News & Announcements

Join Us On Facebook

Taste Of The Caribbean & Jerk Festival
P.O. Box 1604
Hartford, CT 06144-1604

Phone: (860) 306-1693


Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival 2015 Festival Entertainers.

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

Children Village - Talent Competition – This year's festivities include a Children's Village with bounce stations, face painting, jewelry-making and much more. Children will also be showing off their talents in the inaugural TOC Children Talent Competition.

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.

2015 Performers Include:


Luciano - Jamaican Born Reggae Artist

An inspirational songwriter and recording artist, a brilliant performing star and international ambassador of Jamaican popular Reggae music, Jepther W. McClymont aka Luciano was born in Davey Town, near Mandeville in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica. He grew up singing in the Adventist church choir while learning to play the guitar at home. He says, "I fell in love with the guitar from my youthful years."
In his teens he started to sing on local sound systems at parties and dances. In his early twenties, he relocated from rural Jamaica to live in Kingston, where he had always aspired to pursue a career in music. He did odd jobs to earn a livelihood when times were really tight in this new environment where he had to trod the sidewalks to visit many studios seeking that tough first break. Following the suggestion of his mentor, Homer Harris, he changed his name to Luciano and further energized his attempt to secure the recording opportunities he was hungrily pursuing.

With a new name and the new decade of the ‘90s, Luciano began recording for a few producers but remained unrecognized until he recorded ‘Shake It Up’ for Freddie McGregor’s Big Ship label. ‘Shake It Up’ became a number one hit on the U.K. Reggae chart in 1993 and proceeded to start the recording career of Luciano rolling. His next label stop was X-Terminator Records with producer Philip ‘Fattis’ Burell at the controls. Here Luciano recorded his formative album Where There is Life released by Island Jamaica Records; it brought him instant world wide acclaim as the reggae messenger and a roots and culture icon. His lyrical themes are the quintessential Rastafarian anthem that sings praises to equality and justice for all of mankind.
Luciano is constantly working to advance and preserve Roots and Culture Reggae and maintains the integrity of the music by expressing spirituality and conscientiousness with sincerity. He remains a leader among those next-generation reggae artists who’ve held fast to the music’s original intentions. As such, his songs have the power to touch the soul, to communicate spiritual truths and uplift our hearts

Read More


Elan Trotman - Barbadian Contemporary Jazz Saxophonist

Saxophonist Elan Trotman has quickly become one of contemporary jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers, and continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer and recording artist.

Rihanna may be the most famous Barbadian making worldwide headlines, but sax-man Elan Trotman is another gifted Islander who is quickly becoming one of the fastest rising stars on the jazz scene. A former Boston Public Schools Educator and Berklee College of Music graduate, Trotman continues to define his brand as a young lion as he continues to perform at major jazz festivals, cruises and jazz clubs in the US, Europe and The Caribbean. Elan was heavily influenced by the smooth sounds of Grover Washington Jr as a child, but upon his arrival in Boston, MA in 1998, he discovered the world of bebop and immediately fell in love with the sounds and styles of the jazz legends. A rich tenor sax sound has always been his trademark, and he’s often compared to fellow sax-man Kirk Whalum with an instantly identifiable playing style that is vocallike.

Read More


Amandla Band

Introducing Amandla, Hartford CT's premier original roots reggae band. Derived from the Zulu Amandla, Awethu- Power to the People-. Amandla has been blazing the way for a new sound in reggae music since 2009. In 2013 Amandla released their highly anticipated debut CD "PowerLink" and has toured throughout the U.S. and shared stages with many artist like Jimmy Cliff, Mickey Spice, Ras Shiloh, and many more. Amandla is made up of a diverse collection of artists who, each in their own right, are accomplished singers, songwriters and musicians. Amandla provides authentic roots reggae music that can be appreciated by any music lover young or old. Performing together they create explosive performances that leave audiences calling for more.


Laree Salmon

Laree Salmon is a truly talented singer and well sought-after performer from Hartford, CT. Her unique sound and singing style ranges from sultry to soulful and is projected in the vast musical genres from Jazz, Gospel, Soul, R&B and Pop. She is passionately inspired and credits her sound to the influence of many artists, old school, new school and from across the global music spectrum. With over 14 years’ professional experience, Laree has performed at many private, social, charitable and fundraising events.


Sophia Brownn

Sophia’s dream of becoming an internationally acclaimed Reggae recording artist began to take shape with her performances on the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Appleton Estate Tours in the mid-eighties. After leaving home in 1998 to pursue her ambition in Kingston, Sophia was able to release her first recording Jig Me in 1992. This single gave her some radio listenership as it resonated well with the music fans and gave her the opportunity to perform with well-known recording artists such as Shabba Ranks, Patra, Frankie Paul and Richie Stephens.

Sophia’s sensational performance at Jamaica’s 1992 Reggae Sun Splash in Montego Bay led to her signing a recording contract with Strawberry Records, later sold to CMI. However her hopes were dashed when CMI later declared bankruptcy. But that would not be for long as Sophia rebounded and formed her own recording company called “Music Mecka” from which she released a host of singles including Baby Tonight and Give it Up, both of which received favorable airplay.

Sophia has toured the U.S. performing with rappers like Snoop Dogg, Lil Kim and Ja Rule. She recorded her first album, The Spotlight, in May 2009 and continues to record music and promote her singles - Let it Be Me, Gimme That Good Love and Lovers Rock - both locally and in the U.S. as well as internationally. Her music hit the charts in New York and South Florida and also in the UK. Sophia’s latest album, Catch Me If You Can, released in 2012 is a masterful blend of Hip-Pop, Neo-Soul and Hip-Reggae catapulting her onto the international scene. With ballads such as Love You Pure and I’m the Rose, Sophia has crossed genres and is on a path to greater things. So catch Sophia if you can! Wherever she may be, in the Caribbean, U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia!

Read More


Platinum One Band

Formed in 2007, this band performs for many private and public events such as street fairs and outdoor concerts. As the backing band for Jamaica’s popular recording artist Sanchez, Platinum One Band is comprised of talented musicians who strive to give a quality and professional product each time they perform.


Orquesta Espada

Formed in 1982, Orquesta Espada is comprised of 11 members whose musical talents create a very spicy brand of music using a wide range of Salsa and Brazilian rhythms. Considered the top Salsa/Jazz band to come out of Connecticut, Orquesta Espada has headlined many festivals and performs extensively throughout the U.S. and has worked with well-known musicians and performing artists such as Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Claudio Rodito, Roy Ayers and others. Band leader Ray Santiago, composer and accomplished musician, has composed and arranged many works for individual band members and other recording artists. Listening to the music of Orquesta Espada is an exploration of Boricua roots. Hold on to your seats because you are in for a great musical ride!


New Release Band

Formed in the early 1990’s, the New Release Band is owned and managed by Earlin Henderson, who plays the saxophone in the band. A Belizean, Henderson and the founding band members wanted to present a unique blend of music that represents the culture of the West Indian and Caribbean communities. The band’s distinctive flavor of music does just that, and does it in a way that distinguishes the new Release Band from other Caribbean bands.

Composing and arrangements are created by Henderson and the band members. The band has recorded two albums which are available as CD’s or cassettes. The New Release Band will electrify any stage with energy and sounds of Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Merengue, Punta and R&B/Soul music. They are a talented and versatile group of musicians who are able to satisfy all musical tastes. You are guaranteed a high-energy multicultural treat!

Read More



2014 Performers

2013 Performers

2012 Performers

2010 Performers