8th Annual

Taste of the Caribbean
& Jerk Festival

Free Admission

Saturday, August 3, 2013
1pm to 11pm

Mortensen Riverfront Plaza
in Hartford

Click here for a copy of our sovenior booklet

Crowds of people at the Festival

Thank You To Our 2010 Festival Entertainers.

Live Entertainment - Dance into the night with live Caribbean rhythms from local, national and international musical artists.

Caribbean Games Pavilion – Watch and play a game of dominos, limbo or other popular Caribbean Games. Festive face painting for children is free!

Caribbean Travel Village – Plan your next Caribbean getaway with island travel experts. Learn how you can enjoy the beautiful world class destinations and pristine azure beaches that the Caribbean has to offer.

Healthy Body Pavilion – Learn how you can get island fit and bikini ready with experts in our Healthy Body Pavilion. Consult with health care professionals and nutritionists from Hartford’s Community Health Services on healthy diets for a healthy body.

Download the 2010 Festival Brochure

Previous Year Performers

Featuring Hopeton Lewis

Hopeton Lewis was born in Kingston, Jamaica W.I. And grew up in Burnt Savannah, Westmoreland. At the age of 6, while attending the Burnt Savannah Holiness Church, his talent for singing was discovered. This ushered in the beginning of his singing career.

Several years later, he returned to Kingston to live with his grandparents in Mountain View Avenue. While attending the Windward Road Primary School, he was awarded a scholarship to attend Camperdown High School. By the time he turned 15 years old, both grandparents died and he was left to fend for himself.

His ambition, zest for life and his love for music, inspired him to form his first group "The Regals". Hopeton did his first recording at Studio One and from there went on to become one of the key players in the evolution of Jamaican popular music. Soon he moved to Federal Recording Company, where he did a number of recordings including his hit song "Take It Easy" which started the Rock steady Era.

In 1970 he won the Festival Song Competition with the hit song, "Boom Shaka-Laka" on the Treasure Isles Label. While singing under the Byron Lee's Dynamic Sound Label, his recording "Grooving Out On Life" reached gold status in 1973. He then join Byron Lee & the Dragonaires band as lead singer and tour with the group for over 4 years, after leaving the group he went on to perform on the hotel circuit throughout Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands.

Mr. Lewis has now returned to his first love worshiping the Lord through" Gospel Music" and continues to spread the word extensively through North America, the Caribbean and Europe delivering the Spiritual message of One Love, God's Love.

In 1996, he released his debut gospel CD, "This is Gospel" he has since released 12 other gospel CDs. On these CD’s are some original songs written by him and produced under his own recording label, Rockstone Music Production and Songs 4 Life Ministry.

To date, he has performed with various gospel artistes including, Candi Staton, Tramaine Hawkins, Alvin Slaughter and Monty Alexander to name a few.

HOPETON LEWIS'S RECOGNITION AWARDS

To date he has received over 40 prestigious awards

  • Mr. Lewis is the founder and president of The Caribbean Gospel Music Awards.
  • The President and founder of EESS Music Publishing Company
  • A member of the BMI Writers' Guild.
  • A board member of the Maxfield Children’s Home in Kingston Jamaica

Also Presenting

T.C (Born Lenette Terencia Coward)

T.C Also known as Born Lenette Terencia Coward

Admired by her peers for her powerful voice and captivating stage presence, this talented performer has made her mark on the entertainment industry in Barbados for over 20 years. TC is no overnight success story! You can be assured that when the history of music is written in Barbados a prominent spot will be reserved for this diminutive leading lady. TC will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the female calypso greats not only in Barbados but also in the Caribbean.

In 2009, Lenette Terencia Coward-Thompson sobriquet “TC” created history in Barbados by becoming the first every Sweet Soca Monarch of Barbados. If that wasn’t enough, about two hours later that day TC created history once more by winning the 2009 Party Monarch competition pulling off a historic double at Farley Hill National Park with the same song "Hot Sun & Riddim”. TC successfully defendended her title winning the Sweet Soca Monarch for the second year in a row.

Enthusiasm and dedication for her work, teamed with a professional approach and an undeniable strength help to make TC a success in her chosen field of entertainment. During her illustrious career TC can boast of mega hits like Hott Sun & Riddim, Jammers and Who the Hell is Kim the largest selling single to come out of Barbados to this day; reigning supreme on the Regional and International charts for over one year!

This versatile artiste is known for her riveting renditions of R&B, Jazz, Reggae and Kaiso! Known for her impeccable renditions of Social Commentary; she has been dubbed the “People Queen” with a powerful track record of fifteen years singing Calypso in Barbados and 14 years in the Calypso finals competing with National Calypso heroes Gabby, John King and RPB and others!

View T.C - Wrong Name / Who The Hell is Kim Music Video.

