Taste of the Caribbean
& Jerk Festival
Saturday, August 1, 2015
1pm to 11pm
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza
Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival 2014 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.
2014 Performers Include:
Mikey Spice - Jamaican Born Reggae Artist
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1965, Mikey Spice began singing in his father's church at age seven. He then became a dazzling multi-instrumentalist, learning guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, piano, saxophone, flute, harp and clarinet before age 13. Seven years later, he decided on a reggae career.
After working with several bands, Spice (whose voice has been compared to Lou Rawls) began recording in 1991. A successful live date at 1993's Reggae Sunsplash sparked his Ras Records debut, Happiness (1995), followed the next year by Born Again. Jah Lifted Me appeared in 1997. Harder Than Before was issued in early 2001..
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.
TERRY GAJRAJ BAND
Terry Gajraj Band
Camille "Misteree" Ismail - Jamaican Born Vocalist
A born singer, raised in Westmoreland Jamaica, Camille gathered many musical influences from listening to different genres of music within her household and by age 9 she knew music was her gift and calling.
After moving to the United States, the decision was made to pursue her art and become a performer. The stage name "Misteree" was born and since then there was no looking back for this young, beautiful and determined songstres who became the lead singer of Soca bands, reggae bands and even jazz bands. In 2010, Misteree released her first single "Just as I am" produced by Capsicum Records and later that year she was nominated for Best New Artiste of the year at EME awards in Jamaica. She has shared the stage with artistes like Duane Stephenson, Beenie Man, and Beres Hammond to name a few. Although she is classified as a reggae artist Misteree is definitely transcending in Jazz and R&B fusion. Her new singles for 2014 are, "QUESTIONS" and "NEED YOU". Follow Misteree Ismail on social media: www.facebook.com/suedatrend and on Twitter @Misteree1.
INNER ROOTS BAND
Inner Roots Band
Inner Roots Band, the hottest and most sought after reggae show, dance and backing band whose sound can be heard at the best eateries, parties, festivals and cultural events in New York. Inner Roots revived the live band sound in the metro area and expanded their listenership and fan base to the suburbs.
Their live performance takes you on a journey of Roots, Culture, Lovers
Rock, Dance Hall and Vintage Classic reggae music that is rooted in Jamaica
and spans the world.
The Band consists of Neville Morris (bass), Lee Archibald (guitar) Richard Blackwood (keyboard), Virginia Henriquez (vocal), Owen Dalhouse (drums/leader), Phyllis McClain-Dalhouse (percussionist/manager).
Contact: Dalhouse Productions - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Amandla Band
Amandla, is an original Roots Reggae ensemble 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 of 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.
Amandla’s debut album, "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).
Iroko Nuevo Performance Group is a thirteen-member ensemble specializing in music and dance from Afro-Cuban folkloric traditions, such as Yoruba, Congo, Palo, rumba, carnival, son and more. Iroko Nuevo had its origins in 2001, when Artistic Director Miguel Periche, a native of Holguín, Cuba, and principal dancer of Conjunto Folklórico Okú, left Cuba for the Pioneer Valley. For several years Miguel’s ensemble was known as Grupo Folklorico Palo Santo, and, in addition to performances, held weekly dance classes in Northampton, MA. In 2012, the group expanded, adding professional singers and additional musicians, and changed its name to Iroko Nuevo, reflecting the new focus. In the Afro-Cuban religion Lucumí, or Santeria, the iroko tree is a gathering place for the orishas - the saints and ancestors of African religion. The dancers, musicians and singers of Iroko Nuevo gather in this same spirit. We believe that dance, drum and song are not only good for the soul, but help to build community.
The Iroko Nuevo Performance Group has performed in schools, museums, community festivals,
benefits for local non-profit organizations, and private venues, and has been teaching
and performing Afro-Cuban dance in the Pioneer Valley since 2007. In 2013 the group
received Massachusetts Cultural Council grants from Easthampton, Greenfield, Holyoke,
Northampton and Shutesbury to host a series of events, La Noche Cubana: An Afro-Cuban
Dance and Drum Experience. This "Cuban Night" features live music, dance performances,
song, education about Afro-Cuban traditions and a community dance. From rumba to carnival,
folkloric to contemporary hip hop, Iroko Nuevo is pleased to share the beauty of Cuban
rhythms, song, and dance.
For more information on upcoming events find us on Facebook, or at our website IrokoNuevo.com.
Josh Berkeley - Grenadian Born R&B Singer
Josh Berkeley is a musical talent who sings songs that carry a new and different sound. Berkeley had been introduced to music at the tender age of 5 by his older brothers and fell in love with it immediately. At the time, his eldest brother Dwain Mathurine was the only singer of the four siblings and Josh looked up to him. When he turned 12 years old, the young Grenadian performed for the first time with his local church's children’s choir and the audience loved it.
Over the years, more and more opportunities to sing came as he was also gaining in popularity and in 2010, Josh won a local talent competition, which led to the release of his first official music video. In 2011 his video was aired on a regional TV station (Tempo) seen in 24 Caribbean countries. That music video held first place on Tempo's Cross Caribbean Countdown for four weeks.