The line-up for this year's staging of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival continues to grow the the most recent announcement that award-winning songstress Regina Belle, and the hugely popular Air Supply, will both return for repeat performances.
Walter Elmore, president of Turnkey Productions and executive producer of the festival said that he was very happy to have her on the show and said that jazz enthusiasts will certainly be in for a treat when she hits the stage.
Regina Belle is a very powerful artiste. She is a songwriter, producer and a wonderful singer with compelling lyrics that resonate with many people all across the world. She is a welcomed addition to the line up for the Jazz festival. She is looking forward to her performance in Jamaica and we are pleased to have her," Elmore said.
He went on to say that this event will mark the second staging at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium and as such he wanted to ensure that the line up on all three nights was solid and appeasing to the crowd.
"We have something for everyone at the festival this time around. Maroon 5, Ron Isley and Laura Izibor are just a few of the other names," Elmore said.
"Jazz has evolved over the years and is now being mixed with other sounds, we are trying to make sure that all genres are covered and that the audience goes home feeling satisfied," he added.
Air Supply thrilled the Jamaican audience when they headlined the 2008 staging of the festival and had to be brought back to for a one night only concert later that year. Regina Belle was one of the acts who shined in the early years of the festival, performing at the 1997 staging which was held at the Rose Hall Great House.
Regina Belle began singing in church at the age of 8, some of her musical influences came from Donny Hathoway, Nancy Wilson and Billie Holiday. After High school, Regina attended the Manhattan School of Music and Rutger's University where she became the first female vocalist with the school's Jazz ensemble.
She began her musical career as the opening act for the Manhattans and later recorded the duet Where Did We Go Wrong with the group. This recording beckoned the attention of the Columbia Records label which Regina Belle signed her first record deal. In 1987 her debut album All By Myself, which included her first hits Please Believe Me and Show Me The Way, was released.
In 1993 she recorded the song A Whole New World along-side Peabo Bryson for the Disney movie Aladdin, which became the number one song on the Billboard 100 and also won her two Grammy awards in the same year.
The Australian duo of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, better known as Air Supply are set to return to the Jazz stage after to successful outings here in Jamaica. Known for their soft rock love tunes including, All Out of Love, Making Love out of Nothing At All, Here I Am, Even the Nights are Better, Lonely is the Night and Just as I Am — made even more popular locally thanks to a cover by the male quartet, LUST.