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

Download the 2012 Festival Brochure

2012 Event Performers List


Featuring Leroy Sibbles

Leroy Sibbles is one of the founders of reggae music. He is considered a 'living legend' by fans and students of reggae. Born in Kingston, Jamaica Leroy began his career as the lead singer of the rock steady group, The Heptones. While playing with The Heptones, he recorded many classic reggae tunes including Party Time, Fatty Fatty, Book Of Rules, Baby Be True and Heptones Gonna Fight . Leroy also played an integral role in the creation of many of the famous 'Studio One' rhythm tracks frequently sampled and re-recorded today. He wrote and arranged many of the Studio One 'classics' as well as played bass and provided harmony.

Leroy moved to Toronto in the mid-70's where he lived for 20 years. During his residence, Leroy helped establish reggae music in Canada and was often described as 'the Godfather of reggae in Canada' and the 'sweetest singer in the business'. He also released 6 solo albums while residing in Toronto. They are: Now, Strictly Roots, On Top, The Best (Micron Music), Meanwhile (Attic) and Evidence (A&M).

Leroy returned to Jamaica in 1994 and is now based there. Since his return he has been touring extensively in the Europe, United Kingdom, Japan and the United States. He released two CD's entitled It's Not Over (1996) and Rock and Come On (1999) as well as a dozen new singles including his latest Harry Hippie (2009), a remake of a Bobby Womack tune. Leroy's version of Harry Hippie is pure magic and is backed by some of reggae's top musicians. He has also co-authored tunes with the dancehall greats: Buju Banton and Beenie Man.

Leroy participated in the 2009 documentary 'Get Ready Rock Steady' which also includes many other reggae greats including: Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, Ken Boothe, Dawn Penn, Hopeton Lewis, U-Roy, Bongo Herman, Lloyd Parks, The Tamlins, Derrick Morgan, Sly Dunbar, Stranjah Cole and is receiving great reviews.

When you see Leroy perform it is immediately evident that you are in for a treat. His mastery of the stage is second to none in the business. He has the unique ability to engage audiences of all age groups and his repertoire of hits spans four decades.

Featuring Calypso Rose

(born April 27, 1940 in Bethel, Tobago) is a Tobagonian calypsonian.

She began writing songs at the age of 15, and has written over 800 songs. In 1966 she wrote the song Fire in Me Wire, which has since become a calypso anthem. Rose was the first female to win the Trinidad Road March Competition, in 1977 with her song "Tempo". She won the Calypso Queen title five years running. She has also won both the Trinidad Calypso Crown and Road March competitions in 1978, the Sunshine Award in 1989 and the Trinidad and Tobago Hummingbird Medal in 2000.

American Blues/R&B and Rock and roll Hall of Fame artist Bonnie Raitt covered Rose's song "Wah She Go Do" on an album, released in 1973, entitled Takin' My Time.

Rose was named an honorary citizen of Belize in 1982 in recognition of her work to raise the country's international awareness on the cultural front. In 1993, she was awarded the key to the city of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada by the mayor.

Also Presenting

Don Minott

Born in Kingston Jamaica but grew up in Central Village St. Catherine, Don Minott grew up listening to reggae artists like Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe, Bob Andy, Heptones, Freddie McGregor, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, Horace Andy and of course the original Wailers. He started writing poetry during his high school years and later attended a summer workshop in creative writing at the Creative Arts Center in Kingston.

In 1986 he migrated to Hartford CT., while attending basement parties he was invited to get on the microphone which he did and the crowd loved it. Don Minott the singer was born. Years later he started singing with Hartford area bands like Rough Neck Massive, Positive Vibrations and the well-known reggae band Lightning Reggae Band of which he is a founding member. He has toured the entire northeast of the USA. When the Lightning Reggae Band folded Don Minott put together his own band, the High Voltage Reggae Band which has been going strong ever since.

Don Minott has worked alongside reggae greats like Burning Spear, Toots Hibbert, Culture, Alton Ellis, Yellowman, Beres Hammond, Luciano, Sizzla, Damian Marley, Buju Banton, Morgan's Heritage, Maxi Priest and the list goes on. Don played the GAMBOA Music Festival in Cape Verde, West Africa in 2004 & Reggae by the River in Hamburg, Germany 2011. In April 2012, Don completed a successful 3 week (9 shows) European tour of Germany, Serbia, and Macedonia.

