Feel the Jamaican Music

Mento, ska, rock steady, reggae, dub music and dance hall are only a few popular styles that help creating this wonderful world of the Jamaican music, a world where people can truly Feel the Jamaican Music and understand its complexity and richness.

Jamaican Folk Music

The folk music is most probably the earliest manifestation of music in the Jamaican Culture. It has its roots back in the native population culture when the Taino Indians were singing incantation and veneration songs during the spiritual rituals.

After the British occupied Jamaica in 1655 and the African slaves were brought to the new colony, the Jamaican music conservation was very difficult as the European and African influences started to be felt in the Jamaican rhythms. During the British domination, music became a way of revealing people’s feelings. Songs for revolution, for communication among themselves, but also dedicated to deities were  sung only in secret due to a strange law given by the English rulers in 1696 which stated that all celebration, large gatherings or any kind of manifestation was illegal. This is the reason of the birth of a new language which was the base of the future Jamaican Creole or Patois, the folk music language.

The rhythms of the Jamaican music are given by the drums and string instruments.

Jamaican Music Nowadays

Reggae and dance hall music can be heard nowadays across all continents, but only few know that this music was actually born in Jamaica.

The reggae style was contoured around 1960s and soon became popular in Jamaica and also UK. The name reggae was printed for the first time in 1968 with the hit “Do the Reggay” by The Maytals. The promoters of reggae music become the one and only Bob Marley, followed by The Wallers, Island records, Coxsone Dodd, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Leslie Kong, Duke Reid, Joe Gibbs, King Tubby, Chris Blackwell, and many others.

If you want to Feel the Jamaican Music in the reggae rhythm you just have to plan your trips during one of the following festivals: Rebel Salute in St. Elizabeth (15th of January, every year), Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay (mid July, every year), Reggae Sunsplash (randomly held), or International Reggae Day Festival held in Kingston (1st of July, every year). In case you cannot make it in this period you can choose a roof top restaurant or club that plays reggae music. Some examples of clubs are: Asylum, Quad, and Peppers in Kingston.

The dance hall music appeared in 1970s, in a time when the Jamaican culture music was infused with heavy drum sounds. The dance hall brought a simpler approach with less political and Rastafarian lyrics, but with more pop influences. The promoters of this style were Junior Reid, Barrington Levy, Frankie Paul, Don Carlos, Ali Campbell, and Triston Palmer.

Do you want to Feel the Jamaican Music? It’s simple. You just have to live the wonderful experience where it all began:  Jamaica.

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