Across the Caribbean Diaspora, Jamaican promoter Walter Elmore's Art of Music Productions' (AMP) successful bid to attract mega star Celine Dion to the 2012 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival is being viewed as a boost for Jamaica, the festival and for the Caribbean in general.
Two years ago when the organization began its efforts to entice the musical icon to the festival, they had no idea how they could pull it off.
"But I'm a firm believer that if you have an idea, you work at it," says Elmore, AMP's chairman. "If you don't try you'll never succeed."
Inking the deal, Elmore says, took some "jumping through hoops" but now that all systems are set for Dion's first performance in the Caribbean, he is understandably very excited. "Her production team is amazing and has been working with my team to make sure that everything's in place. It is going to be an exceptional show," he promises.
Dion, one of the best selling female recording artistes of all time, is also excited about the opportunity to perform for her fans in the Caribbean.
As she emailed to Elmore: "I am looking forward to doing my very first show in the Caribbean and this is an honor for me to perform at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. What a beautiful way to meet the people of Jamaica on this, my first trip to the island. I just can't wait."
Scheduled to perform on the Friday night of the festival, which runs from January 26 to 28, Dion is expected to woo her fans with classics.
In honor of Jamaica's 50th Anniversary of Independence, the opening night of the festival is dedicated to all the rich sounds that have shaped Jamaica's music over the past 50 years, and so it will feature ska, rocksteady, dancehall and reggae, the island nation's influential contributions to world music.