Amateur musicians encouraged to enter Jamaica Jazz and Blues’ Bandquest competition

Talented, amateur musicians residing in Jamaica will have the opportunity to share their gifts on Night One of the virtual Jamaica Jazz and Blues’ stage, scheduled for January 28, 2021.

This will be possible through the Bandquest competition which kicked off on Friday, December 11, 2020, and will run until January 2, 2021.

In its digital launch recently, organisers of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival offered the invitation to aspiring musical performers to enter the competition for a chance to be on the Night One line-up.

The much-anticipated Jamaica Jazz showcase is bringing back the musical magic on a virtual format, while maintaining the features loved by patrons. The BandQuest, formally known as the “Small Stage” since the very early years of the festival, has been the portal used to showcase the talent of many stars on the rise. The year 2021 will be no different as the virtual edition will offer the winning acts the massive global viewership that the festival is expected to attract. The deadline for entries is midnight on Saturday, December 19, 2020. Voting will take place from Sunday, December 20, until Saturday, January 2, 2021.  The winners will be announced on January 5, 2021.

Adrian Allen, licensee and producer of the virtual music festival, wants gifted Jamaicans to add their soul to the event. “We want to give the world a true taste of our musical diversity. Our talent is immense, and I hope many Jamaican bands will choose to be part of this musical powerhouse that is the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. Add your magic to this awesome energy we are giving to the world through this production,” Allen urged.

How to enter

To enter, participants are required to create a video featuring the band doing at least one minute each of three different songs. At least one of the songs should be an original. The performance must be accompanied by a backing band. Contestants are required to upload the entry video to YouTube and get the YouTube link. They will then complete a registration form which will be available on jamaicajazzandblues.com, and on which they will be required to paste the YouTube link of their performance.

The competition is open to individuals 18 years and over and residents of Jamaica. Younger individuals may enter if they submit the written permission of their parent or legal guardian. Bands applying must contain a minimum of three members with at least two providing live instrumentation.

Six entries with the most votes will be selected for performance on ‘Stars On The Rise’, as the opening night of the festival is dubbed.  

Co-producer of the Festival, Marcia McDonnough, sees the competition as a viable space for creatives whose reach can be amplified with the power of the Jazz brand. “Jazz and Blues has launched the careers of many musicians through this initiative, and we are extremely pleased to be able to offer this launchpad to even more talented Jamaicans,” said McDonnough.

All genres of music are accepted and encouraged. Entrants must be amateur musicians and must not be signed to a record label, production company, publishing company or any third party.