Ska & Rocksteady Music Festival For Kingston

Clockwise from top; Soweto Ska Band, Marcia Griffiths, Leroy Sibbles, and the Skatalites
Clockwise from top; Soweto Ska Band, Marcia Griffiths, Leroy Sibbles, and the Skatalites

Kingston, Jamaica the birthplace of Ska and Rocksteady music, two of the most popular musical genres played around the world today, will host the 1st Annual One World Ska & Rocksteady Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday, November 26 and 27, 2016 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, in Kingston. Some of the leading entertainers of these two genres will be in performance from 3 PM to 3 AM on the first day. A symposium on the originators of Jamaican music, two tours to Culcha Yard in Trench Town, and Downtown Kingston Music Heritage sites, and two documentaries on the genres will be on from 10 AM to 7 PM, on day 2.

Ska music, which was first played in 1963 by the Skatalites band in the Kingston recording studios, and night clubs, is today played by thousands of bands around the world. It will be the first time a music festival of this kind will be held in the birthplace of the music.

Artistes performing include The Skatalites (USA), Soweto Ska Band (Spain), Marcia Griffiths (Jamaica), B.B. Seaton and the Gaylads (UK), Sparrow Martin and Skasonic (Jamaica), Brooklyn Attractors (USA), Leroy Sibbles former lead singer of the Heptones (Jamaica), Hugh Roy, the King of the Jamaican toasters, Derrick Morgan, the King of Ska music (Jamaica), and Stranjah Cole (Jamaica), and the Alpha School Band, with students of the school that produced many of Jamaica’s great musicians, like Dizzy Reece, Harold “Little G” McNair, Joe Harriot, Tommy McCook, Don Drummond, and Rico Rodriguez. Other bands are expected to perform.

The festival is a production of Sounds & Pressure Foundation (www.soundsandpressure.org), in association with Fiwi Productions Inc. Sponsors are the Jamaica Tourist Board, National Integrity Action, the KSAC/UNESCO Creative Cities, Knutsford Court, the Courtleigh, and Pegasus Hotels, POWER 106, KOOL FM, The Gleaner Company, Happy Ice, and Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.

“The Festival is intended to position Kingston as a cultural tourism destination,” stated festival director Julian “Jingles” Reynolds, CEO of Sounds & Pressure Foundation, in Jamaica, and Fiwi Productions Inc. in the United States, at the festival launch recently in Kingston.

“Ska and rocksteady represents a great period of our renaissance….and so to identify with a music festival that celebrates that beginning and accentuates the role that that particular period has played in the development of our civilization today is very, very critical to us in tourism……it is building out the music experience as a discrete product for the world to come and enjoy, and pay for,” stated Jamaica tourism minister, the Honourable Ed Bartlett.

Kingston, the capital of Jamaica was designated last December a UNESCO Creative City for its music. This year’s festival is dedicated to Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, Arthur “Duke” Reid, Cecil “Prince Buster” Campbell, Chris Blackwell, Don Drummond, Rico Rodriguez, Marcia Griffiths, and the Alpha Boys School, all making major contributions to Jamaican music.


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