When the 2009 Cayman Islands Jazz Fest takes place in December, international R&B superstar and nine-time Grammy award winner, Alicia Keys, will be there as the headliner.
Ms Keys will be performing her extremely popular signature style of singing and jazz piano on the final night of the 6th festival on 5 December.
Tourism Minister Hon Charles Clifford made the announcement for the 3-5 December event on Monday, 11 May.
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,” 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.”
The Acting Director of Tourism, Shomari Scott said 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.
“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,” Paxton Baker of BET said.
“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.”
R&B singer-songwriter and accomplished pianist Alicia Keys brings passion to each performance and her nine Grammy awards make her one of the most recognizable and well-known artists in the music industry. Throughout her career, Keys has sold over 14 million albums in the United States and 30 million worldwide, establishing herself as one of the best-selling artists of her time. Keys incorporates piano with R&B, soul and jazz in the majority of her songs and writes often about love, heartbreak and female empowerment. Known for some of her greatest hits – “Fallin”, “If I Ain’t Got You” and “No One” – multi-platinum songstress Alicia Keys is sure to bring a powerful performance to this year’s Cayman jazz fest.
Peabo Bryson is among the world’s most dynamic and gifted vocal talents. Over the course of a career spanning from the mid-`60s but truly igniting in the `70s, the 2x-Oscar and Grammy winner has amassed a fan base, critical acclaim, gold albums and an avalanche of awards by being one of the truly best friends a good song ever had…many of which he composed himself. From ballads that gracefully continued the legacy of sweet soul music such as “Feel the Fire” and “I’m So Into You” to chart-topping pop hits such as “If Ever You’re In My Arms Again”, “Can You Stop The Rain” and a plethora of duet collaborations with artists ranging from singers Celine Dion (“Beauty & The Beast”), Regina Belle (“A Whole New World”) and Melissa Manchester (“Lovers After All”), to instrumentalists Kenny G (“By The Time This Night is Over”) and Jim Brickman (“My Heart Belongs To You”), Peabo Bryson has proven himself as the consummate vocal professional.
Kirk Whalum is an American smooth jazz saxophonist and songwriter, with music ranging from pop to R&B to smooth jazz. Kirk’s musical accomplishments have brought him professional and critical acclaim with a total of eight Grammy nominations, his most recent (2008) for Roundtrip, and two Stellar awards (Best Gospel Instrumental Album).
Keith Sweat is an R&B and soul singer. Sweat once worked an ordinary 9-to-5 job for the commodities market in the New York Stock Exchange. He sang at nightclubs until he was discovered in 1987. On November 25, 1987, Sweat released his debut album ‘Make It Last Forever,’ which sold four million copies. The biggest hit from this album was “I Want Her” (1 R&B/5 Pop), and the title track from the album was hit 2 on the R&B charts. Sweat continued to chart fairly well with his sophomore album “I’ll Give All My Love To You”, which hit 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and “Keep It Comin” debuted in the Top 20 of the album chart. Sweat released his fourth album “Get Up On It” in the summer of 1994. He followed with Keith Sweat, his self-titled fifth album, in 1996, which hit 5 on the Billboard 200. The single “Twisted” hit 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Nobody” hit 3.
In 1992, Sweat discovered the group Silk, and helped craft their debut album, Lose Control, which hit 7 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The album’s single “Freak Me” hit 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 1, 1993. In 1995, Sweat discovered the Atlanta based female R&B group Kut Klose. Sweat also produced the group’s debut album Surrender, which produced the hit single “I Like”, peaking to 8 on Billboard’s “Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles”. Sweat also formed the R&B supergroup LSG with Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill, and released their self-titled debut Levert.Sweat.Gill in 1997. That album featured the hit “My Body”, which became a huge hit single. Keith Sweat has produced songs for artists such as Men At Large – Don’t Cry, Dru Hill – Love’s Train, Dru Hill – Share My World, Immature – Extra, Extra, Ol Skool – Am I Dreaming (feat. Xscape), The Isley Brothers – Slow Is The Way, The O’Jays ft. Keith Sweat – Baby You Know.