In a 4th December 2010 press release issued by GMR International Tours Inc., producers of the festival, it was revealed that because of the prevailing economic environment, the 2011 hosting of the festival had to be cancelled.
“It is because of this role that the Festival has come to play in the Barbados economic and cultural life that, in spite of rising costs and eventually raging recession, the producers have continued to juggle the almost impossible task to keep the Festival intact and at its expected quality, offering and billing.”
“…after much internal discussion and other consultations, it is with much regret that we must now advise that GMR International Tours Inc. as the producers of the Barbados Jazz Festival will not be in a position to mount the Festival this year. We have not totally abandoned the concept of the Festival and hope that in the coming months we may be able to sow the seeds of its early return,” the press release indicated.
The announcement comes just about one month before the 2011 staging of the festival and according to GMR International Tours Inc., it is late in coming because they were exploring the possibility of all avenues which may have made cancellation plans, unnecessary.
“One can therefore imagine the heaviness of heart with which we announce that as a result of the prevailing environment we will not be able to stage the Barbados Jazz Festival 2011 as we had sincerely hoped. Our delay in making this announcement is rooted in the fact that we were exploring all possibilities which may have resulted in our being able to produce the festival for 2011 especially at this time when our nation requires all assistance possible with regards to tourism related events.”
GMR reminded that the first Barbados Jazz Festival was held 18 years ago and has grown from its debuted status as a “tourism product” to, “A cultural experience that fed and nurtured the art form at a local level. Layered to meet all tastes in jazz, from the purist to the general music lover, the Festival also supported the Barbados Jazz Academy (children’s workshops given by some of the most renowned jazz masters) to the promotion of ‘young jazz’ where junior jazz musicians, mainly pulled from school incubators, were given the opportunity to share a stage with some of the genre’s best.”
GMR has indicated that is looks forward to discovering “the solutions which would return the Festival to its rightful place among the best jazz festivals in the world and the première jazz festival of the Caribbean”.