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Jamaican ska

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Jamaican ska was the first wave of ska that coincided with Jamaican independence from Britain in 1962, and many songs were written to commemorate the celebratory feelings [1]. Ska fans immensely enjoyed dancing and developed a style called “skanking”, which continues to be popular today at concerts of several genres including reggae, ska, ska punk, ska-core, hardcore punk, dub, dubstep and grime. By the mid to late 1960s, ska had evolved a much smoother sound, with the influence of American soul, and transformed into rocksteady. This did not last long, however, with rocksteady’s popularity peaking in 1967 while Jamaica’s attention turned to reggae in 1968, another musical style that evolved from ska. All three Jamaican music types were predominately dance music, popular in Jamaican dance halls. The most notable ska artists of the first wave were The Skatalites, Laurel Aitken, Prince Buster, Derrick Morgan, and Desmond Dekker.


  1. Conolly, Mike, Dir. Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music. Perf. Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley. 2002. DVD.
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