JAZZ on the Piazza, a bi-weekly series hosted by The Wine Shop in St Andrew, will be included in this year's Ocho Rios Jazz Festival.
The announcement was made by the festival's director Myrna Hague at its recent launch at the popular eatery. Ocho Rios Jazz Festival is scheduled for June 3 to 10, while The Wine Shop's jam sessions are slated for June 6 and 8.
Principal of The Wine Shop, Ahmet “Aussie” Osman labels the series as a “good cultural mix”.
“I've always wanted to do something linked to some kind of entertainment. I tried various options and jazz was the one I really wanted. Jazz and wine goes hand in hand, it's a good cultural mix. I went for it, I like it very much, and people are liking it too,” Osman said.
The series started two months ago with resident band Ozou'ne and Pon Fyah Band.
Since its inception, he said acts including Keisha Patterson, Andru-Kat and Nina Karle have performed.
“It's great because it's open to people walking or driving by. They hear the music and wonder what is happening and come and stop by,” he said.It's growing and the reception has been very good so far. Once a month we do an open mic situation, which is a larger set-up and quite a number of musicians come and play their trumpets or trombones and it becomes a free for all,” he continued.
Despite its growth, Osman said he currently has no plans to expand the event.
“Something like this, if it grows too big it can lose its charm. We want it to remain small and intimate. If you get too big it doesn't become so personal any more, although I would like it to earn more money, but it's not the same in the end if it gets bigger,” he said.