Chance for local stars to shine with superstars

| 02/12/2008

(CNS): The annual Cayman jazz fest opens at Pedro Castle this Thursday and 3 night musical extravaganza is featuring a line up of local artists who will have the chance to shine alongside superstars Michael Bolton and Anita Baker. On Friday night the music will be playing at Pageant Beach and the line-up features local artists Stuart Wilson & Love Culture, Jonathan Ebanks and Impulz.

Although Cayman jazz fest features a number of internationally-acclaimed artists festival organizers said they take great pride in having Cayman’s jazz, pop and soul artists share the stage with the globally recognized stars. Stuart Wilson & Love Culture will be entertaining crowds with his mixed style of reggae that appeals to people of all cultures and walks of life and incorporates overtones of many of his influences – Bob Marley, Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest, Third World, Aswad, Big Mountain and many other popular artists from all genres of music. He is best known for his many performances in both the Cayman Islands and Great Britain with his band, Love Culture. Wilson is a gifted guitarist, singer and song writer whose lyrical depth and thought are evident in the work he produces. Stuart Wilson & Love Culture has opened for acts such as Damian Marley, Richie Spice, Beres Hammond and a host of others.

Jonathan Ebanks no stranger to the music began playing the guitar at age seven and has recorded over 20 albums throughout the years. Ebanks has performed at Reggae Sunsplash in Montego Bay, Jamaica, opened for Chaka Khan in Jamaica and then again for Chaka Khan and Musiq Soulchild at Cayman jazz fest. He has also opened for top reggae acts such as Third World, Ziggy Marley, Lucky Dube, Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest and many others. Ebanks’ latest album "Tales of the G-string" is set to be released in December.

Impulz band performs regularly at The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman and other five star venues. Band members include Rex Watler, Edward Frederick, Mark Hydes, Stephen McDermott, Stephanie Webster, Darrell Carter and Doug Whitfield. Lead singer and guitarist, Rex Watler started a band called “Power Surge” in 1979 where the group played mostly Caribbean and Soca music. But in 1998 the band decided to go in a new direction and renamed the group “Impulz”, bringing an international flair to the group with the addition of new members.

The Department of Tourism said the local artists are all excited about this year’s festival, as it allows them to reach audiences on a larger scale. Rex Watler, founder of Impulz, said that he and his band mates are looking forward to putting on an amazing show and can’t wait to showcase how they have grown since performing at last year’s jazz fest. “I feel that this year’s show in particular is going to be even more spectacular and Impulz is grateful to be a part of it,” he said.

 Acting Director of Tourism, Shomari Scott said that the Friday night concert promises to be a dynamic show. “The Department of Tourism has always supported Cayman’s artists and we are glad that there are so many talented performers who can add a truly unique dimension to Cayman jazz fest,” he added.

On Saturday 5 December alongside Anita Baker, Robin Thicke, Norman Brown, Esperanza Spalding will be Cayman’s own KK Alese. Like many artists, KK Alese began performing in church when she was a young child. Over the years she has developed into one of Cayman’s most respected singers through her membership in well loved groups. In 1999, she joined contemporary jazz group MoDanJaz as a vocalist. That same year the group released a collection of Christmas favourites titled, "It’s Christmas", which sold quickly throughout Cayman. In 2002, KK Alese became one of the founding members and the lead vocalist for After Dark, a contemporary jazz ensemble that rocketed in popularity across Cayman. The group went on to open for several internationally acclaimed artists including Freddie Jackson, Keith Sweat, Floetry, and Faith Evans, among others. KK Alese made her solo debut at the 2005 Cayman jazz fest. She is currently completing work on her first solo album of original music which has led to collaborations with Grammy award winners from the Caribbean and the United States, including Bounty Killa and Beenie Man. KK Alese sasy she is looking forward to returning to the jazz fest stage. 

Festival ticket prices if purchased by December 3 are as follows: Thursday December 4 at Pedro St. James, CI$75; Friday December 5 and Saturday December 6 at Pageant Beach, CI$50/night. An entire festival package can be purchased for all three nights for CI$160. Valet parking service will be available on Thursday night; and on Friday and Saturday nights, parking is available at the Almond Tree. The Pageant Beach concerts will be open seating and offer free admission to children under 12-years old. Friday and Saturday night attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets. Please note that coolers, cameras or videography equipment will not be allowed on site. Tickets can be purchased at the Department of Tourism, Funky Tangs and Atlantic Department Store. For more information, visit www.caymanislands.ky/jazzfest.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Give it up about Garry Ebanks – if he’s that good that everybody is whinying on so much about him, then why is he not having large sold out concerts throughout the year??

  2. Anonymous says:

    LOVE CULTURE NOT AT JAZZ FEST….just to let all those who are expecting to see the band Love Cultre at the Jazz Fest, you will not.  I was very disapointed to find out that "LOVE CULTURE" band is actually not being featured, Stewart Wilson (a member of Love Culture will be proforming) AKA "Daddy Stu".  But anyone who thought that they would see Love Culture (Samuel & Rose/Gordon Solomon/Daniel Augustine & Stewart Wilson) will be surprised to know on the night of Jazz Fest they will not be performing and that this was falsely advertised.  SO SAD!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is nice to see young Caymanian jazz stars and NEW acts, but most of us will miss the Cayman jazz mentor who plays his craft nightly, Gary Ebanks.  The department of tourism really messed up with this one.  also, where did all the advertising dollars go?  Just like the NFL quarterback challenge, the DOT is really mismanged and needs to be the first department to share their spending habits with the public.