Friday 23 October, 2020

Mariah Carey, Black Eyed Peas added to Curacao's North Sea Jazz

Mariah Carey, the Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5 are among the stars that will perform at this year's North Sea Jazz Festival in Curacao.

Mariah Carey, the Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5 are among the stars that will perform at this year's North Sea Jazz Festival in Curacao.

Curacao's North Sea Jazz will this year feature some of the biggest names in music among, them Mariah Carey, Earth, Wind and Fire, the Black Eyed Peas, Gladys Knight and Maroon 5.

The North Sea Jazz Festival will take place over three nights and will also feature a range of Latin acts such as Mr Worldwide, Pitbull, who has released 10 full-length albums, including Global Warming, Globalisation and his most recent, Climate Change. His second Spanish-language album and ninth overall, Dale, received the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album.

Created by Dutch Jazz promoter Paul Acket in 1976, the Festival has grown into an international spectacle, with 16 stages presenting 220 acts over a period of three days - and over 100,000 people in attendance - in Rotterdam, Netherlands. A second installment of the North Sea Jazz Festival is now held on the island of Curacao.

The North Sea Jazz Festival has become world-renowned for the many musical genres which it offers each year, ranging from traditional New Orleans Jazz, Swing, Bop, Free Jazz, European House, Fusion, Avant Garde and electronic Jazz to Blues, Gospel, Funk, Soul, Grove, HipHop, R&B, World Beat and Latin.

Artists such as Prince, Chris Brown, Lenny Kravitz, Tom Jones, Diana Ross, Bruno Mars, Rod Stewart and Marc Anthony have been among a plethora of musical stars who have graced the stage in Curacao. 

Here is the line up for this year's event:

Thursday, August 29

Juan Luis Guerra

Singer, songwriter, and producer Juan Luis Guerra is one of the best-known Latin artists of the last decades. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, he is considered a poet and a musician of the people in his home country, but his fame is spread far wider. To date, Guerra has sold over 30 million albums and won numerous awards, including 21 Latin Grammy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and two Latin Billboard Music Awards (plus a Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year). He does not limit himself to one style of music but incorporates different rhythms like merengue, bolero-bachata, balada, salsa, rock ‘n roll, and even gospel. The Latin superstar has graced the Curaçao North Sea Jazz stages three times before (in 2011, 2014, and 2016), which sets a record: no other artist has been here as often. Guerra released his latest single in May, I Love You More, which preceded his new album, Literal.

Havana D’Primera

Cuban Timba band Havana D’Primera guarantees a swinging audience when they start to play. Founded by Alexander Abreu in 2008, the band was formed by a collective of musicians in the Cuban music scene, numbering 17 members in total. Abreu is considered one of the best trumpeters of his generation and is also a skilled composer, singer, and bandleader. Many consider the band’s hit single Me Dicen Cuba the new national anthem of Cuba. Havana D’Primera has been at Curaçao North Sea Jazz before: in 2016 they were part of Sergio George’s project The Cuban Affair. Fusing rhythms across salsa, jazz, funk, and Afro-Cuban, the band have released four studio albums so far. The latest is 2018’s Cantor Del Pueblo, which landed them their second Latin Grammy nomination for Best Salsa Album

Aymée Nuviola

Aymée Nuviola, nicknamed ‘La Sonera del Mundo’, is a well-respected singer from Cuba who trained at the Manuel Saumell Conservatory in Havana. She was greatly fascinated by bossa nova and salsa as well as the music of Debussy. Nuviola is one of the biggest Cuban stars of today, and she even recorded a song with American legend Jackson Browne. Moreover, she played her idol Celia Cruz in the telenovela, Celia. Nuviola's mother taught her to play the piano at the age of 3, and when she was 9, she started singing professionally with her sister Lourdes as The Nuviola Sisters. Aged 15 she and her sister joined the famous Cuban orchestra Pachito Alonso y Sus Kini Kini. As a young singer Nuviola moved to Miami where her solo career really took off. In 2018 she won a Grammy for her album Como Anillo Al Dedo. 


Friday, August 30

Black Eyed Peas

Founded in Los Angeles as an alternative hip hop group in 1995, Black Eyed Peas became a hit sensation after they changed their direction towards a more dance/pop sound and rappers, Taboo and found a valuable asset in singer Fergie. Their big breakthrough came with the smash hit Where Is The Love? from the 2003 album Elephunk, which was their third. The next two albums, 2005’s Monkey Business and 2009’s The E.N.D., were even more successful and the band became a worldwide phenomenon with hit singles such as Shut Up, Don’t Phunk With My Heart, My Humps, Boom Boom Pow, and I Gotta Feeling, among many others. In recent years, things got quiet around the band, with the members embarking on solo projects and functioning as a coach on The Voice UK. After singer Fergie left the band, it now consists of its three original members, although a new vocalist was found in Jessica Reynoso. Last year saw the release of a new album, Masters Of The Sun Vol. 1.

