CAYMAN JAZZ FEST
Two days on a beautiful beach in the Cayman Islands listening to leading jazz acts such as keyboardist George Duke, vocalist Al Jarreau, guitarist Earl Klugh, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and gospel vocalist Yolanda Adams. Sounds like a good idea to us.
And it did to the thousands who attended the two-day festival held. The result of collaboration between the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and BET (Black Entertainment Network) Jazz, the Jazz Fest will soon be a staple of the Caymans and other Caribbean islands based on its growing popularity.
Located 480 miles south of Miami in the quiet western Caribbean, the Caymans are a trio of tiny islands renowned for their beaches and diving spots - a premier destination for discriminating travellers, honeymooners and families.
Paul van Puffelen's Southern Technical Support of Miami and Charles Gregory of Hopscotch Sound in the Caymans provided audio for the festival. Gregory has been running a successful recording studio in the Caymans for quite some time and had asked van Puffelen to augment his live rig, which originally consisted of two W8's per side over two WSX subs.
In order to achieve the long throw required, van Puffelen and Gregory consulted with Rob Hofkamp of Martin Audio North America to come up with a powerful line array system for the event, featuring four W8LC compact cabinets per side over five WSX subs per side, with four W8S cabinets in the centre. This was more than sufficient to project 250 feet deep (plus side and downfill).
Crowds for the event, held on a restored abandoned beach property, with sunsets and passing cruise ships in the background, averaged approximately 3,000 and the audio quality was top-notch throughout.
'Everyone was amazed at how good it sounded, considering it was outdoors and we weren't using any delays,' summarised van Puffelen.
And Charles Gregory, the local impresario whose recording studio, Hopscotch Sound, has been a popular choice for musicians, added, 'Changing over to Martin Audio speakers is the best decision I've made in my whole career. And it's not just about the equipment, it's about the people. Having Rob here with us during the festival setting up the PA really topped things off.
'As for the speakers, I just did a two-night show with Roy Ayers and the clear coverage was extraordinary. With the line arrays flown fairly low people were remarking not only on the quality of the sound but the fact that they were still able to have a conversation!
'The Martin Audio speakers have taken my company to a whole other level!'