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The Skatalites

Recorded Oct. 18, 2008



Formed in 1964 in Kingston, Jamaica - The Skatalites is the premier ska band performing a style of ska music like no one else worldwide.

The Skatalites are the originators of ska, rocksteady, and reggae, and the only band to still play this type of music in its true form. In 2014, The Skatalites received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Prime Minister of Jamaica!

The Skatalites began performing in Jamaica in May 1964. The group was so hot that their first rehearsal became a show. So many people had lined up outside the rehearsal venue, they decided to charge admission and let everybody in! They were the top musicians on the island at the time, having come together after playing in different bands and on various recording sessions. These records were made to be played at the many competing sound systems around the island. The band became legendary, backing all the developing artists of the day, such as Toots and The Maytals, Prince Buster and “The Wailing Wailers” featuring Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. These groups were all recording on the new beat called ska, which had an infectious rhythm that was catching on like wildfire. Eventually, the beat slowed down into rocksteady, and then reggae. This wildfire spread unstoppably around the world, developing into a huge musical tree with many stylistic branches, including lovers rock, dub, dancehall/raggae, ska-punk, and others. Hugely popular groups like The Police, The Clash, The Specials, The English Beat, Sublime, and No Doubt all have their roots firmly planted in the music of The Skatalites.

Forever indebted to the inspiration and talent of Roland Alphonso, Lloyd Brevett, Don Drummond, Jerome “jah jerry” Haynes, Lloyd Knibb, Tommy McCook, Donat “Jackie” Mittoo, John “Dizzy Johnny”Moore, and Lester Sterling, collectively known as The Skatalites.

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The Jamaican ska-band deftly synthesizes elements of R&B and swing jazz into their music. The band’s 17-album discography serves as a great chronology for the genre, as they were one of its original pioneer hailing back to their debut in 1964. Some of the band’s greatest hits like “The Guns of Navarone” & “Rock Fort Rock” are featured in this performance, as well as rare cuts like “Black Sunday” & “The Rivers of Babylon.”

The Band:
Lloyd Knibb - Drums
Val Douglas - Bass
Ken Stewart - Keyboards
Steve Maad Ras - Guitar
Lester Sterling - Alto Sax
Cedric Brooks - Tenor Sax
Kevin Batchelor - Trumpet
Andrae Murchison - trombone
Doreen Shaffer - Vocals

Run Time: Approx. 77 Minutes
File Size: Approx. 159MB

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