JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Live reggae and jazz, wine and food trucks will be back in Johnson City June 10 as a local barber academy sponsors its second consecutive free “Reggae and Wine Festival” at Tennessee Hills Brewstillery.
Crown Cutz Academy is the driving force behind “Reggae, Jazz, Afrobeats & Wine,” which begins at 5 p.m. at 458 W. Walnut St. Crown Cutz owner Craig Charles said has been a part of the festival since it was a small event five years ago.
Charles said people can expect “just an infusion of good music, reggae and wine coming together, mixing with great food and just having a vibe, just enjoying yourself, doing something different.”
Entertainment will include De Lions of Jah, a reggae band from Jacksonville, Fla. that’s been around for more than 15 years, and a jazz duo featuring vocalist Walter Hall and a guitarist. A local DJ will also be on hand.
Last year, around 400-500 people descended on the Brewstillery, which hosted for the first time. Owner Stephen Callahan helped out with the very first reggae fest, a small affair in the Crown Cutz back parking lot in 2018.
“He was real instrumental, real receptive from day one, so I give a big shoutout to Tennessee Hills and Stephen (Tennessee Hills owner Stephen Callahan) for doing that, always supporting whenever we have an event,” Charles said.
De Lions of Jah fuses traditional roots music with contemporary dance hall and hip-hop influences. Reggae influences include Bob Marley and Steel Pulse.
The wine is compliments of a winery out of Georgia whose offerings include CBD-infused wine.
“Last year was their first year, it was real successful,” Charles said. “You can buy a glass of wine, you can buy it by the case.”
A Jamaican-themed food truck from Knoxville will be on hand serving jerk chicken, authentic rice and peas, oxtail stew and other traditional favorites from the Caribbean island, where Charles’s family has roots.
The organizers, who also include UMOJA, will have vendor space and are still seeking vendors. More information about booths is available by calling NaTanya Richele Conley at (423) 943-6604.
Charles said events like Reggae & Wine help broaden Johnson City’s horizons as the region continues to see an influx of new people from all over the country.
“Just trying to infuse something different, trying to infuse like a scene, because people are moving to the area and when people move to the area they expect some of the same things in areas that they, that they lived in.” he said.
“Just showing that we can add a different dynamic and give them a piece of where they’re from I think is a positive and a win for all of us.”