Alicia Keys wows Jazz Fest

| 07/12/2009

Cayman islands news island weather classifieds business financial services(CNS): With a long list of opening acts at the sixth annual Cayman Islands Jazz Fest and a wide array of local artistic and cultural displays to explore, it was close to 11:30pm when Alicia Keys finally took to the stage at the smart and sexy Camana Bay site – a late start for most who expected the show to be over at midnight. She enthusiastically announced her pleasure to be in the Cayman Islands before jumping right into her performance. Wearing tight black pants and a silver sparkled top, Keys moved effortlessly between her piano and the front of stage. (Photos by Judy Canseco)

Keys glided seamlessly from her latest singles, “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” and “Empire State of Mind”, and other songs from her fourth studio album “The Element of Freedom” (set for US release 15 December) and old classics such as “Fallin’” and “Woman’s Worth” from her debut album in 2001. Fan favourites from her second album, “The Diary of Alicia Keys”, included “You Don’t Know My Name”, “If I Ain’t Got You” and an explosive duet with former back-up singer and evening co-performer, Jermaine Paul of “Diary”. “As I am”, “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” and “Teenage Love Affair” were welcome submissions from her third album “As I Am.” Keys surreptitiously exited the stage after about 45 minutes while her band and backup singers continued to woo the audience. She soon returned to take her anticipated encore with mega hits “New York” and “No One”, the former being a duet with superstar rapper Jay-Z in its original form, but Keys gracefully adapted the rap lyrics to piano friendly cadences, once again surprising everyone with her immense musical talents.

Cayman islands news island weather classifieds business financial servicesJazz Fest is arguably one of the most dynamic events in Cayman, garnering attention from both local and international audiences as well as performers. This year’s jazz fest, which ran 3 through 5 December, experienced something of a facelift, with both a change of main venue as well as the announcement of perhaps the most famous international musician to perform on our shores. With 9 Grammy Awards under her belt, Alicia Keys has an international fan base that transcends age and genre. The announcement of her inclusion in the Jazz Fest this year undoubtedly attracted a whole new range of audience that may otherwise never have attended the event, and quite likely never had before.

Having entered into a five-year contract with the Department of Tourism to host the event, Camana Bay spent months grooming the proposed 8-acre site with landscaping and irrigation to accommodate an anticipated turnout of about five thousand. Rumours circulating over the past week claimed seven thousand tickets were printed and being sold, despite the venue only being able to accommodate a crowd of five thousand. The turning away of ticket-holders and even rioting were speculated by some, but as anyone who attended the show on Saturday night saw, there clearly was plenty of space for everyone and most seemed to be on generally good behaviour, perhaps due to the overt amount of security on site.

Cayman islands news island weather classifieds business financial servicesOne issue that did manifest and seems to do so consistently at the Jazz Fest is that between those who wish to stand and those who wish to sit. Perhaps in an earlier incarnation, presenting more traditional jazz acts, the Jazz Fest lent itself well to an entirely seated audience. However, some critics of the festival’s organizersfeel that with more soulful performers such as Chaka Kahn, Anita Baker, Robin Thicke and Alicia Keys on the bill, it’s time to re-think how the venue is structured. “I can’t imagine why anyone would want to sit during an Alicia Keys concert,” says Helen Reid, a Cayman resident for 3 years and 2-time attendee of the Jazz Fest. “But of course if people want to sit, it’s their prerogative, I just don’t think they should be telling me to sit because they can’t see when I want to be up dancing. It’s a concert after all. The performers work hard to entertain us and they deserve to see all the people who want to dance and enjoy their music to the fullest.”

Local resident, Sandra Catron, agrees that there’s an issue when it comes to sitting and standing at the Jazz Fest. "I’m not one of those people who needs to be up and dancing all the time so I appreciate being able to sit and have a good view. When one person stands, everyone has to stand to see over them and then no one gets to enjoy their seats. But I think organizers really need to address the issue because I totally understand that some people want to dance. Perhaps they should section off the area in front of the stage with one side for dancers and the other for seats."

The view of the stage, whether seated or standing, was assisted by large screens on either side displaying the camera angles being captured by BET (Black Entertainment Television) who had exclusive filming rights to the entire event. There were even screens at the back for those not interested or brave enough to penetrate the inner seating. The large VIP area was moved from the left of the stage to front row centre this year, providing VIP access in its purest form to the lucky insiders.

Local songstress Andrea Rivera and her band Los Tropicanos opened the evening with a charged set of current pop, dance and Caribbean covers as well as some original work. Another well know local musician, Devon Edie, and his ensemble Absolute Joy soulfully serenaded the crowd with their unique arrangements of classic reggae, jazz and calypso. One of Cayman’s up and coming male vocals Jeffery Wilson squeezed in a quick 3-song set of up-tempo R n’ B.

Perhaps the most delightful surprise of the evening was Elle Varner. A native of California, her funky, eclectic tracks commanded immediate attention from the youth in the crowd. Her powerful voice bellowed fun and interesting tunes that were a cool mix of hip-hop and jazz while her quirky cuteness completed the perfect package. Next up was Barbados native, Arturo Tappin, whose sexy saxophone interpretations of classic reggae and soul really exemplified what Caribbean jazz is all about. The last act on the opening bill was Jermaine Paul, a New York native and long time collaborator with Keys. Paul’s rich and smooth RnB tones maintained a vibrant energy that really got the crowd steeped in anticipation for the main attraction.

