a number of teaser events and one night only concerts that you are going to love!

Look out for our announcements coming soon!

Thank you for your support and understanding. We’ll see you in 2017!

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