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Port gears up for music gala

Samisoni Nabilivalu
Tuesday, May 01, 2012

PORT Denarau will again play host to a large number of international musicians when the Fiji 2012 International Jazz and Blues Festival takes place this month.

Jazz and Blues artists from Australia, New Zealand, England, the US, New Caledonia and Fiji will converge on Port Denarau for the four-day concert.

Port Denarau Retail Centre general manager, Aysha Koya said she had not seen Port Denarau as full as it was last year when an estimated 2000 people passed through the port for the festival.

Festival director, Billy Te Kahika said artists confirmed for 2012 include Australian guitarist Kevin Borich, Paul Ubana Jones from the Britain, New Zealand Blues guitarist Billy TK Junior and New Caledonian organist Michel Benebig.

Fijian artists Dejavu and Tom Mawi, The Dorothy Jane Gosper Blues Band from Australia and Melbourne's Jazz pianist and singer, Jade Leonard are also part of the line-up.

Mr Te Kahika said, "I don't want this to sound like a sales pitch but I intend this next festival to be bigger, brighter and better than our first event as a way of really leaving no doubt that our brand of Jazz and Blues festival is the premier music event of the Pacific.

"This year's festival momentum is building incredibly well, it's going to be great."

"We are only days away and we are just about ready for the party of the year."

The festival includes a free program at Port Denarau Retail Centre and two ticketed events at the Denarau Golf and Racquet lawn and a royal gala dinner at the Sheraton Fiji ballroom.

The royal gala dinner will feature US Jazz singing legend Lenora Helm, a former Jazz Ambassador for the US State Department and the recipient of a number of Jazz awards including 'The Dakota' from Dakota Staton.


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