During the opening line-up many people chose to explore the food vendors, bar area and the several Cayman cultural booths set up along the rear of the space. Local artists Gordon Solomon, Nikola McCoy-Snell, Nasaria & Randy Chollette, as well as Caymanite artist and sculptor, Horatio Esteban, displayed impressive arrays of works, once again proving Cayman artistic talent to be of international caliber. Esteban was also commissioned to create a one-of-a-kind sculpture for Keys as a tribute to her work and visit to the Cayman Islands, though this presentation was not made on-stage.

Also on display in a shared booth with the Cayman AIDS Foundation were T-shirts designed by local designer Luigi Moxam for his “Tink Again” campaign, aimed at empowering young people to take charge of their sexual health. In response to world AIDS day on 1 December and also in light of Keys’ outspoken international support for HIV and AIDS awareness, the Foundation was also selling CDs of 4 songs specifically composed by local musicians to acknowledge the threat, prevention and social implications of HIV and AIDS in our community.

It was close to 1am by the time crowds were pouring back into the Camana Bay town centre but most were still reeling from such a diverse and complex range of talents and performances, so the process wasn’t as arduous as expected and once again, security and event staff kept the lines moving in the right direction to ensure everyone’s safe arrival to their vehicles. Long time fans of the Cayman Jazz Fest thought the event a true achievement for organizers, with most wondering how it could be possible to top such a monumental headline show. Fortunately, we only have to wait a year to find out.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Who signed contracts for 2009 jazz fest. see cayman compass and cayman news service articles below.  I am not UDP or PPM, for me its about the FACTS.


    Alicia Keys to headline Jazz Fest 2009



    Thursday 14th May, 2009   Posted: 14:19 CIT   (19:19 GMT)

    International R&B superstar and nine–time Grammy award winner Alicia Keys has been confirmed as the headline performer for the sixth annual Cayman jazz fest, 3 to 5 December, Charles E. Clifford, minister of Tourism, announced on Monday.

    Ms Keys will be performing her popular signature style of singing and jazz piano on the final night of jazz fest, 5 December.

    Additional performers include two–time Oscar and Grammy award winner Peabo Bryson, smooth jazz saxophonist and singer Kirk Whalum and popular R&B and soul singer Keith Sweat.

    “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,” said Mr. Clifford.

    “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.

    Mr. 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.”

    Alicia Keys wows Jazz Fest

    … and sexy Camana Bay site – a late start for most who expected the show to be over at midnight. She enthusiastically announced … Minister of Toursim, Mr. Clifford for he was the one who signed the contract with Alicia Keys. I went to Saturday’s …

    Story – Nicky Watson – 12/08/2009 – 11:25 – 100 comments – 0 attachments

  2. Anonymous says:

    i loved Alicia keys at Jazz fest i want her to come back…..but they really should make like a middle section of the stage the extenz out in the croud. that way the people that couldent see her good can atually get a good look at her….. BUT PLESE BRING ALICIA KEYS BACK TO THE CAYMAN ISLANDS FOR JAZZ FEST EVEN BRING BEYONCE. l love ALICIA KEYS……….:)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ok peeps here’s the solution….please stop all the hating now. Next year DoT should designate the middle section of the audience for the "standers"…… chairs, blankets etc allowed. The right and left sides will be designated for the "sitters" with chairs, blankets etc allowed.

    People on the right and left sides will not be allowed to stand and block others that are seated in front of them. People in the middle will not be allowed to sit no matter how exhausted you are…….stay on your feet jump, wave and parteee !!!

    Security and Police will enforce the "No sit" and "No stand" zones. Anyone in contravention of the rules will be expelled from the Jazz Fest and banned for 40 years and by the time they are re-admitted to the Jazz Fest there will be no question about which section they belong in……..right or left side….your choice 🙂

    Oh I almost forgot…….Chuckie thanks for securing Alicia Keys ……this has very clearly put our Jazz Fest on the map and now is when we will begin to see the returns on several years of investment.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think there should be a Caymanian section and an expat section with the tickets from the expat section subsidising the Caymanians and ideally priced so that the Caymanians can get in for free.

      • Night Flyer says:

        You gave me a laugh this morning, funny stuff.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is already an expat section. It extends from George Town to West Bay, a country coined "Expatistan"  It even has its own capital.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    ASSIGNED SEATS would be best. Judging by the bitter-sounding people here it was a point of obvious contention whether people should be allowed to stand when people behind them are sitting.  I must say it is rather annoying when that happens.  I really don’t think people should be left to fend for themselves to find a seat when attenting a concert.  If you get an assigned seat then it will all go more smoothly.  Those who prefer to bring their chairs or blankets should have a specified area rather than just barging into the aisles with their chairs like they did this time.  I couldn’t believe how inconsiderate some people were.  I was also annoyed at kinds walking up and down the aisles and in between seat with the parents no where in sight.  Parents, if you’re going to take your kid, keep him or her in sight and don’t just let them run around.  Please no more toddlers either!  That was a bad idea.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We Caymanians are not RUDE, we are FED UP of the expats coming here and telling us what to do!!!

    Another note……to those who wanted to sit through  this Jazz Fest? You should’ve attended Thurs and Friday night.

    I guess you didnt know what Alicia Keys is capable of!!!!



    • Anonymous says:

      Some Caymanians ARE rude.  So are some expats.  Some are not.  You are a silly person.

      Some people like to SIT at concerts.  Some people like to STAND.  People are different.

