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Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival Returns To New York

Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival Returns To New York

Posted by Shanelle Weir on May 05, 2014

As New Yorkers gear up for this year's summer activities, the city's fourth annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, scheduled for Roy Wilkins Park in Queens on Sunday, July 20 rides high on the list of must-attend events.

Centered around the world-famous Jamaican jerk cuisine, the festival combines culinary competitions, cultural and musical performances, as well as family-oriented activities into one phenomenal day.

Building on the success of last year's festival, which attracted some 16,000 satisfied patrons, co-producers Jamaican Jerk Festival USA Inc and VP Records are committed to providing more food, fun and family activities at the event.

New York's largest Caribbean food festival will be jam-packed with entertainment for everyone. This year's highlights will include the Celebrity Jerk Cook-off, where last year's winner, New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, is expected to defend his title. There will also be a Caribbean Cultural Stage featuring traditional oral and folk performances, The Kidz Zone (a family favourite for kids of all ages) including rides, storytellers and face painting, and The Corporate Row offering samples and giveaways from event sponsors. To close the day, there will be main-stage concert performances from Maxi Priest, Etana and more guests to be announced.

In the meantime, Maxi Priest is looking forward to a busy summer with the release of his new studio album, Easy To Love, for VP Records, which will be available June 17.

With over 15 million albums sold worldwide, a No. 1 US Billboard hit and a Grammy nomination, the most successful solo act in British reggaehistory will bring his special brand of reggae, lover's rock and pop, to tug on the heartstrings of females at the festival. He will perform from his catalogue of irresistible hits, such as Wild World, Some Guys Have All The Luck, Close To You, and Housecall, as well as songs from his upcoming album, including the title track, Easy To Love.

Songstress to perform

With her indomitable spirit and inspiring songwriting, Jamaican reggae songstress Etana will command plenty of attention at this year's Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in New York. She will uplift generations both old and new with her collection of roots and R&B-tinged hits.

Recorded at Kingston's legendary Tuff Gong Studios, and backed by all live instrumentation, her latest album, Better Tomorrow (VP Records), is a true testament to her evolved sound.

Advance tickets are available online at and selected retail outlets in the next few weeks. Children 12 years and under are admitted free. Gates will open at 12 p.m., and the fun will go until 8 p.m.

The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival New York is produced in association with Jamaican Jerk Festival USA Inc and VP Records, and sponsored by Western Union, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Vitamalt, and Tower Isle Frozen Foods. Media sponsors are Irie Jam Media, Street Hype and WBLS. 

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