Founder of Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival Passes Away from Heart Attack


Founder of Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival, Glen Simmonds Passes Away from Heart Attack

Glen Simmonds

By Howard Campbell

ATLANTA – Glen Simmonds, founder of the Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival, has died. The Jamaican entrepreneur and broadcaster passed away August 12 in Atlanta from a heart attack.

His wife, Cheriel, confirmed his death. She said they were in a planning session for next month’s festival when her husband said he was not feeling well.

Simmonds died at Wellstar Cobb Hospital. He was 55 years-old.

During a 2013 interview with the Jamaica Observer newspaper, Simmonds expressed satisfaction with the Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival’s growth. He started it in 2006 as an intimate affair.

“It allows Caribbean nationals to re-connect with things they did back home, and also introduce the Jamaican culture to Atlanta and neighboring states,” he said.

In addition to showcasing jerked food, the Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival showcased top reggae and dancehall acts including Third World. This year’s show, scheduled for September 1 at the South East Athletic Complex in Lithonia, has Freddie McGregor as headliner.

Glen Simmonds was born in St. Ann, a lush rural parish on Jamaica’s North Coast. He migrated to the United States in 1986 and attended Morehouse College.

He was well-known in Atlanta radio circles. At the time of his death, he hosted Authentic Caribbean, which aired Saturdays from 7 pm to 9 pm on MAJIC 107.5 FM.

The thanksgiving service for Glen Simmonds takes place August 26 Seventh Spring Church in Cobb County, Georgia.

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