Fresh from a successful debut last year, the Jazz Cruise "Motion on the Ocean" will again be a major element of the programme of the International Ocho Rios Jazz Festival. The 2017 renewal of the cruise sails off from the Port Royal Street Dock, downtown Kingston on May 28, beginning at aboard the double-deck Caribbean Queen.
"We came up with the idea of a jazz cruise last year, and it truly exceeded our expectations," says Festival director and co-founder Myrna Hague, so we're delighted to bring it back this year. We've worked on improving some of the logistics and the service so that this year patrons can enjoy the experience even more."
Last year's cruise was indeed a rollicking affair, with the Belgium-based Freddie Loco Ska band kicking the beat all the way across the harbour. Before and after their set, the evergreen selector Gladdy and the Wild Bunch kept patrons rocking with the waves and the sounds of the great tunes.
This year, there is musical talent from "the north" and "south". Carl Winther leads the Danish group the Grand Beat, whilst the seagoing jazz lovers are in for a real treat with the addition of South African star Lorraine Klaasen to the jazz lineup. Once again, Gladdy will be at the controls in between to keep patrons dancing.
The 27th annual International Ocho Rios Jazz festival, Jamaica's longest-running authentic jazz event, gets going May 27 at the FDR Resort in St Ann and culminates June 4 inside the bandshell at Kingston's Hope Gardens. In addition to the Cruise, this year's programme includes a Jazz Workshop, free concerts and jam sessions at various venues, and a special "Eastern edition" at the famous Somerset Falls, in Portland.