Canadian News

TD JerkFest Announces 2023 Dates, Headliners & New Charity

May 2, 2023 | Vision Newspaper |

Toronto, ON –   An exciting weekend celebrating Caribbean food, music, art and community is on the way as the 2023 TD International Jerk Food and Music Festival announces a new charity initiative and iconic headliners – R&B legend Johnny Gill is Friday’s R&B Night headliner and Roots Reggae legend Luciano is the first headliner for Saturday and Sunday’s Caribbean nights. This year’s festival is set to take place from August 11-13, 2023 at Centennial Park in Etobicoke – 256 Centennial Park Road, preceded by the annual TD JerkFest Boat Cruise on August 10th with a meet and greet for fans of the headliners.

Johnny Gill

“Each year, world class international and local artists take to the TD JerkFest stage and this year we’re excited to have Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling artist and New Edition’s frontman, Johnny Gill kick off Friday’s R&B Night! Legendary Roots singer Luciano is the first headliner for Saturday and Sunday’s Caribbean nights and we will be announcing the rest of the line-up over the next couple of weeks,” shared Anthony Plummer, Founder and Executive Director of Caribbean Promotions Arts and Culture Inc.

Johnny Gill is one of the few artists to score #1 hits with two different groups, a duo and also as a solo artist.  He is also one of the few legendary artists to have hits on the top 10 R&B charts for three decades 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.  This year is Gill’s 41st anniversary as a professional entertainer and seals his legendary status.  Discovered at 16 years old, he released two albums through Atlantic Records. He next joined now-iconic boy band New Edition, helping them segue melodically from novelty to longevity on timeless classics such as “If It Isn’t Love” and “Can You Stand the Rain.” As a linchpin of legendary Motown Records’ ‘90s comeback roster, Gill exploded as a solo artist with an indelible one-two punch from producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (“Rub You the Right Way”) and L.A. Reid & Babyface (“My, My, My”). Alongside Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat, Gill established L.S.G., the powerful R&B supergroup behind the sexy smash “My Body.” He also formed another supergroup, Heads of State, with New Edition peers Bobby Brown and Ralph Tresvant.


Luciano aka “The Messenjah” for his ability to engage with audiences like none other. The Jamaican roots reggae artist has been captivating audiences for decades with his soulful and spiritual blend of rock and R&B-tinged reggae to create music that spreads the message of love, uplifts spirits and energizes fans all around the globe. His contribution to the reggae music industry began in the early 90s when he entered the industry and teamed up with producer Phillip ‘Fattis’ Burrell, who was one of the few producers that supported conscious roots music at the time. Since Luciano’s vibe was heavily influenced by Bob Marley, this partnership caught the attention of Chris Blackwell of Island Records, paving the way for Luciano’s international success. Throughout his career, Luciano has released several hit songs that have climbed the Top Ten of Billboard’s Reggae Albums chart, including Messenger, Sweep Over My Soul, and the Grammy-nominated A New Day, and Serve Jah. Most recently, his music has earned him a place on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the “200 Greatest Singers of All Time.”

“We’re extremely excited about this year’s TD JerkFest, the festival is always a great time to celebrate Caribbean culture, and is also an opportunity for us to give back,” shared Plummer.  “We are looking forward to supporting our new charity initiative, Helping Hands Jamaica to educate the next generation of children in Jamaica by helping to build a brand new school. Patrons who donate $20 or more will get a tax receipt.  We are encouraging everyone to go to our website and donate.”

“TD is proud to help create shared experiences that can bring people together through a love of music. Across the country, we aspire to help foster a sense of belonging for people from diverse backgrounds who work to contribute to the fabric of Canada where we live, work, and play.  That’s why we are proud to support TD Jerkfest through the TD Ready Commitment, our corporate citizenship platform, to help amplify diverse voices of artists from the communities we serve towards a positive impact on how people feel through music.” Said Robyn Small, Senior Manager, Philanthropy, Sustainability & Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group

Over the years, TD JerkFest has always given back to the community through scholarships, international donations and supporting local food banks. Last year’s festival was its first return in-person since the pandemic and was a huge success with a record-breaking attendance of over 20,000 people on Saturday alone. This allowed the 2022 TD JerkFest food drive to provide $10 000 and food donations to Afri-Can, and Regeneration MarketPlace ahead of Thanksgiving. Both charities will again be receiving donations this year during the customer appreciation initiative that lowers the entry price with a donation of canned goods or non-perishable food.

TD JerkFest is a must-attend summer event on the Toronto festival calendar that brings together friends and families for an entertaining weekend of delicious cuisine, music, and family fun.

The TD International Jerk Food and Music Festival is supported by the TD Ready Commitment, The Government of Canada, SOCAN Foundation, Jamaica National Bank and Money Services, TicketPro, The City of Toronto, Ontario Trillium Foundation, FLOW 98.7, OLG, Sweet ‘n Nice, Raymond Foster Realtor, FACTOR, and the Government of Ontario.


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