Amandla Band

Amandla, an original roots reggae ensemble is moving and shaking the hearts and hips of listeners along the East Coast and around the world. Amandla features five internationally renowned reggae artists: YahKali, Ras Iba, Toussaint the Liberator, Tuff Lion, and Burnie T. This collaboration of seasoned musicians brings the culture of roots reggae music into a whole new light. While staying true to the foundation of roots reggae, Amandla incorporates a variety of famed musical styles ranging from lover’s rock and soul to jazz and world music that meld into an uplifting chorus of rhythms to which your body can't stop moving.

YahKali, founder of Amandla and the nonprofit organization Amandla Awethu Africa (amandla-africa.org), is a reggae veteran of 15 years who has performed around the world, moving audiences with his thought-provoking lyrics, soothing voice and ground shaking bass lines. Legendary lead guitarist and lyrical poet, Tuff Lion, has produced 20-plus albums contributing to his status as a long-standing pioneer in St. Croix's roots-renaissance movement, having worked with well-known artists such as Midnite and Niyorah while touring throughout the world. Hailing from the island of Dominica, Amandla's drummer, Burnie T, often called reggae's Barry White, enraptures listeners with his sweet, yet poignant songs of love. Another front man from the St. Croix reggae camp, Ras Iba, is an empowering lyricist with high energy whose gift of song resounds throughout the nations. Toussaint the Liberator with his husky tenor that is "the epitome of soul" has toured worldwide, sharing the stage with renowned artists such as Isaac Hayes, the Rolling Stones, John Legend and Dave Matthews Band.

In June 2012, Amandla released its debut album, "POWERLINK," at the Buttonwood Tree in Middletown kicking off their tour of the Northeast. "POWERLINK," embodies Amandla's message of unity, spiritual awakening and the power of love. This unique and intimate performance from a roots-reggae powerhouse is sure to capture you in a wave of inspiration that won't let go. This new anthology of reggae rhythms and explosive performances is sure to have you declaring "Amandla, Awethu!" (Power to the People!).

Angels Band

Angels Caribbean Band, led by Amar "Vinod" Bisram, is New York's most versatile Caribbean live band consisting of a team of dynamic and talented musicians and singers from various Caribbean islands. Angels Caribbean Band made their professional debut in June 1994.

The original concept behind the formation of this group is to promote and preserve Caribbean arts, culture and heritage. Angels Caribbean Band have enjoyed remarkable success and continue to be trendsetters since they exploded upon America's Indo-Caribbean music scene.

With the ability to play different types of music, the group had the privilege to accompany most of the top named Caribbean artistes including the late 'Godfather of Chutney Music' Sundar Popo, Terry Gajraj, Calypso Rose, Crazy, Baron and many more. Angels Caribbean Band were also fortunate to share the same stage with Dave Martins and The Tradewinds and The Mighty Sparrow.

Angels Caribbean Band had many memorable performances throughout America, which includes the world famous Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, The Nassau Colesium, Disney Amphi Theatre, Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic city, Queens Day Festival, Jamaica Arts & Music Festival, New York's Annual Phagwah Parade, Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival and many more.

The group has been honored many times for their contribution towards numerous charitable events.

Top ranked professional musicians are Vinod on keyboards/arranger, Raymond on bass guitar, Charles on rhythm/lead guitar, Ronald on dholak/tabla/congasand Vikash on drums. Lead vocalist are New York's Sensation, Geeta Bisram, Tricia & Dexter.

The sound (P.A) is provided by Angels Sound. Engineer and sound technicians are Vijay, Sean and Brian.