      I’ve been to scores of concerts, some seated, some standing.  What it boils down to is that we are all there to have a good time.  Most of the concert crowds I’ve experienced will make some effort to make sure that EVERYONE can enjoy the experience.  

      That is simple courtesy, something you apparently were never taught.

      Glad I wasn’t there and hope I never have to sit, or stand, near you at a concert!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Curious as to why the concert was allowed to continue until the wee hours of Sunday morning. It’s all right if the government breaks the rules. God forbid if someone who pays for their business licenses do so.

    • Anonymous says:

      hypocrisy is the conerstone of cayman… it’s definitely not christianity!

  8. Anonymous says:

    To: Vacationer

    Maybe it was your bad attitude that attracted rude persons to you.

    Caymanians are reknown worldwide for their manners, friendliness and courtesy, what most Americans have no idea about. If you didn’t have the priviledge to meet one, then it’s your loss. Caymanians are like everyone else, you give them attitude, you will get it in return regardless whether you are a tourist or resident. I’m sure if we come to Boston and are rude to you, then we would get the same reaction!!!

    • Vacationer says:

      Actually I wasn’t rude, thank you for assuming I was though, the fact that you just attempt to blame others speaks volume of your "courtesy".

      I am always polite, and I always will be, but that does not mean I want to pay to be treated so badly on vacation, some where else can have my business.

      Thank you for your "world reknown" friendliness though it is appeciated

      • Anonymous says:

         Boston, eh? Isn’t that supposed to be one of the rudest cities in America? Dang.. you must have had a terrible experience.

        All jokes aside, as a local, I am disheartened to hear that you did not enjoy your time on the island. I don’t think anyone should attempt to ‘force’ you to like a place, nor should you feel obligated to come back, especially when people are urging you to hop on the next flight out (p.s. to the poster(s) who wrote that… really? how is that constructive?). I would like to say though, that I do believe (hope?) your experience was in the minority (speaking about vacation in general here, not solely Jazz Fest). And if you stick with your decision not to return, hopefully you find a venue that better suits your wants and needs.

      • Anonymous says:

        To "Vacationer"

        as a born & raised Caymanian I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to you for what happened to you & others at the show. First, you must realise that not all the people you thought were Caymanians are in fact Caymanians. We are "world reknown" as being very friendly, as you said. The vast majority of Caymanians ARE friendly, & I know that most Caymanians have said that the incident at the show was unfortunate, & did not involve Caymanians. I’m not sure because I was not close, but I again apologise on behalf of true Caymanians, because believe me we need you more than you need us. Please reconsider, & visit us again & again. You will always have better experiences in future, I’m sure of that.


    • Anon says:

      I can now see why tourism is so badly in Cayman, and we want more Caymanians like this in contact with our tourists?

      • Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

        more caymanians in this Industry is a good idea.  If its bad now, then its because our guest workers are negative and not doing a good job onbehalf of the host (our country).  Seeing that currently, some 85% (guestimate) of our frontline staff at our resorts, hotels and watersports are guess workers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tourism did not go bad because of the Caymanians. Remember when you first came here how Tourism was booming? So now just put two and two together and figure it out. THANK YOU.

        • Anon says:

          The comment was that a tourist was complaining of being verbally abused by Caymanians on vacation, and it seems there was no apology just trying to aportion blame on the tourist.

          What happened to the service industry catch phrase "the customer is always right"

          It is the posters bad attitude that is not going to win over tourists in this ecomonic climate.

          and you want more of him in the industry?

          and you think that is going to help the industry?

          and if you must know I was here long before tourism boomed, so your point is?

          No matter what you say mistrating tourists will not bring repeat business and will not bring them to recomend Cayman to others.

          And you want to blame expats, sad

        • frank rizzo says:

          The answer is four.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To: Pastor Bucket

    Get a life; if you wanted to be in front then you should have arrived at 5:00pm like those individuals who came to get a good seat.

    As to who sits at an Alicia Keys concert? The answer is, whoever wants to sit, it their prerogative, it you want to stand up and dance, then go to the side!!!  How much would you appreciate it, if you chose to sit and had persons standing in front of you and you couldn’t see the stage?

  10. anonymous says:

    We should start a wish list for future headliners and int’l B players with similar universal appeal.  Here are some names that have toured/played other International Jazz Festivals in the last year: 

    Lenny Kravitz, Ben Harper, SEAL, Norah Jones, Rihanna, Santana, Eric Clapton, Allman Brothers Band, BBKing, Tracy Chapman, Erykah Badu, James Taylor, Derek Trucks Band, Youssou N’Dour, Steely Dan, Dave Matthews Band, Chickenfoot, Herbie Hancock, Joe Cocker, EarthWind &Fire, Steve Winwood, Wilco, David Sanborn, Third World, Grace Jones, George Benson, Jeff Beck, Prince, Bon Jovi, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Susana Baca, The Neville Brothers…

    • frank rizzo says:

      I arrived late Saturday but I caught Alicia Key’s performance. I thought it was excellent but I was standing in a bit of a bad spot – partially blocked by the cameras. As for the sitting/standing debate, I don’t find it odd to sit for a jazz performance. I enjoy contemporary jazz but it does not inspire me to dance in the aisles. Standing to applaud is perfectly appropriate in my book. It seems to me that the debate over appropriate behaviour at the event stems from the type of music performed. Pop, rock, latin, soca, reggae, etc would rightfully elicit more dancing and enthusiasm from the audience than would jazz. The event was touted as a Jazz Festival and as a jazz fan I would have expected the majority of the performances to be jazz, and the crowd interaction to be on par with a jazz performance. If DOT touts a Jazz Festival let it be a JAZZ Festival. The mix of performers we saw over the three days was more along the lines of a Music Festival and perhaps we would be better served if future performances featuring mainstream performers were advertised as such. Expectations are less likely to clash if one knows one is to attend a Saturday night Alicia Keys concert versus a Saturday night jazz performance featuring Alicia Keys.

