Alicia Keys to perform at Jazz Fest

| 11/05/2009

(CNS): This year’s Jazz Fest has received a boost with the confirmation of international R&B superstar and nine-time Grammy award winner, Alicia Keys, as the headlining performer. Tourism Minister Charles Clifford announced today (Monday 11 May) that Keys will be performing her extremely popular signature style of singing and jazz piano on 5 December, the final night of the 3-day festival. Additional performers at the sixth annual Cayman Jazz Fest, to be held December 3-5, include two-time Oscar and Grammy award winner Peabo Bryson, jazz saxophonist and singer Kirk Whalum and popular R&B and soul singer Keith Sweat.

Minister Clifford said, “The signing of Ms. Keys, who is at the top of her game and launching a new album this year, along with the other seasoned international performers, takes Cayman jazz fest to the next level and should prove to be a big draw for visitors and local residents. This, coupled with the fact that we are only just in May and our travel packages are already in place, will enable us to get an early start on promoting the festival in order to maximise visitation. Local artists will also be confirmed in June giving them greater time to prepare their performances for what is shaping up as Cayman’s best jazz fest ever. I can assure everyone that jazz fest this year will be an amazing event.”

Acting Director of Tourism Shomari Scott added that the Department of Tourism is finalising the rest of the line-up and will provide additional updates in the weeks ahead.

Cayman jazz fest is a partnership between the Department of Tourism and BET Event Productions. Paxton Baker of BET commented, “This is a big year for BET and Cayman. BET is launching a new network in October called Centric, which will be distributed in 45 million homes, and with Alicia Keys as headliner for this year’s event, the Cayman Islands and Alicia will be a prominent part of our Channel launch. Our television campaign will be extensive including a partnership with Alicia’s record label to promote the Cayman Islands, the festival and Alicia’s 2009 CD release.”

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  1. Afraid to strap on a pair also says:

    Who ever came up with the idea and for whatever the motivation, it’s nothing but great for the island.  Not only is Alicia a talented class act known on every continent, but she is also a humanitarian.  Show this great lady some respect, people!!!  Yeah, I’m an outsider but sometimes you all embarass me!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey Chuckie remember to put some Alicia tickets in your bag when you leave.Cause otherwise you sure to be paying at the gate next December!!!!    

  3. The Futurist says:

    Don’t be an idiot TEAM CAYMAN. Jazz Fest isn’t new….its an annual event…..have you been living in a hold ? It just makes me sick when around this time everything that happens people suggest that its political…..this is great planning by the government a will result in increased visitors to our shores. Congrats Chuckie…..well done again !!! I can’t wait.

  4. TEAM CAYMAN says:

    What do you all expect from this goverment, for them all to bring down a great talented artist like Alicia Keys, because it’s election time, anyone could easily figure that one out!  They want your votes.

  5. Two cents says:

    I hope a contingency plan is in place should the pageant beach location be sold.

    If not and all remains the same I really hope that HSBC does not act in same despicable and selfish way that they did last year…who in heavens name pay security guards to secure an EMPTY parking lot on a NON working night??? I found that to be in absolutely poor taste and lacking in social responsibility.

  6. Anonymous says:

    "They need to help Charles"….

    The government is looking for a proper investment. Investing in Charles, whose career is almsot over…and has left little of a "bang", would be foolish. Well done DoT and Ministry

  7. Anonymous says:

    To, "You still dont get my vote"…

    The signing of Alicia has been in the workings for well over a year. This is not some political ploy created by Chuckie  to "rescue" himself politically.

    Get it straight

  8. Bruce says:

    What!!! Did someone compare Keys to the one hit wonder Vanilla Keys- The last artist to appear in Cayman that has achived more is Charlie Pride!

  9. Anonymous says:

    You still don’t getmy vote Chuckie!  This is more of an ego thing for you than anything for the country.

  10. The Futurist says:

    I can’t wait……Alicia Keys in Cayman….damn we goin big time now !!! Our Minister of Tourism has got it goin on !!!

  11. Miss Jazz says:

    Thanks Chuckie. Great job again…….you’re simply the best man for the job !!! ……..I’m certainly looking forward to our 2009 Jazz Fest and as a hospitality worker I know first hand the large number of visitors that are generated because of our Jazz Fest……major coup Chuckster 🙂

  12. Beg to Differ says:

    I beg to differ with Bruce, Vanilla Ice has been here twice in the past 20 years, to the extreme, rockin the mic like a vandal..

  13. Anonymous says:

    (because quite frankly, the outside world thinks the difference between avoidance and evasion is semantics),

    Just like the difference between kidnapping and prison is semantics, no? both involve being heldagainst your will, but one is legal the other is not


  14. Bruce says:

    Well done- this is by far the best artist to perform in the Cayman Islands in 20 years. Kudos to the PPM- they have delivered once again.

