Wyclef Jean Doesnt Have a Setlist at His Shows
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Wyclef Jean didn’t have to think twice about returning to the Nassau Paradise Island Wine & Food Festival.

“I’m a Caribbean boy and being a Caribbean boy, I’m very comfortable with the islands. I love water, I love energy, I love a good vibe and I love people,” the 54-year-old musician told Us Weekly at Atlantis Paradise Island resort. “For me, the Bahamas is like being home. Bob Marley is one of my idols, [so is] Jimmy Buffett [with] Margaritaville. I like people who make you feel good when they play music.”

Jean took on the entertainment duties at the annual Jerk Jam, keeping the crowd going past his allotted set time for the second year in a row as he played a mix of his own music with the Fugees and Lauryn Hill and hits from other artists he loves.

“The secret to my performance is [that] I’m a church boy. When you grow up in the Black churches, the No. 1 thing is called improvisation. James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder — improvisation. So, I never have a set list. I just go with energy,” he told Us. “When you come to a Wyclef show, what’s amazing about it is — you are not at karaoke, I promise you — but you are gonna sing your heart out like you’re at the best concert of your life.”

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The “Hips Don’t Lie” rapper added that he was working on remixes in his room a mere hours before the performance. “The vibe feels very happy and feels very fun,” he added.

Jean’s performance was watched by several of the chefs featured throughout the five-day festival, including Jerk Jam cohosts JJ Johnson and Robert Irvine.

“The conch out here — that conch salad is addictive. The rice — let me tell everybody something, man, I OD’d on that rice. I ain’t gonna lie to y’all,” Jean told Us. “The jerk chicken out here was amazing. But, the conch … this is the best conch in the world.”

Wyclef Jean Doesnt Have a Setlist at His Shows

Wyclef and Chef Jose Andres
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Us Weekly readers would be keen to know that Bachelor season 25 stars Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell were also in Atlantis for the festival, documenting their trips to the endless stands at the aforementioned Jerk Jam. “From jerk shrimp corn dogs to piña colada rum cake, jerk jam was amazing 🇧🇸🔥🍹,” James captioned an instagram video.

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The Jerk Jam is just one of the 24-plus events featured at the Nassau Paradise Island Wine & Food Festival, which added Martha Stewart to its impressive roster for 2024. The television personality’s presence at the festival was chatted about throughout the Atlantis resort, and she didn’t disappoint when she took the mic and the food was served.

Wyclef Jean Doesnt Have a Setlist at His Shows

Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James
Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

“It’s so beautiful here. I came here in 1961 on my honeymoon,” Stewart told the crowd ahead of the wine dinner she hosted. “It’s a very nice place to spend a weekend or a week or a month — someday I’m going to be able to spend a month here. [This dinner] focusing on the wines is a very big part of the Wine & Food Festival — notice wine comes first and food comes second.”

Elsewhere during the weekend, chef Nobu Matsuhisa pulled out all the stops for a sushi lunch, greeting all of the attendees for photos. In case you haven’t tuned into an episode of The Kardashians or The Real Housewives of Orange County recently, Nobu is a staple for celebrities, and the chef and restaurateur being there made the menu — which included the epic King Crab Tempura Truffle Ma-Su — taste that much more exclusive.

Other chefs who hosted events throughout the long weekend included Duff Goldman, lon Shaya, Michael White, Alex Guarnaschelli, Andrew Zimmern and more.

Next year’s Wine & Food Festival, which supports the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation, is set already for March 12-16, 2025.