Earth, Wind & Fire

Who doesn’t remember the scorching disco party Earth, Wind & Fire put on at Sam Cooke stage in 2011? Good news to anyone who does: after eight years the band is coming back to the island! Their unforgettable seventies hits - FantasySeptemberBoogie WonderlandAfter The Love Has Gone, and many more - are ingrained in the memory of anyone who ever wore platform heels and flared pants. The band from Chicago has been partying on stages all over the world for almost fifty years with their amazing formula of at least ten band members, a blazing horn section, expertly layered vocals, and an effortless mix of styles in which pop, soul, disco, and funk blend together. Founder Maurice White hadn’t been part of the touring band for a while when he passed away in 2016. But the other three original core members – falsetto singer Philip Bailey, percussionist Ralph Johnson, and bassist Verdine White (brother of Maurice) are still feeding the flames with verve.


From Mr. 305 to Mr. Worldwide, Armando Christian Perez, a.k.a. Pitbull, rose from the streets of Miami to exemplify the American Dream and achieve international success as a Grammy award-winning global superstar, business entrepreneur, education ambassador and motivational speaker. Pitbull has landed #1 hits in over 15 countries, sold over 80 million singles, has more than 84 million Facebook/Twitter/Instagram followers and over 13 billion views on YouTube. In addition to the United States, his sold-out world concert tours have taken him to North and South America, Europe, China and Japan. Along the way, he has co-headlined with Enrique Iglesias, toured with Britney Spears in the U.K. and Europe, and spoken to thousands as part of Tony Robbins’ motivational seminars. Pitbull also serves as an ambassador to the Sports Leadership Arts and Management (SLAM!) charter schools helps to establish.

Kenny G

With global sales totaling more than 75 million records, saxophonist Kenny G is the biggest-selling instrumental artist of all time. Growing up as Kenny Gorelick in Seattle's Seward Park neighborhood, he came into contact with the saxophone when he heard a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show and started playing at age 10. Gorelick started professionally with Barry White‘s Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1976, recorded with Seattle-based funk group Cold, Bold & Together and worked with Jeff Lorber Fusion before embarking on a solo career. His fourth album Duotones, which featured the hit Songbird, made him into a star and in demand for guest appearances on recordings of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Natalie Cole. His sixth studio album, 1992’s Breathless, went on to become the best-selling instrumental album ever; two years later, his album Miracles became the best-selling Christmas album ever. Gorelick continues to tour all over the world; his latest album, Brazilian Nights, was released in 2015.


Singer-songwriter Maxwell was instrumental in bringing the neo-soul movement to prominence over the latter half of the 90s, creating a whole new genre together with fellow artists such as Fugees and Erykah Badu. After making a name for himself on the New York club scene, Maxwell signed a recording contract and debuted with the 1996 album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, with which he scored his first Grammy nomination – with many more to follow. Maxwell garnered rave reviews from the onset: Vice magazine dubbed him ‘the next Prince’, while The Washington Post called him ‘the Marvin Gaye of the 90s’. After three albums and a seven-year hiatus, he released 2009’s BLACKsummers'night; the first installment of a trilogy of which the second part, blackSUMMERS'night, was released in 2016.

Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald’s soulful sound stands out anywhere; whether it be on his solo hits, those with his two famous bands or as a session musician. McDonald grew up in Missouri, playing in local bands before he moved out to Los Angeles in the early 1970s. In 1974 he became a member of Steely Dan and after that joined the Doobie Brothers. As a singer, keyboardist, and composer he contributed to such classic hits as Takin’ It To The Streets, It Keeps You Runnin’, and What A Fool Believes. During the ‘80s and ‘90s, his solo career knew successes like Sweet Freedom and two legendary duets: On My Own with Patti LaBelle and Yah Mo B There with James Ingram. McDonald’s distinct vocal style made him one of the most sought-after session musicians, contributing to records by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Elton John, and Toto. He has five Grammys to his name; his latest album Wide Open was released in 2017.

Saturday, August 31

Mariah Carey

If there’s anyone not needing any introduction, it’s Mariah Carey. The singer rose to fame in 1990 with her smash hit single Vision Of Love and her eponymous debut album. Right away the world paid attention, not in the least because of Carey’s five-octave vocal range and signature use of the whistle register. She became the first artist to have their first five singles reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Breaking records left and right, Carey saw her single One Sweet Day become the longest-running U.S. number-one single in history and her Christmas song All I Want For Christmas Is You turn into a true classic. Carey has won five Grammy Awards, nineteen World Music Awards, ten American Music Awards, and fourteen Billboard Music Awards. She has sold over 200 million albums worldwide. In addition to all that she has acted in many successful movies and has been involved with several charitable organisations. Her latest album is 2018’s Caution.