Anthem

Anthem Band

Come and vibe with Anthem the most harmonious sounds of the new millennium. The live shows ranks amongst the best in the business. A truly original sound that is creating a big wave throughout the USA, from roots to dance hall, Anthem can play it all and with their own diversity, it's truly a treat for all music lovers. Anthem has appeared with Sister Carol on the Conan O'Brien show and was Judy Mowatt's backing band. Anthem has toured Korea, Japan, Guam, Hawaii, Bermuda and Canada. Anthem has also shared the stage with Third World, Yellowman, Jimmy Cliff, Big Mountain, The Wailers, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, The Neville Bros, The Temptations, Freddy Jackson, George Benson, The Isley Brothers, Maxi Priest, Buju Banton, Capleton, Chacadimus and Pliers, John Holt, Ken Booth, Dennis Brown, Super Cat, Gyptian and many more.

The band is led by its founder and talented songwriter, Courtney "Coozie" Mellers. Coozie has played bass, rhythm guitar, piano and produced songs on albums for some of the founders of Reggae music such as Lee Scratch Perry, Sugar Minott, Horace Andy, Max Romeo, & Denroy Morgan to name a few. Coozie has released his own solo recordings in the U.S. as well as in Japan and Europe.

Jermaine Mellers (Coozie‘s nephew) joined the band to form the new youthful, charismatic Anthem and compliments their skills with his unique and savvy flair on bass. Jermaine is also a gifted singer, songwriter and plays keyboards and drums. He's toured with Leon, Gyptian, Franky Paul, Warrior King and many more.

Carey Mellers (another nephew) brought his considerable talents on vocals, guitar, bass and piano to Anthem upon leaving High School and has helped to write and produce many of Anthem's popular tunes. Carey was one of the semi finalists on MTV and Puff Daddy's "Making of the Band" and has a song on the Showtime series "Soul Food". Also added recently was a song placed on "The Young and the Restless".

Damion Martelliere is Anthem's drummer and the pulse of the band. He's won best soloist at Air Jamaica's Jazz & Blues Festival and has toured and shared the same stage with artists such as Gyptian, Buju Banton, Freddie McGregor , Marcia Griffiths and, Kymani Marley.

Finally, Rob Ellington, who has been performing since the age of 11. He won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre and toured with Blue Magic amongst others. Rob completes the quintet as the band's lead singer. He is "Mr. Excitement", full of energy and a performing talent to make an Anthem stage show a complete experience and not just another stage show.

Junior Tucker

Junior Tucker

God Alone!

Only God can take credit for the extraordinary life of Junior Tucker!

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Junior began singing at the age of 5. In 2 years, he became a household name in his home country and attained his first #1 song, "Happy", followed by "Which Side of the Coin", "Some Guys have all the Luck", and "It's a Small, Small World". Junior began traveling and performing locally and internationally. Without a shadow of doubt, everyone who saw Junior perform knew that being on stage was what he was born to do.

With tremendous success, he navigated his way through three international recording contracts which have literally taken him across the world. He has toured throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, and the Caribbean. At 12 years, he was signed to Island Records which produced the hit song "One of the Poorest People". At 14, he landed a recording contract with Geffen Records USA which turned out "Mr. Telephone Man". At 23, he signed to Virgin Records UK which produced hits like "Don't Test" and "16". In 1991, Junior was released from Virgin Records and returned to his roots to pursue a career in Jamaican Dancehall Music. A slew of hits ensued, "Love of a Lifetime" and "Move Along" to mention a few.

Dancehall brought its accolades, number one songs, singer of the year titles and a high profile lifestyle. As time progressed, his life became far from “Happy”. Despite so called, “Fortune and fame”, behind the scenes, his life was in pieces. It was spent chasing the next hit song to stay on top of the charts, all in an attempt to fill the void he felt in his life.

In 1996, the death of his father and the birth of his first child led to a period of searching for answers to a deeper meaning to life. He investigated various religions but still no answers. He penned songs like "I Pray" and "Praise His Name", having no true knowledge of the God he was singing about.

In October 1997, bombarded by religion, a distorted childhood and being plagued by nightmares, Junior cried out one night "God, if you are real, show me who you REALLY are and allow me to sleep!" The Living God answered; he slept as never before. He woke up completely rested, knowing that Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior. He publicly confessed his Christian faith that week at a gospel concert in Kingston and soon after was baptized.