Terry Gajraj

Terry Gajraj performs live

D-Tay

D-Tay will be performing at this years festival

Ras Iba

Ras Iba on stage

Iba (pronounced: 'Eye-bah') was born on the island of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. As the son of a musician, Iba was indoctrinated into music at a very young age and his passion for knowledge led him to embrace the teachings of Rastafari in his formative years. Overtime and thru much diligence, Iba became lead singer of St. Croix's Front Line Reggae Band and quickly became one of St. Croix's celebrated singers.

In 1995, life and mother nature (Hurricane Marilyn) intervened in this burgeoning career and Iba relocated to Connecticut, USA. In Connecticut, Iba kept at his passion by fronting the Survivor's Reggae Band for the next 3 years. In 2001, Iba recorded seRas Ibaveral songs with Bambú Station that were selected for their award-winning compilation "Talkin' Roots - Volume I". Iba's song "Chant" was selected as the lead track and helped usher in a globally recognized talent pool of artists from the Virgin Islands.

Iba's song was heavily rotated throughout the United States and Caribbean helping to solidify "Talkin' Roots I" as a modern classic. Mt. Nebo Records launched Jah Lion (Children of the Nile), Iba's debut album on July 1, 2003 which has generated outstanding reviews and critical acclaim from industry experts, radio personalities and reggae fans alike.

Since the release of his first album, Iba has traveled all over the world spreading his message of righteous living, morality, world peace and unity. Iba's tours has taken him to Hawaii, Israel, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, and all across the U.S. He has made appearances at many festivals including Sierra Nevada World Music Fest, Monteray Bay Reggae Fest, Ja sound European Reggae fest, Cheimsee Reggae fest, Hamm Reggae fest and many more. Iba has released his highly anticpated sophomore album, "Many Lives" in August of 2006 and his third album "Matsahyel" in January of 2010.

These two albums have received outstanding reviews and contains many great songs and improves further on his first album "Jah Lion(children of the Nile)". Iba's voice and delivery is very distinct and his phrasing belies the normal song-writing formats commonly used in music today. Iba's honesty and life-approach also comes out solid in his presentation and his songs are filled with harmonies and call-and-response lyrics, which are always engaging to the audience. Distinct, interesting, harmonious!

Don Minott

Don Minott performing on stage

Don Minott - Born in Kingston Jamaica. Don started out as a poet, migrated to the US in 1986 and settled in Hartford, CT with his family. He continued to write and soon won a local talent contest sponsored by a local radio station (WKND) for male vocalist and best original song (Got Me Crying) soon after forming the Lightning Reggae Band (1995) along with Derek Alicock and Jah B.

He has been singing for the past 18 years, and has been in several bands, including "the Lightning Reggae Band", "Ruffneck Massive" and "Positive Vibrations". His musical influences are Delroy Wilson, Bob Marley, the original Wailers, Mikey Spice, Don Henley, and Phil Collins. When not performing Don listens to the above people, all forms of reggae and continues to write poetry.

Don has opened for Morgan Heritage, Culture, Luciano, Third World, Yellowman, Beres Hammond, Burning Spear, Toots and Maytals, Israel Vibrations, Sizzla, Damian Marley and Maxi Priest.

Don and the band have played at many venues throughout the area including: Toads Place, 41 Degrees North, Station 58, West Indian Social Club, Club Pyramid, Michael Angelo's, Sully's Pub, Webster Theater, all the Connecticut colleges, Meadows Concert theater, Bear & Grill, Georgetown Saloon, Conte's Market, New England Reggae Festival in Rhode Island, Iron Horse Theater Northampton MA, Bills Bar in Boston, MA, XXODUS Cafe Providence, RI, Prospect Park Brooklyn, NY, Half Moon Festival New Hampshire, Sober in the Sun Festival, The First Annual Rhode Island Reggae Festival, Ocean State Reggae Festival in RI, and the Gamboa Music Festival, May 2004 at Praia, Cape Verde.

In 2002 Don has formed a new band and has branched out on his own solo career. Don is now backed by the High Voltage Band.

Nicki Mathis

Entertainer Nick Mathis

Nicki Mathis, b. TX, based in Hartford began singing in this area with Emery Austin Smith, and Norman Gage bands. She formed her own Afrikan Amerikan Jazz band in the ‘80s w/Jim Argiro, Paul Brown, Jr. Ortiz, Emmitt Spencer, Lenzy Wallace Jr., and began producing The Many Colors of a W*O*M*A*N Jazz Festivals showcasing jazzwomen and their contributions to African American’s indigenous creative art form, jazz.

