Groovin 2017

NY: In the early sixties, long before there was reggae, a haunting, captivating and blissfully bouncy beat called rock steady captured the imagination of music lovers on the island of Jamaica. This beat was an offspring of ska, and it first emerged from the belly of inner city of Kingston. It spread like wildfire, quickly dominating dance floors, parties, sessions and radio play from coast to coast and it was later exported to the rest of the world. The dominant instruments in this hypnotic new wave were the bass and the drums. A chorus of ‘rude boys’ emerged who chanted their message of protest against a harsh police and justice system, and the end product was a body of some of Jamaica’s most alluring and unforgettable anthems ever- the Rock Steady collection.

This year, Groovin’ In The Park, New York City’s premier reggae and R&B summer concert will celebrate the magic of the Rocksteady era, but with a twist. A number of iconic proponents of the genre- hit machine Freddie McGregor, chart topper Ken Boothe and music magician Leroy Sibbles with Lloyd Parks and We The People Band will grace the hallowed stage of Groovin In The Park. But this powerful galaxy of stars will be supported by a jaw-dropping orchestra called GITPRO, (Groovin’ In The Park Reggae Symphony Orchestra).

GITPRO will saturate Roy Wilkins Park in Queens with the sweet sounds of violins, violas, cellos and a harp, plus a choir. Reggae industry insiders are describing the celestial sounds for Groovin’ as a first for outdoor reggae events. The 17-man orchestral ensemble will be directed by Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper, former member of the critically acclaimed Third World band and music educator/ lecturer at the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica.

Another important feature of this year’s Groovin In The Park festival is that the acts that will pay tribute to the Rocksteady era will each get an opportunity to perform a few songs with the Lenox Road Baptist Church Mass Choir from Brooklyn.

“We are tremendously excited about the new energies that this groundbreaking orchestra and Brooklyn mass choir will bring to an already superlative show, and we have no doubt that this initiative will raise the bar for reggae concerts in and around New York City”, Chris Roberts, founder and executive director of Groovin’ In The Park said.

The 2017 installment of Groovin In The Park was officially launched at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Queens, NY. In attendance were Freddie McGregor, who will anchor the Reggae/Rocksteady package, Ibo Cooper, formerly of Third World Band; Leroy Sibbles; Ken Boothe, Lloyd Parks and members of the Lenox Road Baptist Church Mass Choir.



In seven short years, Groovin In The Park has become one of the most successful entertainment brands in the fiercely competitive New York City market. This reggae and R & B outdoor summer concert typically attracts over 20,000 music lovers to Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, and the Groovin’ brand has been a magnet for A-list entertainers such as Air Supply, Patti Labelle, Gladys Knight, R Kelly, Peabo Bryson, Jimmy Cliff, Toots, Beres Hammond, Busy Signal, Steel Pulse and many others. Surveys conducted by Groovin’ show that 75% of the attendees at Groovin are Jamaicans and Caribbean Americans with a mean household income of US$44,000 per annum, and with millennials forming the bulk of the mean age group. 

Groovin’ has always been aware of the diversity of its audience and with this in mind, the show created three tiers of audience hospitality to cater to preferences: the general admission, the VIP section, and the VVIP cocoon with elevated ultra-luxurious, all-inclusive cabanas with service attendants, plush seating and opulent bathrooms. But from a marketing  perspective,  the recent audience demographics are exciting too, and both Caribbean and mainstream companies are going after the lucrative Caribbean American audience.

“Over the years, Groovin’ has enjoyed the support of mainstream corporations such as TD Bank and Nutrament, and of course we have also benefitted from the participation of brands like Grace, Tower Isle, Western Union, Fly Jamaica and the Jamaica Tourist Board”, Chris Roberts, CEO of Groovin’ told the Gleaner. “Companies from Jamaica have always come in to New York to brand their products and services, but this year there is a greater level of awareness about the value of the Diaspora market, and we are going after new companies like airlines, resorts, consumer products and online shopping that offer services that are delivered back home, and we are also going after a bigger presence from home-based media companies here in the marketplace like the North American Gleaner and the North American Star“, he added.  


For the 2018 festival that takes place on June 24, Groovin’ is introducing marketing innovation to the event so as to make sponsor participation even more attractive and impactful. Beyond the offerings of branding with banners, posters, printed material and signage at the venue, the company has enlisted the inclusion of dozens of dollar vans across the city that will be branded with messages from both the festival and the sponsors. So although the festival is happening in Queens, residents in Brooklyn will also be impacted by the Diaspora promotion. And these marketing efforts will be further reinforced by Groovin’s own media platform, Groovin’ Radio 93.5 FM, as well as alliances with network television and the New York Daily News.

Artists that have been announced for this year’s festival so far are Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Romain Virgo, Capleton and the much hyped return of Busy Signal.


Groovin’ In The Park CEO and founder Chris Roberts (left) greets reggae icon Toots Hibbert ahead of Toots’ appearance on the concert

Groovin In The Park is a powerful Diaspora marketing platform in New York City, and the event typically attracts over 20,000 music lovers


NY: Groovin’ In The Park is New York City’s premier Reggae and R & B concert taking place on Sunday, June 24 in Roy Wilkins Park in Queens. In eight short years, the outdoor festival has developed an impeccable reputation of excellence and has become one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the New York Summer entertainment calendar.

This year, Chris Roberts CEO and founder of Groovin’ Inc. has announced that Caribbean Food Delights will join the Door Restaurant as presenting sponsors of the Groovin’ 2018 concert.

“We are delighted to welcome our good friends at Caribbean Food Delights, the leading Caribbean frozen food manufacturer of Jamaican style patties as a presenting sponsor. Caribbean Food Delights is the first company to partner with the Door Restaurant as a presenting sponsor of the festival. It is because of long standing partnerships like these that has allowed us the leverage to present the best available musical talent and to keep ticket prices affordable for our many, loyal patrons from the community. We are ever so grateful for their continued support,” Roberts stated.

Speaking about the sponsorship, Sabrina HoSang Jordan, CEO, Caribbean Food Delights said “Our companies have always been sponsors of Groovin’ but this year in particular, it is rather special, as we are celebrating our 40th anniversary in business.”  

HoSang continued, “40 years in business would not be possible without the support of our many customers and employees which allows us to continue giving back to the community.”  
Janice Julian, Marketing & PR executive of Caribbean Food Delights was also ecstatic about the sponsorship.

“The Groovin Mania is brand appealing: attracting a record audience of 20 – 25, 000; showcasing favorite mega recording artistes; reuniting family and friends; rekindling old acquaintances and forming new friendships, while simultaneously providing endless branding opportunities. Our companies and The Door Restaurant go beyond our annual ritual, as The Door Restaurant is a major retailer of our Jamaican Style  patties and baked goods. The reciprocity is amazing!” emphasized Julian.

Known as good corporate citizens, both Caribbean Food Delights and Royal Caribbean Bakery have served their communities with pride and unparalleled generosity  through a wide variety philanthropic efforts, earning numerous distinctions, awards and accolades from prestigious local and international organizations.
Headline performers at Groovin’ In The Park this year include Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Busy Signal, Romain Virgo and Capleton.