Updated: Mar 25
The 3rd annual Afro-Carib festival was definitely an event to remember. An absolutely grand occasion to showcase some of the hottest artists of African and Afro-diasporic music. Everything from afrobeats to reggae to reggaeton was in the building. In addition to music, the event also featured a wide array of local food vendors as well as artisans and craftsmen. Thus setting the tone for an evening of good food, camaraderie and entertainment. Located at the Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater in Miramar, Florida the event featured a star-studded lineup including Afrobeats Superstar "Tekno", Jamaican reggae sensation "Koffee" and many more.
Upon entering the festival you are immediately captivated by the sound of the live music and mesmerized by the plethora of smells permeating from the many food trucks showcasing cuisine from all over the African diaspora. As you proceed further into the festivities you are bombarded by the immense selection of different food vendors, local Craftsmen and artisans. Virtually every African or Afro-diasporic country was in attendance. So much so that it takes a few moments of contemplation and deliberation to decide on which vendor to pay a visit to first.
One food vendor in particular that caught our attention was the Kingston Delight food truck, a local business serving the South Florida area. The irresistible aroma of their jerk chicken, curry goat and chicken soup in particular drew us in. We were blessed with the opportunity to enter their workshop and see some of what they were cooking. Tender, juicy jerk marinated chicken was being prepared in their smoker as well as a big pot of chicken soup simmering in the background. They featured many other tantalizing delicacies such as flaky beef patties and Jamaican festival. Upon meeting the owner, Donovan, we were fortunate enough to meet his staff and see some of the cooking action live. The food was absolutely incredible, well seasoned and well prepared. Donovan and his crew at Kingston Delight really knew how to showcase Jamaican cuisine to the highest of heights. Definitely a must visit food truck for anyone visiting the South Florida area.
After our visit to Kingston delight we decided to top everything off with a bit of dessert. We stopped at Cleveland's Old Fashioned Ice Cream shop. Upon seeing the long line of patrons eagerly awaiting their own scoop of creamy goodness, we knew this was the perfect place to satisfy our sweet tooth. During a brief conversation with the owner, Cleveland, we learned that all of his products are made 100% from scratch. He offers an extensive variety of flavors such as rum and raisin, grape nut, dragon stout and vegan caramel ice cream just to name a few. He's been making ice cream for about 4 decades now and about 3 years ago decided to take a leap of faith and go into the ice cream business on his own. He opened his first physical location at 6933 Miramar Parkway in Miramar, FL. Every year he continues to innovate and further develop his craft. Even creating new flavors such as "bun and cheese" ice cream. We tried some of his products ourselves and they definitely did not disappoint. Rich, creamy and decadent would be understatements. Even his vegan offerings were full of flavor and sweetness to the point where you could not tell that they were dairy-free. Cleveland's Old fashioned ice cream shop is an amazing business run by an amazing man with an incredible story. A perfect place to take the family out to indulge in delicious treats.
As we continued parading around the grounds of the event we stumbled upon some local artisans and craftspeople. Two in particular were "Moss & Palm" and "Heritage Collections" run by Elizabeth Moss and Elizabeth Deveaux respectively. Moss & Palm makes a huge selection of carcinogen-free essential oils and candles, natural soaps, organic body oils and much more. Initially started as a means to aid family members dealing with illness, Moss & Palm quickly evolved into a thriving business with a wide array of products servicing many individuals from all over the world through her online store. Heritage Collections is an African led company that makes handmade beaded jewelry and accessories. All of their products are made in Kenya by a women's group. Every piece is unique and tells a story. They offer everything from necklaces to earrings to bangles and much more. This business originally started as a hobby but due to the intricate artistry of their creations many people began wanting to purchase products from them. This eventually compelled Elizabeth to start the company and sell her merchandise online. Moss & Palm and Heritage Collections are two magnificent black woman run businesses with a huge following that will continue to expand and positively impact the lives of millions.
Upon getting our fill of all the mercantile and culinary establishments that the Afro-Carib event had to offer, it was time to indulge in the main attraction; the inconceivable lineup of performances. In addition to the headliners, Tekno and Koffee, were a slew of amazing performances but other musicians such as J.Perry, David Cairol, Yung Wylin, Jacob Forever, and Mr.Alexander Star. Each bringing their own unique flavor to the event. J. Perry blazed the stage with incredible Haitian music. Jacob Forever injected a bit of a Latin spice into the arena with his performances. David Cairol came with some roots and culture. Yung Wylin's gave us a nice Afrobeats vibe and Mr. Alexander Star serenaded us using melodic R&B.
When it came time for the headliners to perform they both set the stage on absolute fire. Tekno rocked the mic performing some of his hottest tracks "Joro" and "Pana". The crowd was going wild in support of the African superstar. Every aspect of his performance was unbelievable. The amount of energy he brought to the crowd and the overall event was magical.
Koffee closed the event with a bang. Giving us some of her biggest hits as well as a slew of songs off of her recently released debut album "Gifted". The patrons were enthralled by her talent and stage presence. Her groovy music had everyone waving their hands, flags and phones in the air. Definitely sealing the deal on what was an utterly outstanding festival.
Without a doubt, the 2023 Afro-Carib festival was an experience to remember. A melting pot of culture, food and music culminating into an extravaganza poised for the record books. Such a superb way to unite the African collective to celebrate its monumental influence on art in a variety of forms. The spiritual and rhythmic influence of the motherland was very present. Setting the bar extremely high for the rest of the music festivals of the 2023 season and for many years to come.