From Jared McCallister in the New York Daily News . . .
Two of the world’s sweetest sounds – the natural din of a virgin rainforest and the pleasing rhythms of jazz music – will come together with the creation of the Guyana Jazz Festival, being planned for 2012.
Momentum and support is building for the inaugural three-day event, which is designed to get ecotourists and other nature lovers in touch with Guyana’s many pristine natural wonders while providing a pleasing lineup of music for festival visitors, say organizers.
Pride in nation and its natural marvels is fueling enthusiasm and anticipation for the event on the festival website, Facebook and Twitter, said Robert Millington, head of the Guyana Jazz Festival Foundation, a Reston, Va.-based nonprofit.
Millington said he’s had positive discussions with government officials about the event, which will likely be held during tourism high-season, after Dec. 15. Meanwhile, partnerships with Guyana-based tour operators and sponsorship commitments from local hotels are being sought, he said.
The musical menu for the event will be a variety of jazz – cool jazz and classical jazz, plus some “very good R&B,” including local acts from Guyana, the Caribbean and Brazil.
But natural Guyana is the unique component, Millington stressed.
“That’s what I want people to know. We’re not the same,” he said of the jazz festival travel packages, which will include concerts staged in the capital city of Georgetown plus tours of the nation’s natural habitats. “You won’t just read about the rainforest, you can visit.”
It’s estimated that more than 70% of country’s natural habitat is unspoiled and rife with rainforests, rivers, waterfalls, and animal and plant species. Awaiting festivalgoers are Guyana national wonders, such as the nearly million-acre Iwokrama Forest (one of only four pristine rainforests remaining on Earth) its wildlife and 98 foot-high canopy walkway through the trees.
“We’re not going after the sun, sand and sea tourists,” said Millington, adding that the country’s tourism future might be in ecotourism.
With the opening of the 160-room Georgetown Marriott Hotel, the region’s first “green” hotel in 2013, he said the timing for an ecotourism-music event is excellent.
Millington added that a portion of the proceeds from the festival will benefit charitable organizations in Guyana.
For information, visit their website, http://www.guyanajazz.com, follow the festival on Twitter and Facebook, or call (703) 766-6372.
For the original article go to Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/10/17/2010-10-17_guyana_hosting_jazz_festival_with_a_rainforest_riff.html#ixzz12iSrnEuU
Illustration: Watercolor of the Iowkrama rain forest in Guyana by Shirley Felts at http://www.jossreiverbany.co.uk/LimitedEditionsShirleyFelts.htm