14th Annual Barbados Jazz Festival: January 8 - 14, 2007


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The New Year will see Barbados in an island-wide musical ferment when locals and visitors get together for the 14th annual Barbados Jazz Festival, from January 8 - 14, 2007.

Barbados strives to creatively blend internationally known R&B and jazz artists along with top local musicians. Participating in next year's event are R&B songstress Anita Baker, jazz trumpeter / composer Terence Blanchard, violinist / “that lady in red" Karen Briggs, jazz bassist / composer Stanley Clarke, R&B-jazz singer Will Downing, jazz pianist Robert Glasper, raspy neo-soul singer Macy Gray, multi-faceted soul singer / songwriter Goapele, Bajan soul vocalists Marissa Lindsay and Hal Linton, contemporary gospel duo Mary Mary, Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, American Idol crooner Ruben Studdard, and Bajan saxophone hero Arturo Tappin.

Concerts will be held at some of the island's most picturesque locations, including the Sunbury Plantation House, Heritage Park at the Foursquare Rum Refinery, Garfield Sobers Auditorium, The Crane Resort & Residences, and Farley Hill National Park.

“Barbados is an integral member of the BET J family and we are happy to support this event and the destination," said Cybelle Brown, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with BET Digital Networks, which partnered in November with the Barbados Tourism Authority and GMR Productions, producers of the event, to launch the festival at a press event in New York City.

According to Brown, since the initial marketing partnership began three years ago, BET J's viewer ship has grown enormously, and the partnership today reaches millions more through BET J's recent alliance with DirecTV. In addition to a heavy advertising rotation on BET J, VH1 Soul and other channels, including mainstream radio stations in Atlanta and New York, the network will produce and air a full one hour program on the festival and on Barbados' sites and attractions.

A preview show of next year's event, featuring highlights of the 13th annual festival, is currently on rotation on BET J's Island Lime format. Upcoming BET J Island Lime airdates are Wednesdays December 20 and 27 (6 PM. and 5 AM the following day) and Saturdays December 23 and 30 (1 PM and 7 PM). All telecast times are Eastern.

Gilbert Rowe of GMR Productions vowed that the 2007 festival will be enjoyable ... “so, if you are coming to Barbados Jazz Festival 2007, fasten your seatbelts, you are in for the ride of your life."

Barbados, the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, is popular for its natural and historic attractions, beaches, water sports, golf courses, fine dining and nightlife. The island is known for its friendly people and wide range of accommodations. For further information on Barbados, call the Barbados Tourism Authority at 800-221-9831, or visit www.visitbarbados.org

BET J is the flagship channel of BET Digital Networks, a subsidiary of BET Networks and Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B). Born from the historic BET Jazz Channel, BET J is a music, entertainment, lifestyle and multicultural hybrid that melds classic and contemporary jazz with vintage soul, classic R&B, festive Caribbean and today's Neo-Soul. Wrapped around its musical play list is an adult-targeted menu of short films, celebrity interviews, reality, pop culture, nostalgic retrospectives and engaging conversation. BET J reaches 26 million subscribers in the United States and Caribbean through DirecTV and select markets served by Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

BET Event Productions (BEP), a division of Viacom subsidiary Black Entertainment Television (BET), is in the business of producing “Best in Class" live events that are designed to facilitate the advertising and promotional needs of clients. BEP offers a full range of services, including project development and management, event marketing, artistic direction and production.

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