      • If Only says:

        "Expectations are less likely to clash if one knows one is to attend a Saturday night Alicia Keys concert versus a Saturday night jazz performance featuring Alicia Keys."

        I could not agree more. The engery alone of the mass crowd singing along with Ms. Keys was enough to give her energy. Also people need to consider actual artist concerts and fest in bigger countries are normally at places with stadium seating… which obviously there wasnone of and how many songs were there to get down to like 5? the rest fit perfectly to sit and vibe to. Also I never heard Alicia Keys once say "get up" but she did say "clap your hands" which the crowd did, maybe cause she knows herself its people progative to sit or stand. She was amazing. The set up and seated audience was appropriate for a JAZZ FEST. Only thing I ask for next year, please have a little but more jazz (whatever type) playing in the background between seats to keep the mood going instead of silence and advertising, felt like I was watching TV instead of at a jazzfest, maybe some smooth jazz to calm the crowd, and a silent reminder it was a Jazzfest. But that said GREAT perfomances and location and food:)

      • anonymous says:

        Most international Jazz Festivals have incorporated mainstream Music Talents in order to add cashet to their event and draw more people to their shows, perhaps introducing some attendees to the beauty of Jazz. 

        In the absense of a Jazz-based radio station here, it is doubtful that Cayman has managed to cultivate a more sophisticated listening audience than elsewhere in the world. 

        Here are links to the most reknowned Jazz Festivals in the world where you can see the headliners favour mainstream pop talent rather than the comparatively esoteric Jazz names like Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Wayne Shorter, and Pat Metheny.

        New Orleans Jazz Festival

        Montreux Jazz Festival

        Nice Jazz Festival

        Montreal Jazz Festival

        London Jazz Festival

        Barcelona Jazz Festival

        Berliner Festspiele

        • frank rizzo says:

          Bust out of the box and consider promoting the Cayman Music Festival and you won’t have us stodgy jazz fans sitting thru your pop concerts.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Please hire better MC’s.  The last two years have been difficult to watch as far as the MC’s go.  I felt that they are borderline annoying making stupid jokes, screaming into the microphone, and never really saying anything worth listening to.  The comments from the audience around was all of disappointment. If we are going to put up a good show, please use people that have experience and can actually add substance to the whole show.

    • anonymous says:

      I couldn’t agree more.  Please spare us the narcisistic goons next year.  Those national ambassadors were an embarressment, carrying on like they were famous themselves.  Taunting a crowd that had waited HOURS in the heat and chicken smoke for the headliner was both rude and inconsiderate.


  12. Grateful live music lover says:

    Congrats to Camana Bay, Massive, and Barnes for delivering a World Class concert experience.  Congrats also to attendees for voting with their feet to provide the validation of appetite for this type of world class entertainment.  I think we can all agree that our lives are better off with more frequent live entertainment of that calibre. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mckeeva had the vision to start this event.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The Chuckster still making his mark !!! ………..he will always be the Honourable Minister to me. Thank you Sir.

    What a show Alicia put on for us…….hard to believe that can be beat anytime soon.

  15. Anonymous says:

    fabulous jazz fest, but just stop with all the negative comments concerning Caymanians.. not even enjoying a concert in "our own way" can we get right. I have absolutely no problem with the people that are on their feet, dancing and shouting etc., I actually enjoy watching them too….although I for the most part, sat in my seat with an occasional wave, shout out, whoopee holla, but that is just me….we are all different and show our enjoyment in varying ways. Just stop the neg comments about Caymanians and their exposure to such concerts. I have been to lots of big name concerts all over the US and it is the same, perhaps the majority stand, shout and dance, but ther are some that sit as well….big up the positive about JazzFest. Awesome show and organisation and venue.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a story in JAM. Time limits are enforced all over.


  17. Anonymous says:

    I must say the former minister had good vision with cayman jazz and should be proud of himself.  Thanks chuck.  Dont worry, they only have 3 years and a few months left and they better enjoy it.  It will be their last time back in power.

  18. Nothing dirty about dancing says:

    When I was in a band here’s what we used to say:

    "GET UP GET DOWN!!!!  OR GET OUT!!!!!!!

    but alas

    Some folks can’t get up to dance

    ’cause their ass might fall off.

  19. Anonymous says:

     get JASON MRAZ for the next jazz fest!