Maroon 5

American band Maroon 5 was founded as Kara’s Flowers when four members were still in high school together. When they began as Maroon 5 in 2001, success arrived fairly quickly. From that four-member teenage band Maroon 5 has grown into a seven-piece hit machine, having sold over 20 million albums and received three Grammy Awards. Their debut album, Songs About Jane, became their big breakthrough and its successor, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, did even better. Hits were aplenty: Harder To Breathe, This Love, She Will Be Loved, Makes Me Wonder, Moves Like Jagger featuring Christina Aguilera… the list goes on. Their latest album, Red Pill Blues, was released at the end of 2017 and contained the number 1 hit single Girls Like You, featuring Cardi B. This past January, Maroon 5 had the honour of performing during the Superbowl Half-Time Show.

Aloe Blacc

Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III is known better as Aloe Blacc, an American singer-songwriter, although he started out playing a broken trumpet as a child. Later he discovered music and hip hop by listening to LL Cool J. After forming musical duo Emanon with hip hop producer Exile, Blacc launched his solo career in 2003, eventually finding a large audience with 2010’s hit single I Need A Dollar. In terms of both musicality and social relevance, he is the heir apparent to soul greats like Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. In 2013, the single Wake Me Up, which Blacc co-wrote and sang with Swedish DJ Avicii, was a number one hit in many countries. His third album, Lift Your Spirit, also dates from the same year, as well as the EP Wake Me Up. Although the wait is still on for a new album, Blacc hasn’t rested on his laurels: there were recent singles such as 2018’s Brooklyn In The Summer, as well as collaborations with Tiësto, among others. Earlier this year he released his latest single I’m Gonna Sing; he is also featured on SOS, the new single of the late Avicii. 

David Sanborn

David Sanborn has been blurring the boundaries between genres since the eighties and is seen as one of the most influential saxophonists globally. He has worked as a much sought-after session musician for pop and rock stars, including the Rolling Stones, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, and David Bowie; composed soundtracks like Lethal Weapon and he equally enjoys jamming at jazz clubs with artists like Jack DeJohnette and Bill Frisell. His never-ceasing energy has paid dividends: Sanborn has scored eight golden records, one platinum record and six Grammys. Playing the sax since childhood, Sanborn released his first solo album in 1975; Taking Off is nowadays regarded as something of a jazz/funk classic. After that, Sanborn went on to release an enormous amount of records, both as a leader and in collaboration with others.

Gladys Knight

Six years after making her debut in Curaçao the ‘Empress of Soul’ is returning to the island. Gladys Knight began her career at a very young age: she won a TV talent show at age seven and formed The Pips a year later. As Gladys Knight & The Pips the band was signed to the renowned Motown label and had most of their hits, such as I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Midnight Train To Georgia, and Baby Don’t Change Your Mind, in the 1960s and 1970s. At the end of the 1980s, Knight started her solo career and found instant success with the James Bond title track License To Kill. She didn’t stick to just singing, but also made a name as an actress and entrepreneur, and did a lot of charity work. Her latest album, Where My Heart Belongs, was released in 2014 and is a bona fide gospel album, on which The Pips also performed. Knight now has seven Grammy’s and numerous other awards to her name.

Nicky Jam

Nick Rivera Caminero is a reggaeton artist better known under his stage name Nicky Jam, which was jokingly given to him by a homeless person when he was young. Born in Boston to a Dominican mother and a Puerto Rican father, he moved to Puerto Rico at age ten. After a music executive noticed his talent he was given a recording contract and released his first album, ...Distinto A Los Demás, at age 14. Having released five studio albums between then and 2007, his sixth, 2017’s Fénix, brought him more chart success than ever before. The album contains hit singles such as El Perdón (with Enrique Iglesias), Hasta El Amanecer, and El Amante. Rivera performed the song Live It Up alongside Will Smith and Era Istrefi at the World Cup in Moscow in 2017 and released Date La Vueltra, with Luis Fonsi and Sebastián Yatra, earlier this year. He has several Billboard Latin Music Awards, Latin American Music Awards, and Latin Grammy Awards to his name and also holds the record for most appearances on various artist albums.

Third World

Jamaican band Third World celebrated its 45th anniversary last year. Founded in 1973 by former members of Inner Circle, the band quickly made a name for itself. Calling themselves ‘Reggae Ambassadors’ and describing their sound as reggae fusion, Third World mix reggae with many other genres such as soul, funk, and disco. Their biggest hit to date was 1978’s Now That We Found Love. Their success has brought them all over the world and put ten Grammy nominations to their name. And speaking of names: most bandmembers are known for their nicknames, such as Stephen "Cat" Coore, Richard "Bassie" Daley, Tony "Ruption" Williams, and Maurice "Smooth Lion" Gregory. The band is rounded out by AJ Brown and Norris Webb. Their latest single, Loving You Is Easy, was produced by Damian Marley and released earlier this year.

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