Dragon to heat up ball

He’s known affectionately as ‘The Dragon’ and, together with his band, the Dragonaires, the internationally renowned Jamaican performer Byron Lee will heat up the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s 32nd Annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball in New York in early June, states a press release.

Revellers at the 3 June Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, will be thrilled by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires’ infectious mix of sensational Caribbean rhythms.

The Jamaica Tourist Board is sponsoring the band’s appearance at this year’s ball, the highly anticipated, glitzy affair that culminates CTO’s Caribbean Week festivities.

‘We are excited about Byron Lee and the Dragonaires’ performance at this year’s Governments of the Caribbean State Ball, and we extend our gratitude to the Jamaica Tourist Board for agreeing to sponsor the band,’ said Karen Ford-Warner, acting secretary general for CTO.

‘The band’s celebrity status, superb talent and dynamic show-stopping performance raise the excitement level for all who will attend the CTO Ball,’ Mrs. Ford-Warner added.

Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, which first achieved prominence backing up Harry Belafonte and rose to fame thanks to the James Bond movie ‘Dr. No,’ created a buzz when they performed at the 29th Annual Governments on the Caribbean State Ball in 2002 with the manner in which they communicated their soul, feeling and vigour through their music. Their return is a clear manifestation of the level of enjoyment which they gave to all who attended that event.

Over the past 49 years, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires have worked to forge a Caribbean blend of music featuring a mix of reggae, soca , ska, rocksteady and rock and roll which has elevated the level of Caribbean music worldwide.

In 1963, Byron Lee met The Mighty Sparrow, the Calypso King of the World and the two influenced the movement of the band’s sound more towards calypso and soca. Further collaborations with the Mighty Sparrow and Lord Brynner steered the band to carve a permanent path into soca music and led to commercial success that established the band as one of the top soca bands in the Caribbean.

With over 150 awards to its credit, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires continue to take the sound of soca music all over the world. The band has evolved over the years and, with few exceptions, most members have been with the band for 25 to 30 years.

Caribbean State Ball

The CTO Ball is now in its 32nd year and is one of the glitziest social events held every year in New York. It was first held at the famous New York Plaza Hotel but soon outgrew this location because of its popularity. In the best years it attracted over 700 guests.

The event has become part of the calendar of the world-famous Waldorf = Astoria Hotel in New York, which has acknowledged that its famous Ballroom is never more beautifully decorated than when the CTO Ball takes place. The Waldorf’s Ballroom will be transformed to reflect this year’s ‘Gems of the Caribbean’ theme.

The Ball is attended by government leaders and diplomats, the private sector, tourism leaders from all over the Caribbean and the marketplace and by celebrities from the USA and beyond.

The Ball was first held in 1973 as a fundraiser for helping to market the Caribbean, but its charitable purposes have expanded to raising funds to provide scholarships for Caribbean youth to become leaders in Caribbean tourism.

In keeping with the ‘Gems of the Caribbean’ theme, CTO is offering special sponsorship packages for the following categories – Diamond, Emerald, Opal and Amber.

A Diamond sponsorship package costs US$25,000 and includes the following: full-page advertisement in the Souvenir Ball Journal; prime table of 12 seats at the Ball; credit in the Souvenir Ball Journal; logo at the top of the first page in the Journal; recognition plaque at the Ball; company profile on the Caribbean Week website www.caribbeanweekny.com along with a link to the sponsor’s website; mention in publicity; photo opportunity with CTO officials; and signage at the Ball.

The Emerald package is priced at US$20,000 and features: full-page advertisement in the Souvenir Ball Journal; choice table of 10 seats at the Ball; credit in the Souvenir Ball Journal; logo on the first page of the Journal; mention in publicity; company profile on the Caribbean Week website www.caribbeanweekny.com along with a link to the sponsor’s website; corporate recognition from the podium; photo opportunity with CTO officials; and signage at the Ball.

The Opal package costs US$15,000 and includes: half-page advertisement in the Souvenir Ball Journal; table of 10 seats; credit in the Souvenir Ball Journal; mention in publicity; corporate recognition from the podium; photo opportunity with CTO officials; and signage at the Ball.

The Amber package is priced at US$12,000 and includes: half-page advertisement in the Souvenir Ball Journal; table of 10 seats; credit in the Souvenir Ball Journal; mention in publicity; photo opportunity with CTO officials; and signage at the Ball.

Individual ticket prices start at US$475 per person.

Tickets for the Ball and the sponsorship packages can be purchased by contacting CTO’s New York office at 212-635-9530.

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