  20. Tampa Tourist says:

    I went to the jazz fest this past weekend in Cayman from Tampa.  It was an awesome event, and ALL of the performances were fantastic.  I am surprised to hear negative comments of any kind at all on this website about the Jazz Fest or its promoters.  We had thebest time, bringing our own chairs and blankets and walking around eating, drinking and of course enjoying the music.  It seems that us peons in the "regular" seating area knew more how to behave.  Maybe Caymanians don’t realize that it is an unspoken rule and at concert of that magnitude for people to be able to stand and dancec and sing and enjoy themselves.  How anyone could just sit and not let the music move you is beyond me, but I think it is a case of just not being use to that caliber venue and show.  It was such a nice event, that I do not want to read any more of the negative comments.  At any event, in any country, in a group of any size like that one or bigger there will be the idiots that have to cause aproblem.  This did not happen because it was Cayman, or anywhere else, it happens!  It is okay guys, focus on all the wonderful things about the event.  We will be back next year, and pray we don’t sit in VIP but amongst the people that were okay with us standing in front of them even though they chose to sit.  And when we sat, I enjoyed seeing people in front of me standing and being happy and enjoying themselves.  Let’s all be happy!  Cayman is a beautiful country, with wonderful people, and I am talking about the Caymanians and Ex-Pats alike!  Guys…smile, enjoy life, and let us not take ourselves so darn serious!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Actually, having worked at Jazz I can safely say that the "bring your own chairs" is announced to encourge people to bring seats as only limited seats are provided. The idea is to get people to become an active part of the concert and not just sit down. Of course, one might get tired and need to sit at some point, and there are those who are simply unable to stand, but for the most part it is to get people on their feet.


    I have been to 2 other festivals in the Caribbean and at NEITHER do people really sit down. But, it seems to be the Caymanian way to sit down all night and do nothing but watch an listen, an crack the occassional smile. How boring. The artists like when their audiences get involved!!

    • Fallen Angel says:

      "But it seems to be the Caymanian way to sit down all night and do nothing but watch and listen".


      Is this also why crimes ‘performed’ by criminals in our midst just happen, and happen, and happen…

  22. Anonymous says:

     let me know..somebody.. when the cayman jazz fest is gonna be aired on tv and wat channel..please…

  23. Anonymous says:


    I am a big Alicia Keys fan and I enjoyed every bit of her performance! Determined to get their early, I fortunately found a seat close to the front. Unfortunately I was told there were no VIP tickets, but found that there were reserved seats. I suppose they were just complimentary, but it was really upsetting to me as I wanted to be as close as possible to her!

    The venue was set up really nice! Expecting just a half hour performance she made my night extra special by performing for a good lenght of time! She sang all the songs I wanted her to, which was just lovely. Anticipating her presence on stage, the crowd where i was nereby got a little anxious and pushy and people carried their chairs closer to the railing, security came by and asked us to move but in the end we all ended up back there, everyone in peace and harmony enjoying her lovely presence and voice! It was a night to never forget!

    She performed "Empire State of Mind Pt2 Broken Down" which is her version on her ‘Element Of Freedom" album, it is not termed ‘New York’ that is somethng you guys may want to correct in the article. Also, she does not have a song ‘As I Am’ it was the name of her album and her intro. She performed "I Need You" from that album and many more!!!

  24. pastor bucket says:

    a fantastic event! spoiled by the miserable local women & men who threatened the ladies in our group with physical violence for standing up, and then got physical when we stood up to them

    who sits @ an alicia keyes concert!

    typical selfish spoilt island brat attitude: you think that everyone who comes here is here to entertain/serve you & you can sit in your little chair & give the thumbs up/down




    fix it up cayman!


    • Anonymous says:

      Very interesting…well the mad woman standing on her chair was American if that makes you feel any better?! Lol!

      Here you go trying to make this a locals vs. ex-pats issue. Tsk tsk tsk.

    • Anonymous says:

      The seats were put there by the Event Organizers NOT the audience, and if they paid their money and found a seat at the front who are you (Local, Expat or whatever) to tell them to move so you can stand in the front. It don’t matter if they are local or not, they got there first and have ALL rights to sit in seats provided for them, but you obviously have a chip on your shoulder about NOT being a local so I only have one peice of advice for you: There are a few flights a day OUT of Cayman that you must take so you can go back to where you come from and be a Local in your Country – GOOD RIDDANCE STAR!

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone been to the Jazz Show in Jamaica as that in attendance is far larger than our Jazz Fest and if anyone wants to dance you do so on the sides while seats are provided up front in the middle, so I dont think its only Cayman where seats are provided for the audience!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunatly, you must be one of those rude people like who chose to show up late and then attempt to simply stand up in front of the people who took the time to go early to get a good seat.  I definitely enjoy concerts when I am comfortably seated and I certainly do not enjoy seeing somebody’s big butt in front of my face.  I want to see the artist sing and dance and I would not think of blocking anyone behind me.  You and your friends are so inconsiderate.  If you want to dance then step to an area where you are not blocking anyone.  BTW If you hate locals so much why are you still here? There is such a thing as the next flight out, bye!  What, you not gone yet?

      • Vacationer says:

        Actually we had a similar experience and we arrived at the beginning. We came all the way down from Boston to see Cayman and see the show. I had thought that this rudeness from the locals may have been a one off but from your comment I can see that is wrong, what a rude people.

        I feel it is my duty to inform all my friends how unfriendly Caymanians are to tourists to their country.

        Never again! and as for being on the next plane out, I have already left thank god!

        I think the friendliest people I met while in Cayman were some South Africans working at Red Sail. It says alot when you have to hire in friendly faces for the tourists.

        I hope one day you will learn to treat others how you would want yourself to be treated.


        • Anonymous says:

          Dear Vacationer, never get between a Caymanian and their sense of entitlement.  It is very very dangerous. 


        • Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

          I wonder wish guest worker you are trying to justify your continued work in this country.  Undermining locals at the same time getting your fill.

          Honestly…I seriously doubt you are a visitor.  What…friends of our one of those same south aficans you were hailing.

