Bolton’s performance in Jamaica has been a long time in the making. As a family man and a single parent of three, Jamaica was Bolton’s vacation spot of choice for years. He even learned to snorkel and received his water sport’s certification in this beautiful Caribbean country. But despite invitations from several promoters, a performance never materialized.
But come January 2007, the singer, who has sold over 53 million records worldwide and has become a towering figure in the world of music, will grace a Jamaican stage in Montego Bay at the 2007 Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. It is an event he describes as “a land mark moment because it is the tenth anniversary” of the festival.
So what can the thousands of fans expect from this versatile performer? “Some great surprises,” said Bolton, ading that he expects to deliver hits like ‘Soul Provider,’ ‘How Am I Suppose to Live without You’ “with some variations” to make them “feel fresh.” And he will add the big band sound and some swing.
Over the last twenty years, the singer and songwriter has lent his unique vocal style to many genres of music, including rhythm & blues, jazz, swing and opera. Bolton, who will be recording two albums in January, says one will be part of his roots and he is going to bring that to the Jamaican stage.
The Connecticut-born artist is also honored by the fact that many of his songs have been re-recorded with a reggae beat by Jamaican artists. Anyone who has heard “Can I Touch You There,” hears the unmistakable one drop reggae feel on that track and his new album, ‘Til The End of Forever,’ includes a slinky reggae version of "Said I Loved You? But I Lied.”
So, can the fans in the land of reggae expect the genre in Bolton’s Repertoire? Bolton says “it very possible” but that is the surprise.
Bolton will join a stellar line of some music’s best Jazz, R & B, Country, Blues and Reggae superstars such as Kenny Rogers, Christopher Cross, jazz instrumentalist Roy Ayers, trumpet virtuoso Chuck Mangione, Pieces of a Dream, ABBA-The Tribute, Blues Icon Robert Cray, world renown Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander, the legendary Russell Tompkins Jr., and The New Stylistics, neo-soul icon Anthony Hamilton as well as “the Art of Reggae” featuring reggae/dancehall all-stars Apollo Lifetime Achievement winner Freddie McGregor, dancehall ‘cool ruler’ Wayne Wonder, crooner Sanchez and mega DJ Shaggy.
Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival (airjamaicajazzandblues.com) is a Turn Key Production and has been running continuously for the past ten years. It began in October 1996 on the lawns of the Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay, with some 3,000 persons but now caters to some 40,000 music fans. International acts that have been featured over the past decade include John Legend, Bo Diddley, George Benson, Air Supply, Patti Labelle, Al Jarreau, Alicia Keys, Kenny Rogers, Mary J Blige, James Ingram and Nancy Wilson. This year it moves to a new venue – the Aqueduct on Rose Hall main road, near the Rose Hall Resort & Country Club.
Jazz Fest organizers also are reminding U.S. travelers to all secure their U.S. passport or certify that the passport of their foreign country is valid before traveling to the festival next year. The call comes as the countdown to the US’ Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative or ‘passport rule,’ begins ahead of the extended January 23, 2007 deadline, which will require all air travelers to present a passport to re-enter the United States. U.S. passports may be obtained through the U.S. Postal Service while Caribbean and other greencard holder can obtain passports from their local consulates. U.S. passport fee are US$67 plus an execution fee of $30 and a photo fee of $15. Fees for children under age 16 are $52 plus the additional photo and execution fees.
Sponsors of the 2007 festival include Air Jamaica, The Jamaica Tourist Board, American Express, Digicel, Caribbean Producers and Ocean Spray. For JazzFest vacation packages call Air Jamaica Vacations at 1-800-LOVEBIRD.