  15. Expat24,372 says:

    I understand that my views, as an expat, are generally unwelcome and derised, however, I am going to add my opinion anyway.

    I’ve never been a major fan of R&B or Jazz, however I’ve heard of Alicia Keys, and she has a following that is global and extends across most continents.  Charles Whittaker is realy not know away from these shores and I would have to say that as a way of promoting the island to tourists, this is a major coup.

    Many people will travel overseas to see the musicians and singers that they are fans of, and it’s important that the country does what it can to make this as easy as possible.  The more people Cayman can bring down for the Jazzfest, the more internationally recognised some of Caymans musicians can become.

    Cayman airways and the local hotels should really get together on this and make it both affordable and easy for her fans.

  16. If Only... says:




    Fact is this will generate more income than any boxing match. I’m pretty sure the DOT is comparing the success of Jazzfest and the earlier boxing match and realize which one brings in the dollars here. We don’t get to see how it is promoted cause unfortunately our cable provider only has BET (which I think sucks but that’s my opinion) and not the nicer  sophisticated BET JAZZ , which help to promote these events across the Caribbean along with the culture, so we don’t see what the world see how well we are being promoted. Fact is Alicia Key and Kurt Whalum and other will bring more people to our shore than Boxing, fact is last year I saw nothing on the fight broadcasted that would intrigue anyone about the Cayman Islands (nothing but sunset clips from fort George) because all I heard the commentators complain about the humidity and how it’s a tough fight because of that. Fact is this is the perfect time for a Jazzfest as well, especially in line with when Cayman Airways starts its direct flights (if they still do) to colder states like DC (JAZZ CENTRAL) and NY and people come here running from the winter looking for sun and wow how convenient a jazz show with Alicia Keys headlining, once again there are people that follow these jazzshows. What I think we should do is ask the hotels, car rentals and restaurants vendors,  and local artist that are part of the jazzfest just how much they benefit from this. Fact is, I doubt you would hear otherwise. Fact is A LOT more people benefit from this. Music is a universal language not boxing:P.

  17. R&B says:

    This is going to create alot of buzz about the Cayman Islands in the US and can only help our tourism industry. The suggestion that we should have invested these tourism marketing dollars in Charles Whittaker (who has absolutely no international recognition – and who would not even generate one single visitor to our shores – could only have come from one of those ignorant Bayas). Under Charles Clifford’s leadership our Jazz Fest has gone from strength to strength year after year… are to be commended Mr. Clifford. You have my full support and I will be voting for you and only you on the 20th of May. 

    • Thankful says:

      you were going good until you mentioned ignorant bayas!!!!!!!! now listen ya..we not all in the same box…….every district have our little dirty laundry; just because bayas like to hang theres out good and proper so sun kin dry um good dont mean we ignant…dry da up….dry da up right cha now…otherwise your submission was splendid!! 🙂

      Thankful west baya

  18. Fan says:

    Well done Minister Clifford !!!……..this move will keep the Cayman Islands front and center within the US marketplace.

  19. BT Voter says:

    Chuckie mentioned this possibility last year……and now he has delivered again……just as he and his other two BT colleagues have delivered on over 90% of what they promised us the BT people in their 2005 political manifesto. Go BT/PPM  Go !!!

  20. BT Voter says:

    Cayman’s Jazz Fest is in its 6th year and it keeps getting better and better…..congrats to Minister Clifford on taking it once again to a higher level……this is precisely what our tourism industry needs…….an internationally recognised artist promoting us and luring tourists to our shores. People who don’t understand the tourism business should stop making ass’s out of themselves by commenting on a subject that they know nothing about. The tourism business is a complex business and if you are not familiar with it please try not to speak on it……if its above your head just accept that nah ! Minister Clifford has my and my family’s full support…..and yes its 23 of us and yes we vote in Bodden Town !!!

  21. Afraid to strap on a pair also says:

    You know what?  I have no idea who Mr. Clifford is.  I’m just someone in the world outside of Grand Cayman who knows that after the financial industry swirls the drain (because quite frankly, the outside world thinks the difference between avoidance and evasion is semantics), all that is left is tourism and the island needs to start promoting it like there’s no tomorrow.

    • frank rizzo says:

      You know what?  I have no idea who Mr. Clifford is.  I’m just someone in the world outside of Grand Cayman who knows that after the financial industry swirls the drain (because quite frankly, the outside world thinks the difference between avoidance and evasion is semantics), all that is left is tourism and the island needs to start promoting it like there’s no tomorrow.


      The outside world are idiots…

  22. Anonymous says:

    Mr Clifford has merely done what he has done throughout his political career: exercise extremely bad judgement. On the campaign trail all he does is engage in mudslinging. And not surprising: he was the one that took the governments documents and gave them to Desmond Seales and the judge told him that he did it for his own political self interest. Not for country. Bodden Town people will not be putting him in.