          • Anonymous says:

            "I wonder wish guest worker you are trying to justify your continued work in this country. "

            ????? What are you smoking??? Does that make any sense?

            "Honestly…I seriously doubt you are a visitor.  What…friends of our one of those same south aficans you were hailing."

            So if a tourist thanks a couple of expats for their attitude, they must be expats too or their friends?

            How inherently racsist are you?

        • Anonymous says:

          Please do not judge all Caymanians by one bad apple! In fact it is very possible that the trouble makers were in fact not true Caymanians! Please visit Cayman again, not all Caymanians are rude, & if you do vacation in Cayman again I am sure you will meet our true frirndly Cayman people. Thanks, & WE are sorry for your bad experience.

        • Anonymous says:

          How do you know that the rude folks you met were Caymanians? Caymanians are very exempt, and years ago Tourists used to say that we were some of the nicest folks that they had ever met.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not planning to go home yet because I am making so much money here and want to milk it for all I can.  Having to deal with rude hicks is part of the price I have to pay for the cash I make, but right now I am firmly on Team Mammon. 

      • pastor bucket says:

        No I am afraid you have assumed way too much there.
        I was at the concert from about 715pm & my butt is quite small. I was with my wife so you must be confused.
        I am not one for division yet It is clear that this issue is the fault of the promoters as we can see these boards getting very lively with mixed views, although it’s a clear majority of positive people who wish to show an artist their appreciation by standing & dancing.
        I feel that you guys should be free to have your area, and the "standers" should have an area too. Nowhere else on the planet does such ridiculous planning happen @ a world class concert.
        How can I hate locals if I am one, silly silly. Jumping the gun again.  I am a well travelled local, one that understands global cultures & it saddens me to see such closed minds @ a concert as well as here. Just shows that one cannot deal with such small minds. A very illogical reply, well done!

  25. Thankful says:

    Did I hear Tina Turner!!?  Alicia is a top class artist.  Tina is the same but add: Top Class Performer!!  That lady would work that stage.  Would be an appeal to all age groups.

    The Lady also has an International following.  However, given our numbers locally on saturday last…it would not be necessary.

    Who vote for Tina Turner?!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Here’s why she was allowed to play past midnight. McKeeva, the Master of all Confusion and Disorganisation, decided to insert his special Premier awards in the Jazz Fest. Now don’t get me wrong……each and every awardee completely deserved to be recognised for their artistic achievements over many many years but I’m sorry the Jazz Fest is not the place to do it. Do it on Hero’s Day or some other appropriate day.

    A professionally executed Jazz Fest is time sensitive and every minute of the show is accounted for in the planning. Alicia Keys was not supposed to play beyond midnight but McKeeva decided to insert his "show" into the Festival and Alicia had her list of songs that were very carefully choreographed and she was not going to be sort changed……..and its a good thing she didn’t stop at midnight because that would have meant a 30 minute performance and she would have had a very angry audience at that point.

    The Jazz Festival is a promotional event for the country and is taped by BET/Centric for replay up to 12 times on their network. MCKEEVA THERE IS NO PLACE FOR POLITICS IN OUR JAZZ FESTIVAL.

    Mr. Clifford we thank you for keeping politics out of our Jazz Festival while you were the Minister and thank you too for contracting Alicia Keys for our 2009 Festival. It was unquestionably the largest public event ever in these Islands.

    Congrats too to DoT for their near flawless execution of the Festival. Don’t know how they’ll top this one next year…..but then again we wonder about that every year.

    • Anonymous says:

      If McKeeva did present the Premier Awards (whatever they are) on Hero’s day, then he would not be seen on BET and you know it’s al about self-praise but as it is said: "self-praise is no recommendation", but he has not realized that yet!

    • Anonymous says:

      16:43 you gotta be a PPM!  

      • Anonymous says:

        Does it bleeping matter what political affiliation they are? They made a very valuable point that should really just be common sense. 

      • Anonymous says:

        & YOU GOTTA BE udp!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I was truly impressed by the gorgeous venue at Camana Bay; we as Caymanians should truly be proud of this development and of the investment that the developer has made to this country.

    The shows were great and thoroughly enjoyed, however, I agree that the jerk chicken stands should have been place in a different location. 

    As far as Miss Keyes performing after midnight, kudos to whomever made that decision!  We must realise that all persons do not worship on Sunday and if we are to be a successful tourist destination, the laws regarding Sunday trade must be looked at and changed. Whether a club closes at midnight or four in the morning, whoever wants to go to Church on Sunday will go to church; those individuals who go to church are not likely be at the Clubs  anyway.




  28. noname says:

    It is wonderful to see top performers here, but I wish we could get a different sponsor other than BET, this is a multiracial island and to use BET a racist organisation, is just not good.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to the PPM for securing Alicia keys and to the UDP for securing a 5 year contract with Caymana Bay for Jazz fest.I personally would love to see whitney Houston,Janet Jackson,Billy Ocean or Lionel Ritchie for 2010,can’t wait!!

  30. Helen Reid says:

    I have been quoted here in this article and i want to repeat this:

    I was extremely dissapointed at the crowd! WOW, how many people sitting , barely tapping their feet let alone smiling and dancing.

    The event, organizers, sponsors and artists should be so proud – all awesome, so sad that your so called fans and event attendees could not really be bothered to show there appreciation by dancing, singing along and with their applause. Pitiful really.Would not be supprised if Alicia and the other wonderful artists never come back!