Since that night when Jesus met him, Junior has not returned to his secular career. He simply states, "There is nothing to go back to!." Coming into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ has brought clarity to his once hazed purpose and destiny. Was he still born to sing and be on stage? Definitely, but now to the Glory of God! To his life... God has given direction, and to his gift... God has given purpose.

ReBelle

ReBelle

In their music and their lives, Rebelle is an intergenerational and intercultural band from Africa and America devoted to love and justice. Rebelle was founded in the spirit, knowledge and teachings of ancestral and contemporary wisdom. The Rebelle story is rich in a foundation of love and powerful musicianship.

ReBelle plays all original music, sung in four different languages, English, Wolof, Creole and French. ReBelle plays Roots reggae music, and its powerhouse vocalists chant meditations on liberation while the band propels roots reggae soul. The band's mystical mix of pulsing tribal rhythms, reggae horns, guitar and tight harmonies is internationally acclaimed.

ReBelle has performed internationally including performances in Africa and all over the United States. In Africa, performances at the Blaise Senghor Institute in Senegal, Reggae Sunsplash in Senegal and Baia das Gatas Festival in Cape Verde exemplified the band's outstanding success at reaching the hearts and minds of people and sharing their message with love and grace. At the Baia das Gatas Festival in front of 60,000 people and to an international television audience, the band so moved the people that the audience rushed the stage as the band members appeared.

ReBelle is heard on airwaves throughout Africa, Europe, Jamaica, the Americas and the world. In the U.S., along the east coast, from Maine to Florida to California, ReBelle has performed hundreds of concerts at noted festivals, venues and colleges including the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, SOB's, Fire Water Festival, Harmonic Convergence Festival, Vermont Reggae Festival, Bel Chere, LEAF, Ocean State Reggae, sell-out crowds at the Iron Horse Music Hall, Pearl Street Night Club, The Roxy, Reggae Sunsplash, New England Reggae Festival, Guilford College, Amherst College, Smith College to name just a few, and the Valley Advocate writes, "When ReBelle performs, concert halls become temples, and for several hours, at least, people come together."

As a group, ReBelle has shared the stage with virtually all of the epic artists in Reggae music, including, Burning Spear, Israel Vibration, Sister Carol, Damien Marley, Ijahman Levi, Michael Rose, Culture, to name a few. The band has 8 independently released recordings and is currently mixing their latest for 2011.

Reggae Runnins writes, "ReBelle brings the conscious message of Rastafari with African roots reggae music... powerful... and mesmerizing sounds come together to sing praises to Jah and spread the word of truth and rights…ReBelle bring a serenity and peacefulness with them; in speaking, in their music, and in their spirit. They are a unit guided by Jah and inspired with the love of the universe. Soul rebels standing strong."

Dirty Linen magazine writes, “Few bands brave the more difficult challenges of composing new, intelligent and trail blazing music. ReBelle is one such band."

"Since its inception and to this day, reggae has been strongly African oriented...ReBelle is a clear example... one of the most striking bands you'll ever encounter... ReBelle songs speak of the importance of African unity and human justice, yet they never neglect to touch on the spiritual." Hernan Rosenberg, music critic

"ReBelle holds true to a vision for a better world that we can construct here on earth."- The Beat

Dub Missive writes- "Their music reflects the spirit of ReBelle; warm, contemporary, vital. We were blessed to witness a spellbinding performance as the ReBelle came forth strong and sure."

ReBelle is devoted to inspiring the world with music. The band is committed to bringing love, justice and unity among people and nations. ReBelle live a positive way of respect and represent a multicultureal creation.

Misteree

Misteree

Visit Misteree's Website

Born in Spanish Town, St. Catherine Parish, and growing up in Paul Island, Westmoreland, Jamaica, this lovely singer-songwriter "Misteree" acquired her love of reggee, R & B, and gospel music listening to her grandparents' albums by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Marcia Grifiths, Luther Vandross and Shirley Caesar. After singing her rendition of Caesars "Jesus Oh Jesus" at a concert in Luci Westmoreland and receiving a standing ovation at the age of nine, "Misteree" knew she wanted to become a singer. She soon began singing in the youth choir, traveling to different stages and arenas all over the island.

