Allen Chastenet, who at the time was the Vice President of Air Jamaica, originally started the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival in 1996. His initial intention was to create something that would bring more tourism to the island, so he enlisted the help of Producer Walter Elmore and together they created a team that made the festival happen. Even though it was their first year, they still had big names such as the Isley Brothers and Black Uhuru on board. Since then they have had their ups and downs, cancellations and relocations, the festival is still going strong. Last year they celebrated their 15th anniversary with performers such as Maroon 5, Laura Izibor, Natalie Cole and Diana King and this year the festival is set to be even bigger.
This year Jamaica is celebrating 50 years of independence. From 1509 until 1655 they were held under Spanish rule, then from 1655 until 1962 they were under the power of the Brits until they fought to rules themselves and won. So for 2012 the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival have pulled all out all the stops, the line up so far includes John Holt, Yellow Man, Mykal Rose, Ky-Mani Marley, Shaggy, Cee Lo Green and Celine Dion.
The Jazz and Blues festival is on from the 26th of January up until the 28th and some tickets are still on available.