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The Reggae Exhibition | Ska
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About This Project

The next genre of Jamaican music is Ska in the 1950s and early 1960s and a precursor of Rocksteady. Ska combined elements of Mento, Calypso and American Rythym and Blues.

Three of the pioneers of Ska music were:


Laurel Aitkin.

Real name Lorenzo Aitkin was a very influential figure in Ska music. Indeed he is often called the ‘Godfather of Ska’


Prince Buster.

Prince Buster was the stage name of Cecil Bustamante Campbell. As well as a singer, he is a songwriter and producer also and is regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of Ska as well as Rocksteady


Derrick Morgan

In 1960 Morgan was the first artist and only artist ever to hold  places one to seven in the Jamaican charts at the same time.


Byron Lee.

Real name Byron Eloysius St Elmo Lee was mainly a musician and producer. He was the leader of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires and was also a businessman.


Duke Reid

He was a producer, DJ and label owner. He became popular as the owner of Sound System from the 1950s and worked with the Skatalites until their leader Don Drummond was arrested in the 1960s. He bridged the gap between the Ska and Rocksteadt genres.


Duke Reid had a fierce rivalry with;

Coxone Dodd

Clement Seymour was better known as Sir Coxsone Dodd who was also a producer and Sound System owner in the 1950s and 1960s.


Don Drummond

As a Ska trombonist and composer he was heralded as a genius. He was one of the original members of The Skatalites and composed many of their records.