Ashford & Simpson For Jamaica Jazz & Blues

'Solid As A Rock' duo, Ashford & Simpson, are set to grace the stage of the 2009 Jamaica Jazz & Blues festival next month. Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson have been added to the opening night lineup of the festival, set for January 22-24 at Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Since the beginning of their career together over 30 years ago, Ashford & Simpson have become one of the most prolific and versatile musical couples in recording history.

Combining multiple skills as performers, songwriters and producers, they have created an unprecedented catalog of chart-topping hit singles and albums, collecting 22 gold and platinum records and more than 50 ASCAP awards.

As staff songwriters for Scepter Records, Nick and Valerie penned Ray Charles' classic 'Lets Go Get Stoned, ' in 1964, which brought them to attention of Motown's hit-making team Holland-Davier- Holland.

At Motown, they wrote their second smash hit 'Aint No Mountain High Enough' for Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell. Soaring high energy harmonies and driving rhythms became Ashford & Simpson trademarks, and other Gaye/Terrell hits followed. 'Your Precious Love, ' 'Aint Nothing Like the Real Thing, ' 'You're All I Need to Get By' and 'Good Lovin' Aint Easy to Come By.'

They soon grew beyond staff writers and signed with Warner Brothers in 1973 as recording artistes. The duo recorded eight albums, four of which went gold. Their numerous hit singles include "Send It, " "Found a Cure, " "Don't Cost You Nothin, " "It Seems to Hang On" and "Love Don't Make It Right, "

In addition to their own growing catalog of songs, Ashford & Simpson wrote and produced for Ben E King, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Quincy Jones and re-wrote a version of "Aint No Mountain High Enough" for Diana Ross that became a number one record. Her album "The Boss, ' not only gave her another hit song but a title as well. In the 80's Ashford & Simpson signed with Capitol Records and their hit "Solid as a Rock" continues to be a signature song for the duo.

Ashford & Simpson joins a Thursday night line-up that opens with award-winning multiplatinum superstar, Robin Thicke; British Grammy Award-nominated hip hop/R&B singer, rapper and producer Estelle, who is best known for her hit single "American Boy;" Los Van Van, a Cuban band led by bassist Juan Formell, the Reunion Jazz Quartet and Jewish reggae singer, Matisyahu.

On Friday night, January 23rd, Jamaica's Rose Hall development in Montego Bay will come alive with multi-platinum Grammy award-winning singer, Lionel Richie, who will grace the stage along with Lou Gramm of Foreigner fame, Randy Crawford and Joe Sample, Alton Reeds Blues Entourage and young Canadian sensation, 13-year-old Nikki Yanofsky.

Saturday, Jan. 24th rocks with Chicago, Maxi Priest, Atlantic Starr and the O'Jays, all of whom need no introduction.

Also added recently to the Saturday line up are: Acclaimed singer-songwriter Carlene Carter, who has emerged from a period of intense mourning and introspection to craft 'Stronger, ' an album that explores the power of love to hurt, to bring laughter, to change the heart and, most of all, to heal.

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