    If you don’t like music, are going to sit there all night and not move, not even crack a smile, pick fights with everyone and be crumpy all night – why did you bloody bother.

    Don’t get me wrong, if you want to sit – thats fine, but don’t critise those that don’t – where was that rule on the tickets??

    oh and by the way – holding a seat while you friend goes to the bathroom is not ‘seat holding’ and does not require profanity, aggression and threatning behavior. What, can you hold on for 5 hours too? well, there must have been a lots of rude women with wet asses – ahhhhh maybe thats why they were not standing up and dancing!

    rant over now i promise. BUT IT WAS A MUSIC CONCERT!!!!!!!




    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmm Dear Dear Helen, let’s see…they took the time to neatly set out over 2000+ chairs, AND there were many multiple media broadcasts leading up to the event asking people to "bring your own chairs/blankets" – I would think that’s kind of an indicator that they wanted you to SIT DOWN! DUH! But I suppose you’d require it to printed for you in black and white.

      You and others like you should learn to have some consideration for others – maybe it was you standing on the chairs yelling vulgarities at others behind you who paid money but could not see! Thankfully I was in front of this mad woman. Dancers could have gone out into the open areas and did as they pleased, if you want to dance so much – you go off to the side and do so.

      FYI – maybe you should Go to Alicia Keys’ twitter page – she had great things to say about her performance and the crowd response, so perhaps you should stop ranting. and I quote – "Just had a Ball on the stage of a beautiful island!! thank you to everyone there for all of your heart! vibe was beautiful, perfect night!

      • NSS says:

        I think this controversy about sit-down-stand-up is based on experience.  Most places in the world, it is accepted behavior to stand, clap, sing and dance.  I guess most Caymanians have not been to such venues.

    • anonymous says:

      How about you check out Alicia’s tweet about Jazz Fest…

      "Just had a Ball on the stage of a beautiful island!! thank you to everyone there for all of your heart! vibe was beautiful, perfect night!"

      • Helen Reid says:

        well of course she’d gonna say that – you think she would actually put up that she was disappointed at the crowds involvement – i think not . Duh


        but every artist thrives from crowd reaction – and saturday nights crowd partipation until the last song she played was nothing less than pitifull!

        • anonymous says:

          I’m sure if she was disapointed, she wouldn’t have tweeted at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, you sound very bitter. You sound like you should "bloody" go home and carry your bitterness with you – PLEASE!

  31. Anonymous says:

    id like to know when this is going to air on tv… 

  32. Anonymous says:

    I went to Saturday’s show and it was FABULOUS!!! Although the wait for Alicia seemed a bit long, especially for the kids who were dying to see her since that afternoon, I feel her performance was well worth the wait. In her defense – the fight in the VIP section did help to delay her entrance quite a bit – so thanks guys! (shakes head). The venue was beautiful, the weather worked in our favour, and the MC’s were fun and certainly fit the mood.

    My only complaints are;
    a) Security should have been patrolling up and down the aisles, asking those standing (especially a certain lady in my section who chose to stand on two chairs throughout Alicia’s performance) should have been asked to sit, or leave. The people behind her spent the rest of the show shouting for her to sit down, and that too could have broken into a fight.
    b) If someone is holding a single seat for their significant other, friend, family member etc., that people please try to shut up about it. It’s one chair! Behind me people were talking about this chair like it was the Second Coming!!! My question is – would they have rather my guy come sit next to them, or on their laps??? Not to mention, they too were holding seats! LOL!! (shakes head). I’ve heard stories this morning of people leaving their seats to go get drinks to come back and find their stuff on the ground and people in their seats. The nerve of some people…this should be rectified, though I’m not sure how.
    All in all, I really enjoyed the night – with the exception of the above – and cannot wait to see what’s in store next year. Our local talents made me soooo proud!! Mr. B. Scott, Andrea & Mr. Wilson were fantastic, and Jamesette’s voice on the National Anthem – truly amazing! Arturo truly blew me away! Elle and Jermaine are both very talented. Lastly, in my opinion, Alicia is an amazing performer and sounds even better in person! I was most impressed & really cannot wait for next year’s show.  
    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe if people had left their kids at home there would have been enough seat for the people in vip?!?!? I saw kids sleeping and just wasting space, please parents use common sense and leave your toddler at home.

      • Anonymous says:

        I must have misunderstood but I thought this was a family jazz event except there was only one jazz performer all night and it definately was not designed for the family.

        We had visitors arrive early to take in the jazz festival which they would not have done if it had been a pop concert, a shame but they are very disappointed. 

  33. Anonymous says:

    Special thanks to the former Minister of Toursim, Mr. Clifford for he was the one who signed the contract with Alicia Keys.

    • anonymous says:

      Yes, a very special thanks to Mr. Clifford who signed her 2 years in advance…he booked all the other performers as well.

      So kudos to everyone who worked so hard to make this event possible! Especially Mr. Clifford and all the staff at DoT!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        It appears that Chuckie had a hand in the great success of the show and he certainly expressed it on Facebook. Some behind the scenes work well executed. Thanks Chuckie.

  34. Expat says:

    This was indeed the best public event I have ever attended in Cayman Islands. Only drawback was that there was insufficient Police presence to control traffic after the show. But a great event

    • Anonymous says:

      A wonderful show. I FELT SO PROUD OF THE  LOS TROPICANOS, THEY PERFORMED SO WELL. They certainly have class and talent. They certainly did us proud.