    • Playing the Field says:

      "Mr Clifford has merely done what he has done throughout his political career: exercise extremelybad judgement. On the campaign trail all he does is engage in mudslinging. And not surprising: he was the one that took the governments documents and gave them to Desmond Seales and the judge told him that he did it for his own political self interest. Not for country. Bodden Town people will not be putting him in"

      …and in doing so likely saved the Country millions upon millions in underhanded misgivings. I don’t particularly like the man but sleep well at night knowing that he was the better option of the two.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am glad PPM brought down such a lovely GOSPEL singer as Carlene Davis and band for a wonderful FREE concert .Now I would like to see some one bring down Bill Gaither and friends for a revival for our ISLAND .LETS ALL KEEP PRAYING FOR OUR ISLAND…

    • noname says:

      I too was at a wonderful concert on Saturday night, which also had lovely gospel singers, from tots to the elderly. This concert was put on by the McKeeva Bush Foundation for the children and elderly. What realy touched me though was seeing the happiness on the faces of the children who were hearing-impaired as they performed. I could see the joy and amazement on their faces as they performed in front of the thousands of people there that night. I know they took great pleasure in knowing that they were not left behind and could also conribute to the joy and entertainment of others. on another note, do you seriously think we need to bring down someone to pray for our country, don’t you think our prayers mean just as much to God as someone elses does?

  24. Afraid to strap on a pair also says:

    If Only is quite right!  This is proactive for tourism and brilliant!  Some of us even booked a vacation to see Tragically Hip a couple of years ago.  Booking a top notch R & B act in December- now that’s thinking outside of the box! 

  25. Anonymous says:

    Where in the HELL is this money coming from? It will not be value for money spent. The revenue will NOT cover the expenditure. How long can we keep letting Clifford perpetrate this foolishness..How about some ads for God sakes, some TV spots, some real marketing and promotion? This is total insanity.

    • Anonymous says:

      They need to help Charles Whittaker with his boxing, what will we get out of the singing, eat sleep and *!%T we need to promote our own people (Our Caymanian)  Who is Alicia Keys another Woman from a different Country lol , Take care of your House first, (


      Clean your closet before you can clean any one else

       PPM Wake up and smell the roses 

      • The Truth Hurts says:

        Difference being that Alicia Keys is a world famous superstar performer and Charles is a half-rate wannabe professional sports person who is not good enough to support his own career choice so has to resort to relying on others to do it for him.

        • Anonymous says:

          to the "The truth hurts", when you hear of a concert or event happening in arenas in the States/city – believe or not but they injects money in those shows.  it is business thing for them to make money and showcase talent and their State/city.


          From a Tourism/Marketing point, we have to bring people like Keys here.  she is a great role model.


          CI Govt should help talent.  I am sure if West Bay or any other district had their own budget they would help Charles and others out.


          Maybe that is what the Govt should do – make every district have their own budget to operate.  we will see then who produces the best business minds out there….  And a lot more things would probable get completed in district that are behind in development.

  26. Jedi Dread says:

    I hope we see Gary Ebanks this year…  Boy, that man can play a Saxaphone!

    DOT, please don’t dis our local talent… ever again!

    – Jedi Dread –


  27. Anonymous says:

    The can take the money from the education Budget,the PPM did it in the past.NO PROBLEM!!!!Vote UDP!!!

  28. $$$$$$ says:

    Alicia Keys and Beyonce Knowles headlined at the Bermuda Music festival in Oct 2008 at a purpoted total cost of $2.2 million dollars.

    "The second highest fee, which most likely went to Alicia Keys, was $425,000. The artist also received a $75,000 stipend for expenses." That’s half a million dollars folks!!

    In terms of her additional requests:

    "Alicia Keys, on the other hand, is a big fan of tuna sandwiches. The same website reports that at one show her requirements included three cans of chunk white tuna, a jar of mayonnaise, loaf of multigrain or wholewheat bread and a sandwich platter of lettuce and sliced tomatoes.

    Other requests included herbal tea; electric kettle and clean coffee pot; styrofoam drinking cups; Nutrigrain bars; Quaker oats; veggie, hummus and fruit platters; menus from quality seafood and Italian restaurants.

    Furniture requirements for her dressing room were asked to be kept simple, while her band’s dressing room needed to comfortably house three people, be near a shower, have an eight-foot banquet table with a white tablecloth, sofa and mirror. She asked for a similar dressing room for her back-up singers, and another for her support act."

  29. If Only.... says:

    To Anonymous who likes to type in caps

    Jazzfest is a good way to promote the island. Obviously you have no idea about how jazzfest works. Have you been to one?

