George Benson opening concert, semi-finalists announced, plus Vonzell Solomon and Matt Coyte welcome celebrity judge Michael Wong to The Jazz & Blues Battle of The Bands judging panel
(Macao, May 9, 2012) – The Venetian Carnival – Macao’s definitive entertainment event – today finalised the judging panel for Asia’s richest Jazz & Blues contest with celebrity judge actor-singer Michael Wong, and shortlisted 12 semi-finalists; who will compete for a cash prize pool of HK$500,000 (approx. US$64,000) over the three-day battle of the bands at The Venetian Macao, from May 25 to 27.
The semi-finalists represent an impressive line-up of international talent from destinations including Brazil, China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Macao, the Philippines and the United States.
Hong Kong icon Michael Wong will sit alongside Mr. Matt Coyte, Editor-in-Chief of Rolling Stone Australia magazine, and Ms. Vonzell Solomon, American Idol top-three finalist, for the three-day carnival to watch 12 hopeful bands perform in a 30-minute set for visitors. They will be judged on their skill, style and overall performance, with a further 6 shortlisted bands playing in the final showdown on Sunday, May 27. The top three winners will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday, May 27 at 10 pm.
This latest announcement finalises the entertainment line-up for The Venetian Carnival, which also includes ten-time Grammy Award nominee and guitar legend, George Benson, who will kick-off the three-day extravaganza (tickets sold separately), and the Pine Leaf Boys and The Nevilles, who will perform at the “Charity Ball.” The entertainment also includes The Venetian Macao’s own talented street performers, and a special appearance by the local Macau School of Music Jazz Band.
“I am pleased to say that the entertainment line-up for the inaugural The Venetian Carnival International Jazz & Blues competition is complete and we have a phenomenal weekend of live entertainment in store! The 12 finalists will battle it out for the HK$500,000 in prize money up for grabs; with artists and bands that hail from all corners of the globe; including Brazil, China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Macao, the Philippines and the United States,” said Brendon Elliott, Vice President of Sales and Resort Marketing, Venetian Macau Limited.
“It has taken the entertainment committee some 30 hours of evaluating each application for authenticity, technical skill, overall presentation and performance ability. The calibre of entries made our decision difficult – to the point where we are adding a special appearance for the Macau School of Music Jazz Band, our talented local band from School of Music, Macao Conservatory. We are extremely excited to be hosting this competition and I would like to personally thank all the bands who believed in this event.”
The 12 finalists are:
• FANtastica (Hong Kong)
• Ginda and the White Flowers (Indonesia)
• Greice Ive (Brazil)
• Macau Jazz Experience (Macao)
• Mok Kyung Kim (Korea)
• Red Groove (China)
• Roland Tchakounte (France)
• Spoke (USA)
• The CompanY (Philippines)
• The Main Squeeze (USA)
• Theo Croker Collective (China)
• Tinho Pereira (China)
The Venetian Carnival, now in its second year, has become a signature event for carny trotters who travel the globe seeking out the best and greatest cultural festivals. The Venetian Macao outdoor lagoon will be transformed into New Orleans Mardi Gras through performers, lights, beads, international food and music.
Visitors can enjoy the extensive fairground or take advantage of the carnival’s gondola rides and wine gardens set to adorn the Campanile Tower area. The event will culminate with the Mardi Gras Costume “Charity Ball,” headlined by acclaimed New Orleans soul group, The Nevilles. A premier black-tie event for the who’s who of Macao and Asia, the “Charity Ball” will feature live performances, a cocktail reception and charity auction.
The Costume Charity Ball will be raising funds for the Macau Ecological Society with The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel matching funds raised dollar for dollar. In support of the Mardi Gras Costume Charity Ball, the Venetian Hotel is offering ticket packages CotaiTicketing at www.cotaiticketing.com.
Note to Editors: To arrange for an interview with a finalist or one of the judges, please contact one of the Public Relations representatives below. An FTP link for images can also be found at the bottom of this press release.
About The Jazz & Blues Battle of the Bands Contest
The Jazz & Blues Battle of the Bands contest is in its first year and was open to all international jazz and blues performers – individual artists, vocalists and instrumentalists alike, as well as groups of up to six musicians.
Reviewed by a panel of high-profile, industry-leading music veterans, the 12 successful entrants will enjoy a package of flights, ferry tickets, accommodation and food & beverage sponsored by The Venetian Macao. Spanning the three-day festival, the competition features prizes that include a chance to take home part of a cash prize pool of HK$500,000 (approx. US$64,000):
First Place: HK$250,000 (approx. US$32,000)
Second Place: HK$150,000 (approx. US$19,000)
Third Place: HK$100,000 (approx. US$13,000)
For images and information on the semi-finalsts go to: http://www.venetianmacao.com/Calling_All_Jazz_and_Blues_Artists/Finalists/
About The Venetian Carnival
With avid support from the Macau Government Tourist Office, The Venetian Carnival takes centre stage as Asia’s definitive event of 2012.
Famous for its unrivalled display of glamour, glitz, live entertainment, style and vibrant energy, this year’s carnival will be no exception. A reflection on the New Orleans jazz and blues scene, entertainers from all corners of the globe are being flown in.
Details of the event are as follows:
Date : May 25 to 27, 2012
Venue : Campanile Tower, just outside the main lobby of the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel
Opening hours : Friday, May 25: 6 pm to 12 am
Saturday, May 26: 4 pm to 12 am
Sunday, May 27: 4 pm to 12 am
Entertainment : Nightly: Parade through The Venetian Macao
May 26 (evening) Charity Ball
May 27 (10 pm) Jazz and Blues Competition winner announcement
Admission : Free
About The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel
The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat CotaiArena™ designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; MALO CLINIC Health & Wellness; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 300 retailers at The Grand Canal Shoppes. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.