Mariah Carey and Charlie Wilson to headline Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2015

Listen up all you travel and music enthusiasts, Jamaica is the place to be, if you want to start your New Year on a musical note. Grab a ticket and book your place at the globally renowned Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, 2015. This event is set to blaze new trails with some of the most talented artists gathering for this annual extravaganza, now in its 19th edition. The much anticipated festival is set to attract music aficionados from 29th to 31st January, 2015 at Trelawny Stadium. The Jamaica Jazz and Blues will be all about connecting patrons to their inner fun self via musical performances that inspire, uplift and put people in a good mood. The three day festival will feature legendary international singers and music bands coming together at this blockbuster musical event filled with pure enthralling music.
Global Superstar Mariah Carey has been confirmed as the headline star for the annual festival. Her performance in Jazz and Blues will mark her Caribbean debut and is a major triumph for the world-renowned festival’s presentation. Mariah Carey is the best selling female artist of all time, logging more than 200 million records sold and 18 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 Singles, more than any solo artist in history. Her set list for Jamaica is expected to be an exciting mix of her biggest fan-favorite pop and dance hits along with her other critically acclaimed work.

Jamaica is in for a high impact performance from the R&B icon, Charlie Wilson who will also perform at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. This will mark his first appearance at one of most anticipated event on Jamaica’s music calendar. A seven-time Grammy nominee, Charlie Wilson has been critically-acclaimed around the world for his live performance. With a repertoire of countless hit songs, Jamaica Jazz and Blues audiences can expect to be taken on a thrilling journey by this musical maestro.
The mega-popular and chart-topping SOJA is also confirmed to perform at the festival, which will mark the bands first visit to Jamaica and its debut performance on the Reggae Island. SOJA is an 8-piece ensemble that blends reggae, go-go, D.C. hardcore, Latin, rock and Hip-hop into sweet packages of music. SOJA’s massive popularity earned them the Bob Marley Entertainer of the Year Award from the International Reggae & World Music Awards 2014. SOJA’s live show is full of explosive energy, pure positive vibes and a message that inspires people.

MAGIC!, the band will also be a part of  the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. With a sound that distills Caribbean flavor and glistening melodies into an undeniably intoxicating musical potion, the band is expected to capture the hearts of Jamaican Jazz patrons with their fun, soulful and easy vibe.
The Jazz and Blues Festival has paved its way to become an important event recognized globally. Jamaica will be the go-to destination for all music lovers to experience the overwhelming feeling of being bonded together under the spell of music. The 19th Annual Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, 2015 will feature soulful music, with the island's picturesque setting as its backdrop and sumptuous Jamaican and international delicacies to be savored in its comfortable food court. Jamaica is a complete musical paradise where visitors can move to the soulful beats and experience the holiday of a lifetime.

For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the JTB’s Web site at or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422). Follow the JTB on Facebook at, on Twitter at, on Instagram at,  on Pinterest at, or on YouTube at View the JTB blog at 


Monaco, The Capital of Arts

Truly marvellous and culturally rich: Monaco (Click on the pictures for a higher resolution)

Monaco is one of the world's most desirable destinations with over 300 days of sunshine a year and mild temperatures, it celebrates with enthusiasm the arts, culture, sumptuous cuisine, spas, beautiful surroundings, spectacular landscapes and high-adrenaline activities like the Formula One Grand Prix, casino gaming, land and water sports and exciting nightlife.

True to the tradition of artistic patronage practised by the Princes of Monaco, through the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Prince’s Government pursues an active cultural policy. It promotes the development of the Arts in the Principality and helps to disseminate culture to a wide audience.

Culture is a vehicle for the Principality's influence abroad and a major sector of local policy. It benefits from 5% of the State budget. This is mainly devoted to supporting organisations and artists, developing a high-quality artistic programme, developing heritage projects and financing appropriate cultural facilities.

The Principality of Monaco hosts an array of cultural events throughout the year

The Principality of Monaco hosts an array of world-renowned cultural events throughout the year. Its prestigious festivals and shows - where people come to see and be seen - are all part of Monaco’s constant quest for beauty and make Monaco a compelling and fascinating participant on the world stage on which its artists perform each year. 

From sea-view to under-the-sea 

The 2015 season promises a rich and varied calendar of cultural and artistic events of international renown. The cultural ambassadors of the Principality pride themselves in putting together a highly imaginative programme of artistic productions worthy of the world’s major capital cities, playing on the synergies between the Arts. Monaco boasts many prestigious venues that offer an exceptional backdrop to each event, including the splendid Opera Garnier, where superb acoustics allied with views of the sparkling Mediterranean inspire performers and audiences alike.

The grandeur of Monaco Ballet (here) and Monaco Theatre (below)

Cultural institutions such as the Monaco Philharmonic Orchestra, the Monaco Ballet, the Monaco Opera, the Monaco New National Museum and the Printemps des Arts concert hall organise major cultural events both in Monaco and abroad, spreading the artistic influence of the Principality around the world.

