VP Records’ pop-up exhibit makes debut at recent jerk festival


Jerk Festival patron examines the VP Records exhibit.

Jerk Festival patron examines the VP Records exhibit designed by Michael Thompson.–Ajamu Myrie Photo.

By Tiffany Mea

2014 marks the 35th anniversary when VP Records’ founders Vincent and his wife Patricia Chin moved their headquarters from Kingston, Jamaica to Jamaica, New York,- transforming their operations into the largest reggae company worldwide. The label celebrated with a special pop-up exhibit that debuted Sunday,July 20, at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival 2014. The festival attracted over 15,000 patrons this year in Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY, and the VP Records 35th Anniversary launch event was among the main attractions.

Ribbon cutting

VP Records Co-founder Patrician Chin (c), surrounded by family and supporters,  cuts ribbon to launch the company’s  35th anniversary pop-up exhibit. –Ajamu Myrie Photo.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off at 2 p.m. VP Records Co-Founder Patricia Chin gathered with family and friends as media and fans caught the first glimpse of the historical feature, designed by Michael Thompson. Inside was an exclusive photo exhibit by Ajamu Myrie, documenting Jamaican reggae culture, an illustrative map exploring the global impact of the genre in every continent and a timeline covering each era, beginning in 1958 when the Chins established Randy’s Record Mart and Studio 17 in Kingston, Jamaica.

patc chin

Patricia Chin with Grace Jerk Festival Founder Eddy Edwards.-Ajamu Myrie Photo.

In a roped off area of the exhibit, Mrs. Chin debuted a short documentary video for the press. From ska to rocksteady, roots reggae to dub, lover’s rock to dancehall, VP Records has been at the forefront of Jamaica’s musical evolution. The video which was narrated by Sirius XM reggae personality Pat McKay, revealed the social and political history of Jamaican music and explained how VP Records is a key contributor to its growth, development and future.


A large crowd awaits performances by Maxi Priest and Etana at the Jerk Festival.-Ajamu Myrie Photo.

The label plans to take this traveling exhibit into other markets throughout the rest of the year, including Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in Florida. More details will be announced at a later date. For more information contact tiffanym@vprecords.com–OnPointPress.net

Etana, Maxi Priest set for Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, July 20


Etana, cultural reggae singer, will perform at the Grace Jerk Festival.

By Tiffany Mea

As New Yorkers gear up for this year’s summer activities, the city’s 4th annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, scheduled for Roy Wilkins Park in Queens on Sun. July 20, rides high on the list of must-attend event. Cultural reggae star Etana, Maxi Priest and other guests will perform during a main stage concert to close out the day’s events.

Maxi Priest

Maxi Priest, whose new album debuted July 8, will perform at Grace Jerk Festival.

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 U.S.A. Inc. & VP Records are committed to providing more food, fun and family activities at the event.

jerk food

Jerk chicken will be among the delicious  food at the festival.

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 favorite for kids of all ages) including rides, storytellers and face painting and The Corporate Row offering samples and give-aways from event sponsors.


Excited crowds have supported the festival over the years.

Maxi Priest is looking forward to a busy summer with the release of his new studio album Easy To Love on VP Records, which became available July 8. With over 15 million albums sold worldwide, a No. 1 U.S. Billboard hit and a Grammy nomination – the most successful solo act in British reggae history will bring his special brand of reggae, lover’s rock and pop to tug on the ladies’ heartstrings at the festival. Maxi will perform from his catalog 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.”

jerk food

An assortment of jerk food will be sold at the festival.

With her indomitable spirit and inspiring songwriting, Jamaican reggae songstress Etana will command plenty of attention at this year’s Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival 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.

Jerlk Festival

Jerk Festival

Advance tickets are $30 and will be available online at www.jerkfestivalny.com and selected retail outlets in the next few weeks. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. Gates will open at 12:00pm and the fun will go on until 8:00pm.

The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival New York is produced in association with Jamaican Jerk Festival U.S.A. Inc. and VP Records. It is sponsored by Western Union, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Vitamalt and Tower Isle Frozen Foods. For more information Email: Tiffanym@vprecords.com–OnPointPress.net.