When Jamaica became independent on August 6, 1962, ska music was playing in yards, dancehalls, and in recording studios as this new nation celebrated. It was a spirited music, full of promise, optimism, and energy and it was the perfect sound to showcase to the world. Now that Jamaica was independent, what better way to demonstrate the culture, beauty, and art of Jamaica than through ska, both as a music and as a dance. The Jamaican government, tourist and business industry, and newly developing music industry made it their mission to bring Jamaican music to the world, through events they termed Operation Jump Up. This is the story of that effort and how, for a brief time, ska rivaled the Beatles and the Twist.

Operation Jump Up is the culmination of four years of research. The detailed historical narrative features dozens of interviews with … More

Behind Jamaica’s musical reverberation lies the unlikely story of a boarding school run by Roman Catholic nuns and a brass band that helped shape some of the world’s most beloved musical forms. Under a strict disciplinarian regime, ‘wayward ‘boys,’ many orphaned or from deeply troubled backgrounds and hailing from some of the toughest streets in the world, went on to become the backbone of Jamaican jazz, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall, and dub.

Alpha Boys School: Cradle Of Jamaican Music takes a look at the lives of over 40 of these influential musicians … More

Born #OTD in 1952, the Jamaican dub poet, Linton Kwesi Johnson. A cultural icon for black British artists since the 1970s, Linton Kwesi Johnson is known as a performer and recording artist as much as a writer, for poetry that blends the bass and rhythm of reggae music with his deep spoken voice.

  A selection of Linton Kwesi Johnson’s best poems over three decades. Ranging from protests against police brutality to eulogies … More