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

Phone: (860) 306-1693


Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival 2017 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.

2017 Performers Include:

KING YELLOWMAN & The Sagittarius Band

King Yellowman - Jamaican Born Reggae Artist

King Yellowman is a Jamaican dancehall reggae performer whose stage name references his white skin due to albinism, a genetic defect causing an absence of the pigment melanin..

King Yellowman gained wide popularity in the dancehall reggae scene of the 1980s. A series of successful singles, including "I'm Getting Married in the Morning," "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" and "Zungu Zungu Zeng" brought him worldwide acclaim. Although he used strong political language in his early songs, Yellowman often brought a salacious, controversial element to his lyrics. This overtly sexual type of wordplay became known in the reggae music world as "slackness."

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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.

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Singing Francine - Trinadad & Tobago Soca Recording Artist

Francine Edwards (stage name: Singing Francine) has long been considered a singer and lyricist of great gifts. Having been properly nurtured as a chorister in the hallowed halls of St. Michael's Cathedral, Barbados the island of her birth, she became a ballad singer, first, before branching out into the more lucrative realm of the calypso genre that she successfully cultivated after emigrating to the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (T & T).

Ironically. Edwards had her greatest days of success on the stages of heavy calypso contests in T & T. Basically, between 1971 and 1978 the years of regular competition Edwards became the first and only 5-time Calypso Queen in Trinidad. and Tobago. In addition to receiving numerous accolades over the years, Edwards was specially honored in 1975 by the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago, where she was presented with one of that nation's highest awards, the Medal of Merit [M.O.M.], an insignia that officially follows her name and one that she particularly cherishes.

For further information please contact Esther Daniel at 868-741-1706 or

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Dorette Sterling

Dorrette Sterling, born in Kingston Jamaica, migrated fo US in late 70's as a young child. Dorrette, the only girl in family of boys, discovered her vocal talent at a young age singing in church. Growing up in the US she felt the need to embrace her culture and Reggae music allowed her to do so, with it's many influences. A hardened fan of Reggae, she was inspired by Bob Marley ,Marcia Griffith, and Dennis Brown just to name a few. Performing for the last 20 years locally and around the New England area, she is known for her smooth, mesmerizing vocals, performing with the Island Rhythm Band, now known as the Caribbean Planet Band. She also lends her beautiful weddings, birthdays, and other special events .


Iyah Phanso - Jamaican Born Reggae Artist

Iyah Phanso (born Alphanso Walker on November 25, 1971 in Kingston Jamaica) is a Roots Reggae Artist who migrated to the U.S. in 1989. He settled in Hartford, CT. and began his Professional singing and song writing career in 1994. Since then he has established a long local history throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Iyah Phanso has completed 3 Professional Reggae albums over the past 23 years. The first of which was a solo album titled Storms will come with Gateway. And a second, which was a collaborative album titled Talk for your rights with The Lightning Band. And the Last Album also a collaborative work titled Jah Inna we Heart with One Band International. He is currently working on a fourth album, which is a solo project with One Band International titled Life Is Everything.

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SLEDGE - Jamaican Born Reggae Artist


Amandla Band

The AMANDLA POWERLINK CD RELEASE PARTY @ THE BUTTONWOOD TREE PRESS RELEASE The Buttonwood Tree welcomes Amandla, 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 (, 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. On Friday June 15th Amandla will announce the release of its debut album, POWERLINK, performing 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)

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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!

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2015 Performers

2014 Performers

2013 Performers

2012 Performers