    The same way how someone would fly to the states to watch a concert, believe it or not people actually book flights and hotel stays to come down here to watch their favorite artist :O. Shocking I know. Not only do you have music lovers and fans following their favorite artist to exotic locations, but there is also lots of promotion on foreign radio stations to win trips to see these head liners and what not. Last year, while waiting in line I spent a nice time talking to a bunch ateast a groups of 16 of yes TOURIST that were all excited about seeing Anita Baker, some won the trips, some paid out of their pocket to come along, and enjoyed the daytime seeing the island and were already making plans to come again this year cause the experience they had so far, not the mention word of mouth of the good time they "had down in the Caymens".

    Jazzfest or any other music "fest" generate lots of money from tourist and locals and it gets people out to a sofisitcated and pleasant event.

    I’m excited for the line up this year, even if Alicia backs out or not. Keep up the good work guys (DOT), the last few shows were great! Shomari try get John Legend nah! 😉

    Saves me buying a plane ticket for another airline other than Cayman Airways and booking hotel and rental car,and funds for dining out to contribute to some other countries tourism economy:)

    ***I have no objection to supporting other countries economies as I want others to support mine, my last paragraph was meant to break down how much a "jazzfest" can do for tourism and promoting and island, like Cayman.

  30. Anonymous says:

    As much as I love Alicia I really do hope that in the Minister’s haste to pull out a hat trick right before election to boost his chances at re-election that proper thought was put into this. This is a MAJOR star and thus the price tag and demands will be quite high. The costs of bringing her entourage and whatever perks that go along with being a star of that calibre must be quite high. So whilst I love Alicia and will be there front and center I do not want my country to spiral into further debt because of the short sightedness of our Minister.

    What is positive is the advanced notice so that tourists can plan their trips accordingly and DOT can really boost up their marketing efforts as mentioned. I really do hope the cost benefit analysis was done and that we will actually come out on top on this one.

    Our Tourism product always reminds me of the saying "your eye is bigger than your stomach"

  31. Anonymous says:

    Once again the question: how much is the DoT spending, and exactly how many tourist dollars will be generated? This event is great for the folks in GC, but does anyone really believe the money is well spent?

  32. Nine-Time Grammy Award Winner says:

    Thats Great! I Am Sure She Will Have A Good Time And Put On A Great Show For The People Keep Doing Your Thing Miss Keys Stay Focused Keep Spreading The Love Alot Of People Support You And Care For You


  33. Anonymous says:

    Excellent.  Good Job to the Minister, Department of Tourism and thier staff!

  34. Anonymous says:



     Let me get this right , they did not have the budget to put on a fight that would have been televised all over the world and would have showcased Charles Whittaker who is Mr. Cayman Islands . We have not a heard a word about Charles Whittaker since Clifford sunk his ship so I guess they had it right when someone said that his career was damaged .

    Why don’t they have a jazz fest and boxing event at same time ?

  35. Anonymous says:

    GO ALICIA! I can’t wait for a new album.

  36. Anonymous says:



  37. Thankful says:

    Just had a thought: given our unfavourable mention recently by President Obama, I would turn our a huge news release overseas and get some positive press from this.  It should be aimed at the syndicate news organization – would be interesting to see how many of them pick it up; but, imagine if one or two does it will have a positive impact in the perception area.  That area, Lord knows need some healing.  I think the powers that be should consider this.  You say long shot.  I say: why not?!

  38. whodatis says:

    Are you people for real?!

    "Lets hope she stays out of trouble"?

    "Who is Alicia Keys anyway?"

    Surely you jest?!

    This woman is one of the highest acclaimed performers (and an actual MUSICIAN) currently in the game! She has never been one to fall into "trouble" as the usual run-of-the-mill "pop stars" of the day!

    This is no Britney Spears or Amy Winehouse folks.

    This is the by far the best news Cayman has had for a long time – she has a massive international PR force behind her and this will definetly uplift our profile on the international stage.

    That being said the other performers have all been on top of the game at different points in recent musical history.

    Keith Sweat ruled the 90’s – anyone remember "Twisted" or "Nobody"?

    Peabo Bryson did his thing in the late 80s early 90s as well. Does anyone remember "A Whole New World" – a duet by him and Celine Dion for the animated film Alladin?

    Personally, this a very impressive line-up! I will definitely be there – front and center…(maybe even with a lil 5 carat ring tucked away in da coat pocket…just in case! :o)

    Good job DoT!


  39. Thankful says:

    wow!!!!!!! what a capture….lets hope the lady stays out of trouble between nowand dec and not do a Micahel Vick (NFL boo-boo, no fault of ours of course) 🙂 but the lady has talent and will no doubt has a following..we need to ensure that the DoT turns out and up our marketing campaign and milk the PR efforts with this.  Good job Mr. Minister….I actually recall you saying last year that you were aiming for her or someone of her calibre…excellent sir….

  40. Anonymous says:

    WHO IS ALICIA KEYS ANYWAY?????????????????????