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2018 Performers

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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 2018 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.

2018 Performers Include:


Hezron Clarke - Jamaican Born Reggae Artist

Hezron Clarke was born and raised in Moy Hall District, St. James, Jamaica. Hezron developed his talent while he was an ardent member of his church choir and his musical gift became evident to his family and friends who facilitated its development. Hezron continued to expand on the dexterity of his vocals by travelling abroad and transitioning into singing Rhythm & Blues. As his calling was deeply embedded in the rich Reggae music of his homeland, he was compelled to return to Jamaica to fulfil his true calling of being an outstanding Reggae artiste.

In recent years, Hezron has been working the stage show circuit in Jamaica, delivering one captivating performance after another. His performance at the 2012 staging of the "greatest one night reggae show" STING, has left no doubts in the minds of the public as to his versatility, and vocal dexterity, as he effortlessly was able to engage and captivate a crowd, notoriously known as the "toughest set of reggae/dancehall patrons" to appease.

Hezron can be defined as one of the most charismatic, consistent and chart topping reggae artistes around. His determination, persistence, and discipline in staying true to who he is as an artiste and to the true reggae music, will ultimately take him to that pinnacle, where he so absolutely deserves to be.

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Anthem Band

Anthem Band’s live shows rank with the best in the business. It’s a truly original sound that is creating a big wave. From roots to dance hall, Anthem can play it all and with their own diversity. This is truly a treat for all music lovers. Anthem has appeared with Sister Carol on the Conan O’Brien show & was Judy Mowatt’s backing band.

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.

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

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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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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



2017 Performers

2016 Performers

2015 Performers

2014 Performers

2013 Performers

2012 Performers