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Ska

Desmond Dekker in San Francisco, USA. Cropped ...
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What is Ska Music?

Ska Music is a pretty funky genre of music which originates from Jamaica. It first emerged during the 1950’s as the pre-runner of other music genres like reggae and rocksteady. It’s a wonderful mixture of calypso with Caribbean mento, American jazz with rhythm and blues thrown in. During the early 1960’s ska was the most dominant and popular music of Jamaica which also became popular with British mods, skinheads also took to ska music a little later.  The emergence of ska as we know it can really be divided into three separate movements, there was the original Jamaican scene going on in the 1960’s, the revival in England during the 1970’s and a third ska movement which happened in the 1980’s, rapidly increasing in popularity during the 1990’s in the US.

Representative Ska Musicians

Ska Musicians from the very beginning are people like Prince Buster and Duke Reid who created the sound just after the second world war had ended, when Jamaicans could tune in to the military broadcasts of the American music of the time. This gave the opening to some enterprising musicians to create a new sound, as these Jamaican artists recorded some of the most popular music in their own way.  Desmond Dekker became a very popular ska musician from the first wave of ska, with mod bands like Madness and Bad Manners taking up the mantle in the UK during the second wave. Lots more ska bands emerged during the 1980’s such as No Doubt, The Planet Smashers and The Hippos.

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