Flow, Jamaica’s premier provider of broadband services has partnered with Home Box Office (HBO) cable channel to produce a special presentation that will focus on the Jamaica jazz and blues festival which takes this coming weekend at the Trelawny Milti-purpose Stadium.
Flow’s public relations manager Denise Williams, says an eight-member team from HBO is already in Jamaica finalising plans with tourism interests for the special programme.
“This is quite significant, notes Williams, “the HBO team, will not only film specific aspects of the Festival, but they will be meeting with officials from the Jamaica Tourist Board who will show them places of interest, in Jamaica. This means there will be a significant spotlight on Jamaica as HBO will air the special feature to their international audience.”
HBO is one of the many international channels offered by Flow’s cable service. The partnership between the companies is similar to ventures Black Entertainment Television had with other Caribbean countries in the 1990s. That worked wonders for countries like Barbados and St Lucia whose tourism product is largely driven by their annual jazz festivals.
This is the second year Flow is involved with the Jazz and Blues Festival, which is in its 15th year. It is also the second time the event will be held at the Trelawny venue which was built to host the opening ceremony of Cricket World Cup in 2007.
Williams adds that this time around Flow has stepped up its input in terms of technology.
“The venue will be wired with our WiFi system which allows patrons to log on wirelessly,” she explained. “They can tweet, go to Facebook or blog which is also another boost for the festival.”
This year’s festival sticks with tradition by featuring several of the biggest names in pop music as well as local acts. Among the headliners are Grammy-winning quintet Maroon 5, multiple Grammy winner Natalie Cole, singer-songwriter Brenda Russell, Ron Isley of the legendary Isley Brothers, Regina Belle and perennial favourites Air Supply. Diana King, best known for the 1990s international hit Shy Guy, leads the local contingent which also includes pianist Dennis Rushton and singer Leba Hibbert.