  35. Anonymous says:

    WOW WHAT A SHOW!!!!!!! Great job DOT, DART  and Hopscotch Studios. The venue, the lights and sound and the performers were class act. I felt like I was transported to somewhere else. Looking forward to nextyear.

  36. CayBach says:

    For the most part outstanding especially the great venue. Sadly though the MC’s on Saturday night were appalling, not the same calibre as the acts – they did better on Friday night. The acts were great and we can be especially proud of our Cayman talent.

    Queues for food and drinks were impossible and unacceptable – 50 minutes to get a piece of Jerk and the same if you wanted a drink and water ran out before 10:00pm. Why not have a second Jerk vendor and share out the drinks’ spoils -does not all have to go to one vendor!

    If we want to have a world class event, we need to brush up on quiet a few issues! But still excellent and good value compared to what you pay in the US.

  37. Anonymous says:

    What a weekend!! Great venue, and great performers, certainly enjoyed it, my only problem was why would anyone would want to sit during an Alicia Keys concert, the girl is amazing and is a Superstar and this is the welcome she gets……. people sitting down, how embarrassing. Thank Goodness she wasn’t feeding off of the energy she was getting back!

    Organizers really need to address the issue of sectioning off an area for people who want to sit and one side for dancers.  Sitters get to the Back!
    • Mecant See says:

      Whaaa??… me cant stand, coz meee feet staaart hurtin…

      me cant dance coz aahd spill meee jerk…

      and me cant gooo to da back coz I am Caymanian and I deserve to sit at the front!!

      Alicia who?? who dat iiiss??

      • Anonymous says:

        WHAT HATE. Evento think that Caymanians would only want the front seats, and trying to immitate the way that we speak. But you know what "your accent is so poor that you even do a terrible job in immitating us". Looks like you are the ones that goes crazy when there is a foriegn entertainer in Cayman. You know what the best part of the night for me was listening to the Los Tropicanas. That girl  from West I think Iheard someone calling her Andrea was most awesome. As far as I am concerned that was the best of the night, and that note that they started off with  just blew my mind. I SAY WELL DONE LOS TROPICANAS. I BET YOU WILL GET SOME GOOD SPONSORS.

  38. Anonymous says:

    By all standards, this was a first class event, as brilliantly conceived as it was flawlessly executed. It stands as a testament to the  vision of the Department of Tourism and Camana Bay; the clearest example of what Cayman, in all its manifestations, can achieve when all its boundless energy and youthful enthusiasm is harnessed and harmonised for the collective goal of excellence in all that we do.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Jazz  Fest was a wonderful experience this year. It was my first year attending & I cant wait for the next though I do have to wonder how this year could ever be topped!

  40. Rob says:

    What happening??? positive posts on CNS!! Wow!!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Saturday – 7,900

    Not sure about Thursday and Friday. All three shows were fantastic!

    • anonymous says:

      That number is even more amazing when you take into account the fact that the festival usually pulls 4,500 for the whole weekend! 7,900 for one night alone is fabulous…there were about 3,000 people in attendance on Friday night…

      Jazz Fest 2009 certainly pulled in a pretty penny or two extra! Special thanks must be given to former Minister, Chuckie, and the DoT for their vision and execution of an exemplary show!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Los Tropicanos certainly made UDP and all of us proud. I hope that they will be carried to the Tourism Ball in New York, as they certainly have class. I can only imagine that they made Mack proud.

  42. Hmmmph says:

    Great show… went on far too late for us poor fools who had also signed up for the marathon though!


    How comes she was allowed to play past 12?

  43. Anonymous says:

    mannnnnnnnnnn..i missed itttttt…:( 

  44. Anonymous says:

    Great Venue…Great Performances…Totally enjoyed!….the only flaw I saw was the two announcers who clearly need more exposure, organizing and stage presence to suit the international level of the singers. They rambled on, were clearly not in sync with each other, did not really introduce the artists correctly (other than shouting out their names) and will likely be edited out by BET when the show is aired unfortunately.

    DOT will have to step up to the plate in this area next year to make it a world class show that it has become.

    ps. Please move the jerk stand from upwind!

    • Anonymous says:

      does anybody know when the show is going to air on BET or Centric? Please let me know.. CNS thanks for putting up this news article (also if you can let me know when it’s going to air, please do)..Thanks


      God Bless 

  45. Sam says:

    I went both Friday and Sat night and the event  was awsome! I truly look forward to next year to do it all over again!  

  46. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately I did not attend the Jazz Fest, but I have heard nothing but good comments about it.

    I heard that there was a young man named Ricardo Ebanks who sang at some point during the concert I understand that he is a very good singer and has really touch on peoples hearts when he has sang at other place before the Jazz Fest.

    It’s a shame that one of the Cayman Representatives of the Cayman Music Association was very upset and did not want this young man to continue singing during the Jazz Fest after he sang his first song.

    How could this representative be so negative and so  hateful against this young man and NOT GIVE A YOUNG CAYMANIAN a chance to give out was he has to offer in the music field.  This young cayman man comes from a family of wonderful and beautiful singers and it is a shame that our own Caymanians did not want this young man to continue to sing.


  47. Anonymous says:

    Excellent work Cayman, especially to the staff of the Department of Tourism and so many others. The Cayman JazzFest continues to grow from strength to strength.  

    We look forward to an equally fabulous event next year.

    By the way, are there any estimates as to how many people attended this years JazzFest, especially on the Saturday night?