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Thursday 21 March 2019
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$12M budget for 2019 jazz festival

Jamaican dancehall reggae artist, Busy Signal and American singer Jacquees (Rodriquez Jacquees Broadnax), 24, who sparked a debate when he claimed to be the King of R&B, will be among the international acts for the 2019 edition of the Tobago Jazz Experience. Jacquees, will join American singer and songwriter Michael Bolton and a seven-time Grammy singer who George Leacock, Chairman of the Tobago Festivals Commission (TFC), said would be named following finalisation of payments and related paperwork.

The festival will take place on April 26-28.

Announcing the performers at last Thursday’s launch, Leacockk also announced that the Festival’s budget this year is $12 million, and said he expected that costs of hiring performers to be less than the $4.7 million spent in 2018.

Last year, the two-day event had a budget of $7.3 million, and featured American singer and songwriters Ne-yo and Fantasia.

The first night of tis year’s three-day event, Jazz on the Waterfront, will take place on the Esplanade in Scarborough and will boast three stages for local performers. Auditions will be held soon to determine the performers, Leacock said.

Jazz in the East, dubbed Caribbean Night, will feature as the headline act, Jamaican singer Marcia Griffith, the woman who sang the Electric Boogie, known popularly as the Electric Slide, Local band Imij and Company, soca artists (to be announced after carnival) and Jamaican acts Busy Signal and Duane Stephenson will also perform at this event.

International night will see performances from TT jazz vocalist Vaugnette Bigford, Tobago All Stars steelband and pannist Alston Cannon Jack who has appeared on Sesame Street and the Cosby Show.

Leacock said a nominal fee will be charged for Jazz on the Waterfont and Jazz in the East in Speyside. The main event on Pigeon Point will cost $600 for general, $800 for VIP and $1,200 for limited VVIP spots.

Tickets go on sale on February 22.

“The Jazz festival week is the week immediately after Easter so that the members of the hotel association have to find a way to convert our relatively short stay Easter weekend visitors into visitors who will stay through the week and into the jazz festival,” Leacock said.

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