Born OTD in 1963, English reggae singer & DJ known for his ‘fast chat’ style, David Victor Emmanuel, AKA Smiley Culture. Prior to his recording career he worked as a DJ with many of London’s reggae sound systems, most often with the Saxon Studio International system, where he met & worked with a number of other reggae artists, including Maxi Priest, Papa Levi and Tippa Irie. The conditions surrounding his death & the subsequent investigation were also questioned by members of the general public, his death often being considered in the context of police brutality & other black people dying in police custody.

‘Sound Reasoning’ is a unique photographic journey through the Dancehall scene of the 1980’s with short excerpts from interviews Anna … More

Born OTD in 1939, Jamaican singer and record producer, Derrick Harriott. “..Prince Buster in his Cincinnati Reds baseball cap appears next singing ‘Wash Wash’ surrounded by other singers including Derrick Harriott & Carlos Malcolm who steps off his trombone for a few vocals on the mic. The Maytals perform next with ‘Treat Me Bad’..

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

Born OTD in 1945, Jamaican singer-songwriter who became an international musical & cultural icon, Robert Nesta Marley. Blending mostly reggae, ska, & rocksteady in his compositions. Marley started in 1963 with the group The Wailers & forged a distinctive songwriting & vocal style that became popular with audiences worldwide. The Wailers released some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Diagnosed with a type of malignant melanoma in 1977, Marley died on the 11 May 1981 in Miami at the … More

Born OTD in 1931, saxophonist and founding member of The Skatalites, Roland Alphonso. “..Coxsone maintains that his first-ever commercially minded session, with a band led by saxophone colossus Roland Alphonso, disappeared somewhere between the mastering rooms in New York and Kingston harbour”.

The first major account of the history of reggae, black music journalist Lloyd Bradley describes its origins and development in … More

Ska originated in Jamaica in the late Fifties and combined Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rnb. Ska developed in the Sixties with artists such as Prince Buster, Clement Coxsone Dodd, and Duke Reid who formed sound systems to play American rhythm and blues and then began recording their own songs.

Ska was popular with British mods and was later adopted by many skinheads. As music changed in the US, so … More

Born OTD in 1936, Jamaican pianist, Theophilus Beckford. “..Ellis further compounds what many have claimed was the turning point, when a slightly wonky shuffle beat became highlighted within the traditional 12-bar blues structure, paving the way for ska. The guy really start that off-beat thing, Theophilus Beckford.”

Behind Jamaica’s musical reverberation lies the unlikely story of a boarding school run by Roman Catholic nuns and a brass … 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