The Tobago Festivals Commission has named Grammy Award-winner Michael Bolton as one of the headline acts for Tobago Jazz Experience (TJE) 2019.
The Commission made by the announcement on its Facebook page last Thursday stating:
“With 2019 mere days away, how are you supposed to live without your past for the next Tobago Jazz Experience? Here’s some motivation to get you excited and ready! We reveal one of the headline acts for 2019, Grammy Award Winning Musician Michael Bolton.”
Contacted for comment, Chairman of the Commission, George Leacock said that names of other performers, along with the budget for the festival would be announced at a launch sometime this month.
He said negotiations with the other performers were ongoing. The TJE 2019 is carded to take place from April 25- April 28.
Leacock, who also heads the Tobago Carnival Committee, has not yet announced any information for the island’s Carnival celebrations. Carnival takes place on March 5-6.
At last year’s TJE, more than $4.5 million was spent on artistes including Tarrus Riley, Ne-Yo and Fantasia, for the two-day event which had a budget of $7.3 million.
Tourism Secretary Nadine Stewart Phillips told the House at an October 2018 plenary that that “$104,000 was spent on Tobago based artistes, $180,864.79 on the Trinidad based artistes, $560,156 on regional artistes and $3,687,540.49 on international artistes.
She said total revenue earned from ticket sales was $1,668,600.
Responding to a question for oral answer from Minority Leader Watson Duke Stewart Phillips also said the Assembly did not venture into the event expecting to turn a profit, but more so to keep the festival alive on a calendar of events.
“After the national budget was read in October 2017, there were those who attacked in concept the decision of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to provide funds for festivals in Tobago. Fortunately, the Government and the Tobago House of Assembly were not persuaded by these attacks and a decision was made to make the funds available to the Tobago House of Assembly. The Tobago Jazz Experience serves the primary purpose of increasing visitor arrivals and stimulating economic activities,” she said.
Meanwhile, attempts are still being made to recover US$430,000 reportedly paid to American soul singer D’ Angelo (Michael Eugene Archer) to perform at TJE 2017 at World Music Night at Pigeon Point on April 29.
D’Angelo did not come to Tobago, and the THA has said previously that it has taken legal action to recover the money, having forwarded legal letters to Matt Ross of 11Entertainment Company Limited who reportedly prodcure the artiste for the festival, D’ Angelo and a group acting on behalf of D’Angelo.
Asked about recovery of the money recently, Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles said new Senior State Council at the Assembly. Was now overseeing the matter.
At the November 2017 THA plenary Stewart-Phillips has said that “several attempts were made through the (THA) legal department to recover monies paid to the company and no favourable feedback was received. The legal department was instructed to initiate legal action against Eleven Entertainment Company Limited.”
Then Chairman of the Jazz Festival Committee, John Arnold, had told the media on the final night of the jazz festival on April 30. 2017, at Pigeon Point, that the downpayment of US$430,000 was in D’Angelo’s possession and the THA had given a timeline of three months to collect a refund.
Arnold had told the media that D’ Angelo was unable to perform because his grandfather died, that “our job right now is not to search to find out if his grandfather really died, we have an agency to do that on our behalf. We are just going with the information that is given to us by the agency.”