R&B Entertainer, Mario to perform at St. Kitts Music Festival

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Popular entertainer and Billboard Award Winning artist Mario will be among the premier acts at the 12th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival, which will take place on the island from June 26-28, 2008.

Currently appearing as a contestant on the hit ABC television show Dancing with the Stars, Mario was just 15 when his debut album, “Mario,” was released. The album’s two hit singles, “Just a Friend” and “Let Me Love You,” earned him various accolades including a 2005 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Award for Top R&B/Hip-Hop Single, a Billboard Music Award for Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Single of the Year and nominations for the Grammy Awards, BET Awards, Vibe Awards, MOBO Awards and the Soul Train Music Awards. His acting career includes leading roles in the films Step Up and Freedom Writers. Mario’s most recent album, “Go” was released in November 2007 and his fourth album is tentatively scheduled for release in September 2008.

“I am very excited to make my first trip to St. Kitts this summer,” said Mario. “I’ve never been there and I hear from everyone how beautiful it is. I am also looking forward to bringing my band and doing an amazing show for everyone. It`ll be a great weekend. I have heard that the St. Kitts Music Festival is one of the big highlights of the summer in that part of the region and I look forward to performing at the Festival.”

“Mario is an exciting young artist and we are extremely pleased that he will be performing at the St. Kitts Music Festival,” said Senator Ricky Skerritt, Minister responsible for Tourism, Sports & Culture. “His remarkable talents make him an excellent addition to the existing line-up, which showcases a mix of musical styles for all ages. Mario will be a significant ingredient in our Festival’s unique flavor, with performances from top-selling international musicians as well as exciting local and Caribbean acts who showcase our culture on each night, making the St. Kitts Music Festival an experience like no other.”

Now in its 12th consecutive year, the festival attracts both locals and visitors alike. It features various musical styles on the popular market, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Gospel and Contemporary music. Past artists have included such prominent acts as Michael Bolton, Wyclef Jean, Ne-Yo, Air Supply, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight, Ashanti, Shaggy, Eve, Bobby Caldwell, DMX, Hugh Masekala, Xtatik, the Temptations, Chaka Khan, Maxi Priest, Ronald “Boo” Hinkson and Busta Rhymes.

US based music lovers looking for a great vacation experience can get to St Kitts on American Airlines on a non-stop service from JFK, New York and MIAMI or from Atlanta on Delta Air Lines, and from Charlotte on US Airways as well as via connecting service through San Juan on American Eagle.

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