At 16, she migrated to the U.S. and began modeling part-time in Miami while singing in the church choir every Sunday before relocating to Hartford, CT. In June of 2007, she entered the West Indian Idol competition at Weaver High School auditorium, the only un-intimidated female, and came home with second place after singing an original calypso tune, "Love de Caribbean" in the finals. But it was her voice people remembered. In one of the toughest towns for local artists to succeed, she captured their hearts with her intense performance and versatility.

"Misteree" has since gone on to open for legendary artists like Beres Hammond, Maxi Priest, Gregory Isaccs, Shabba Ranks, Frankie Paul, Tarrus Riley, Beenie Man, Sanchez, Capleton. Leroy Sybils, Macka Diamond, Dean Fraser, Duane Stephenson and others, though people still wonder where that big voice comes from in such a slender, but curvy and drop dead gorgeous young woman..

You can hear the magic for yourself in "Just As I Am" a soaring fusion of reggae, r&b, hop-hop and gospel that leaves the listener with little doubt who "He" is that loves "Misteree" with such unconditional love. Originally penned as a gospel ballad by R. Meltzer and S. Sarbocca, this rewrite has her unmistakable melodic and vocals influence along with those of Capsicum writer-producer, Osborne "Ifield" Joseph

Toussaint The Liberator

Toussaint's vocal versatility will captivate any unsuspecting listener and deliver his proud message straight to the heart. He spent his Indiana childhood singing gospel and performing in Midwestern churches with his family and laid a solid musical and spiritual foundation on which he continues to build. Toussaint is a dynamic, independent artist with a powerful voice, a serious message, and an undeniable talent. Toussaint is steady in his mission to build a community of music lovers who are ready for change whether he is performing on stage or working with youth groups.

Toussaint's current projects draw on his commitment to activism and showcase not only his artistic and lyrical skills, but also his tireless drive. 2012 finds Toussaint bursting at the seams creatively with an onslaught of new material soon to be hitting the masses. “Where I Lead” is a throwback analog reggae album produced jointly by I Dwell and Gatorwood Productions and was recently released on April 20, 2012. It features cameos from reggae legends Mikey General and Kulcha Knox Dixon. With Berklee College of Music professor, Matt Jensen and timbalero Jose Clausell (Eddie Palmieri), Rebel Tumbao is an Afro-Cuban ensemble gearing up to move from the studio to the stage later on this year. And in a different vein "Dear Mama Earth", a modernly smooth soul-reggae sound with an environmental message created with young powerhouse producer Brian McKenna from NYC is also slated for release later this year. Toussaint has joined forces with Amandla and has an album with them in the works called “Power Link”, which will appear this year as well. And yes, yet another project is near completion with a group called SOL out of Maryland. Let this be a warning, the funk is back! When Toussaint writes a song about a personal subject, his delivery will transform the personal into something that is universally human and easily accessible. However, the global African and the African-American experiences are the thematic underpinnings for all his lyrics. His 2011 mixtape produced by Relic Secure and Secure Dem Sound titled the African Soul Exchange coupled American soul classics made famous by Marvin Gaye, Donnie Hathaway, and Bill Withers with Jamaican roots rhythms to gel thousands of years of history into a single auditory treat, paying homage to a collective heritage while proving that it hasn't all been done before. In 2010 he splashed onto the reggae scene with his first solo album "Black Gold" put out by St. Croix based I Grade Records. "Black Gold" stood out as unique, was called "soul-roots," and quickly rose in the reggae charts catching the attention of reviewers and listeners worldwide.

"...Call it whatever the hell you want to, it's very well done and while I have come across a few better albums in 2010, I haven’t come across many and I most certainly haven’t seen any more FASCINATING than the wonder which is "Black Gold". Very well done." Achis Reggae Blog August 2010

In 2006, after five years of making a name for himself and carving out his niche in the Boston, Massachusetts music scene, Toussaint joined forces with the band Soulive. As their lead singer Toussaint wrote and recorded the album "No Place Like Soul". The album was released in 2007 on the Stax label and took Toussaint around the world to share the stage with the likes of Isaac Hayes, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Matthews Band, and John Mayer among others.


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