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Steel Pulse for Blues Fest 2005

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Today, Friday 7th, a number of acts are expected to gather at Heritage Square on South River Road as pre-show activities leading up to Blues Fest 2005 begin.

Blues Fest 2005 will be held on January 28 and 29 at Buccama on the Bay with pre-show activities on January 7th, 14th and 21st. {{more}}

The headliners for this year’s event is reggae band Steel Pulse, Millie Jackson and Michelle Henderson.

During a press conference held at the Cruise Ship and Ferry Berth conference room to discuss the Blues Fest, one of the organisers, Mark Cyrus, said the pre-shows would highlight the local artiste scheduled to perform during the two-day event.

The local groups scheduled to perform at the pre-shows and at Blue Fest itself are Urban Mystic, the Honky Tonics (both from Bequia), Sonjay & Friends, Abuza, Touch, Yaphatu, X-pressionz, Geoff Venner, the Junior Sutherland Band (featuring school children), Kahalia Beache and Skarpyon.

Cyrus said that the stage at Buccama, which is this year again being manned by A&B Sounds out of Barbados, will be graced by artistes from the United Kingdom, the United States, Dominica, Barbados and St. Lucia.

This year, patrons at Blues Fest will once again be treated to first class performances by dynamic artistes from around the globe. The show on the 28th and 29th will begin with Kahalia Beache singing the national anthem. The first day of Blues Fest will see performances by Sonjay & Friends followed by Urban Mystic and then Abuza. The non-nationals will take over at 9.15 p.m. with guitarist Carl Gustav, Rupert Lay and Ricardo Francois. They will be followed by Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin, while Friday 28th’s headliner will come in the form of rhythm and blues singer Millie Jackson.

On the second day of Blues Fest, MC Bernard John will introduce the local band Touch. They will be followed by reggae artiste and guitarist Yaphatu. Local star Q-Shan Dia, also known as Kellis Q, will also entertain. He will be followed by Dominica’s acclaimed Michelle Henderson. The world reknowned Steel Pulse will round up the night’s performances.

Minister Baptiste pleased

Minister of Tourism and Culture Rene Baptiste during the press conference said that she is pleased with the level of sponsorship and response from the business community to Blues Fest.

She added that the Blues Fest is structured in a way to capitalise on the peak times tourists visit the Caribbean islands. She, however, noted that in order to attract more international attention, the Blues Fest will have to feature bigger artiste. She noted that an artiste like Alicia Keyes will cost US$100,000.

Communications Manager at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Faylene Findlay Scrubb highlighted this years’ sponsors. Falling in the gold sponsor bracket are Digicel, Hitz Fm and SVG TV, Tropical Shipping, NBC Radio, We FM, Young Island Resort, BWIA, LIAT, Roy’s Inn and Going Places. The silver sponsors are Metrocint General Insurance and Hot 97.1 FM while Mariners Inn is a bronze sponsor.

The Blues Festival will also have offshore activities in the form of mini festivals on the Grenadine islands of Bequia and Mustique (where the Blues Fest was born). The Bequia leg will run from January 20 to 23 while Mustique will run from January 19 to February 2.