The Grimaldi Forum – 50% of it, astonishingly, located below sea-level -  plays a major part in the cultural life of the Principality: themed exhibitions are organised each summer, for example, the exhibition, dedicated to the Grace Kelly years on the twenty-fifth anniversary of her death, has been voted a huge success by visitors.

The Monte Carlo- Société des Bains de Mer has a major influence on the cultural life of the Principality, with a year-round programme of artistic events that reaches the pinnacle of artistic achievement.

From high-flying ballets to the magical Circus Festival, Monaco always brings a fresh approach to the Arts and offers a feast for the senses to all visitors, year-round. The Prince’s Government is committed to offering a high-quality international programme, worthy of a cultural metropolis. It therefore supports the major cultural entities:
·         The Company des Ballets de Monte-Carlo  which is internationally renowned for the quality of its work and its ongoing policy of creating new works
·         The Monte-Carlo Opera,  which offers a prestigious season of performances, with a varied repertoire

·         The Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra  which celebrated the 50th anniversary of concerts given in the main Courtyard of the Prince's Palace in the summer of 2009

·         The Theatre Princesse Grace  which offers a season of high-quality

·         The Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo Spring Arts Festival, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014. Its new formula was very successful with the audiences.

Shankar Mahadevan and other Indian classical artists performing at a cultural event

Tourists will be more than happy enjoying luxurious accommodation, family restaurants and exceptional landscape in Monte Carlo. This charming destination adds that magnificence experience to your holiday which everyone dreams for. The place is gorgeously clean, the hotels are a marvel, the people are beautiful and the food is delicious. There are wonderful restaurants, shops, attractions, coast, nightlife, sports facilities and culture all within walking distance. You can have a fulfilling romantic experience with the world class spas, set in gorgeous surroundings and offering a variety of therapies and treatments from around the world.


No more getting ‘bill shocked’

Dreading using your smartphone or laptop abroad for fear of landing with enormous, unexpected roaming bill? Follow these simple tips on how to avoid getting ‘bill shocked’ even while staying connected with your friends and family during travel...
Don't let huge phone bills ruin your holiday
You probably have heard horror stories from either your friends or relatives who have returned from a trip abroad with a crazily huge, unexpected and unexplainable phone or tab/ laptop bill. This is a common occurrence among those who tend to use their smartphone or tab to look up travel information, send digital postcards, or even do routine things like check and send texts and emails. Such humungous bills often end up acting as a downer on your happy post-holiday vibes. To avoid getting such an expensive yet unpleasant souvenir in your phone bill, whenever you travel (especially abroad), here are some super smart ways of using your smartphone.

Make sure it will work
The first and most important point is to check, whether your phone will work in your intended travel destination or not? This is essential while travelling abroad, as cell phone providers around the world use various technologies and frequencies, and there’s no assurance that your phone will work with all of them. If you are not sure if your phone will function abroad, it is always a good idea to contact the mobile phone company’s customer support and ask for details. Once it is confirmed that your phone will work in a particular destination, contact your service provider to enable roaming on your phone. You will have to check this beforehand, as most service providers don’t enable roaming automatically, owing to the high costs involved.

Turn it off
Not your phone silly, we are talking about your data roaming. Turn off your mobile data before you board the plane to your destination, and let it remain that way until you get home. Simply switching off your phone won’t help, as smartphones tend to update apps, even when switched off. So, the best way to avoid getting slapped with huge phone bill is to limit your data downloads by opting for Wi-Fi only. Most holiday accommodations now offer Wi-Fi – free or at a relatively small cost – while cafes and eateries can fill in the gaps when you’re on the move. This would help save you a lot of money, especially if you have a habit of checking your emails on the go.

Go local, buy a temporary local number to cut phone bill costs
If you’d prefer to avoid roaming charges entirely, it’s possible to do so with an unlocked GSM smartphone. GSM phones offer you the freedom to replace your existing SIM card with a local number from your destination. These local numbers are relatively cheaper while making calls or sending texts.

Apps for calls
Since you have already put your phone on a Wi-Fi mode, consider using apps like Skype, BBM, Facetime or Google Voice when you need to stay in touch with friends and family back home. Rather than paying high international calling and text rates, these apps let you talk and send texts for free or cheap to anybody around the world.

Kids will be kids, and they will use their phones on holidays, so you better prepare yourself for it
Keep the kids in mind
If you are taking your kids along on your holiday, do keep in mind that kids will – despite you telling them not to do so – play games on their phone, message friends or check Facebook, almost every day. While you can’t stop them from playing games on their phone, you can certainly limit their usage by giving them a pay-as-you-go SIM. This way, they won’t be able to turn data roaming back on and spend your money on downloading or playing games.  

Use a payphone
If you have to make local calls like booking a restaurant or calling a cab service, the best way (and the cheapest) to do is by using a payphone. This will save you plenty of cash, especially during international travels. For example, a four-minute call to book a local restaurant in London could cost as much as £5 (Rs 500) from your mobile (depending on your operator), compared with around 15p (Rs 15) from one of the city’s payphones.

Keep these tips in mind and enjoy your holiday, sans any shockers.
Happy travelling and Happy 2015 :)