Chris Blackwell to speak at Destination Experience Visionaries’ Summit
Chris Blackwell, is also the owner and creator of Island Outpost, a progressive lifestyle company that at its center contains a celebrated collection of intimate Jamaican luxury hotels and villas.
Founder of Island Records Chris Blackwell will be a speaker at the upcoming Destination Experience Visionaries’ Summit scheduled for May 17 to 19 in Kingston.
Blackwell, is also the owner and creator of Island Outpost, a progressive lifestyle company that at its center contains a celebrated collection of intimate Jamaican luxury hotels and villas. He’s also the co-founder of the award-winning Blackwell Rum.
Blackwell helped bring reggae music to the world, signing amongst many others Bob Marley & the Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, Burning Spear, Third World and Black Uhuru. Diversifying into British folk and rock, Island Records also signed and developed Steve Winwood, Robert Palmer, Free, Nick Drake, Cat Stevens, Roxy Music, Melissa Etheridge, nurtured early U.2., and then worked with such classic “Island mavericks” as Tom Waits, Grace Jones and Marianne Faithful and the iconic African Artists, King Sunny Ade, Salif Keita, Baaba Maal and Angelique Kidjo.
Blackwell sold Island Records in 1989, remained on the company’s Board until 1997 and his enigmatic influence is still felt at the label.
Always looking for new ways to exploit his visionary flair, Blackwell had a distinguished career in film following his first film project in 1971, The Harder They Come, starring Jimmy Cliff.
In the early 1990s, Blackwell created Island Outpost, extending his interests into leisure and hospitality, applying principles learnt in music to running hotels. He started by renovating the iconic Marlin Hotel in Miami's South Beach, and then turned to The Tides and The Kent, which contributed to the resurgence of South Beach. He went on to open Pink Sands and Compass Point hotels in the Bahamas, and never straying far from Jamaica, opened Strawberry Hill, tucked into the Blue Mountains above Kingston in 1994. The Caves on the dramatic cliffs in Negril followed in 1997. A year later, he decided to develop the historic oceanfront GoldenEye, previously home of writer Ian Fleming where he wrote all 14 of his James Bond novels.
A vehicle for economic growth and innovation, The Destination Experience brings thought-leaders, influencers and innovators to the shores of the Caribbean to share their knowledge, resources and vision. Their strong track record for attracting an audience of global business luminaries has brought the lustrous Cantor Fitzgerald to the table as they focus on finance in this year’s convening, under the larger theme of “Inclusive Capitalism: Shifting Business Virtues Beyond Profit to Greater Positive Impact.” In 2015 the Destination Experience was recognized by President Obama at the White House as an “Innovative Platform for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship and a unique business catalyst.”