This year has been especially fulfilling for Nicki. She received rave reviews performing w/Norman Johnson and Jr Ortiz for the Martin Luther King Jr celebration at Yale Peabody Museum of National History; singing with International Women In Jazz Chorus at their festival, Saint Peter’s Church, NYC; w/Paul Arslanian Trio at Green St Café, Northampton, MA; for Arenzo Washington’s Valentine Celebration at Royal Seasons w/Jen Clark-Allen, Bill Arnold, James Daggs; w/Lynn Tracey’s Something Cool in CT and MA; a guest of Antoinette Montague’s at Eiko Café; International Festival of Arts & Ideas w/Joey, Saskia Laroo, Paulette, Lynn Tracey; The Caribbean Garden Jazz Fusion Fundraiser.

Hartford Magazine marked Black History Month by honoring Nicki Mathis Ed.M as one of the magazine’s first Black Women of Achievement Award winner’s…Women who have made – and are continuing to make their marks in Connecticut and beyond…

She was part of The Hartford Stage’s Motherhood Out Loud media marketing campaign, In addition to Nicki’s passionate performances, on a daily basis160,000 who travel Interstate 84 at the Asylum Street exit, get a view of her in Joe Standart’s Hartford Project on the façade of Capitol West Building, and in the Agave Restaurant window on Ann St. Mathis’ music airs on Hartford Public Access TV; and on Scott Haney’s Better CT TV Shows:

Her Many Colors of a W*O*M*A*N Jazz Festival is Saturday, 11 September at the Aetna Theater, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main St, Hartford, CT. Bookings: 860.231-0663.

St. Lucian Folklore Association

St Lucia Folklore group photograph

The St Lucia Folklore Association comprises of men, women and children of St Lucian descent and resident in the Brooklyn, New York area who came together in an effort to lend their talents in the upkeep and display of the rich and unique St Lucian Culture. Evolved over the centuries from a combination of African traditions plus English and French colonial influence, the St Lucian Culture is unparalleled in its composition, diversity and artistry as can be seen by the unique presentations of indigenous songs and dances which relate the tales of struggle, triumph, love, tragedy and survival of the St Lucian citizenry in building their proud nation over the years.

With an appropriate charter of “preserving the way of life of a people”, the group attempts to achieve their goals by public and private performances along with frequent stints at the area’s nursing homes and hospitals where they entertain the less fortunate with a song and dance repertoire which is always well received and appreciated.

In an attempt to ensure the longevity of its mission, the St Lucia Folklore Association has organized a group of young people, the majority of whom are children of St Lucian nationals residing in the New York area, into a functioning and subsidiary organization.

Appropriately called “The Children of Culture”, this subsidiary arm of the core association features, children, young men and women between the ages of 5 and 17 who are schooled in the dance and song routines of the culture of their parents and ancestors.

To say that the Children of Culture are a hit with the public would be an understatement. Since being officially launched 3 years ago, the Children of Culture has established an impressive reputation for themselves as they have taken the performance of the St Lucian cultural art forms to a new and surprising level of excellence.

The St Lucia Folklore Association along with the Children of Culture continually work together in unison while focusing on their mission of promoting their beloved culture through presentations of song and dance to St Lucian and non St Lucian audiences alike.

Bernard (Burnie T.) Terrell Jr.

Performer Bernard

Born in the Caribbean Island of Dominica, to Bernard Sr. and Millicent Terrell, Burnie T. was exposed to music at a very early age by an older brother who boasted a collection of records that included; Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrast, Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Bob Marley and The Wailers, Third World, Fela Kuti, Ginger Baker etc.

He started taking guitar lessons but that was short lived, due to his fascination with the drums. Burnie first started writing and singing his original material at the age of 12. Burnie migrated to New York City where he played with the Upper Lever band. and a prominent Reggae band, The Crucial Force.

Burnie began mastering the craft of being a reggae drummer, opening up for John Holt, Freddie McGregor, Burnie moved to Connecticut where he joined the One Love band a Springfield Mass, followed by the Head Corner stones.

Burnie would then join the High Voltage Band and opened up for the Morgan Heritage and with the Emergency band he had the opportunity to back Reggae greats as: The Might Diamond and open for Capleton at the West Indian Social Club in Hartford, Ct.

Leaving no stone unturned, Burnie is currently in the studio working with Producer/musician, musical mentor Osborne Ifield Joseph of Paco Records on his Solo project called; To Feel My Love.

Those who have been exposed to Burnie’s material are anxiously waiting for the rest of the world to know what they already know that “Burnie is an exceptional talent….”

List of Performers

  • Hopeton Lewis
  • Terry Gajraj & the Supertones Band
  • Ras Iba
  • Burnie T
  • Don Minott
  • Amandla
  • Ruff Stuff
  • Suzette Weaver
  • Rehoboth youth choir
  • St. Lucian Folklore Association
  • Caribbean American Dance Company
  • Orquesta Espada
  • Lake McClean
  • Loraine DeBeatham
  • Ashley Lewis
  • D'Tay
  • Nicki Mathis
  • Local Artists Showcase
  • Ysanne