Final touches in place for inaugural ska festival
Some of the world's top performers in the ska and rocksteady music genres will be on stage at the first Annual One World Ska and Rocksteady Music Festival, scheduled to take place at the Hope Road-based Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston on November 26 and 27.
Acts already confirmed are Toots and The Maytals, Lloyd Parks and We The People, The Skatalites (USA), Soweto Ska Band (Spain), Marcia Griffiths, Leroy Sibbles (formerly of the Heptones), B.B Seaton and The Gaylads (UK), Brooklyn Attractors (USA), U-Roy - king of Jamaican toasters, Derrick Morgan king of ska, Stranger Cole, Sparrow Martin and Skasonic band, The Alpha School Band, Yard Beat and Earth Cry. They will perform from 3 p.m., to 3 a.m., on the first day, while a symposium on the originators of Jamaican music, two tours of Culture Yard in Trench Town and downtown Kingston music heritage sites, and two documentaries on the genres will be on from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, on day two.
It is the first time that patrons will be witnessing a festival of this kind in the birthplace of ska and rocksteady, and it will also be the first time that they will see a line-up of this magnitude in the history of Jamaica's show business.
Ska music, which was first played in the early 1960s by the Skatalites band in Kingston's recording studios and nightclubs, is today played by thousands of bands around the world, while rocksteady, its offspring, is generally accepted as Jamaica's most soothing and rhythmically alluring rock music form. Jamaica is the only country, apart from the United States, that has given the world multiple music genres ska, rocksteady, reggae and dancehall, and the last two owe a lot to the foundation that was laid by the ska and rocksteady genres.
The festival's main aim is to position Kingston as a cultural tourism destination. It is a production of the Sound and Pressure Foundation in association with Fiwi Productions Inc., (USA).
Sponsors include the Jamaica Tourist Board, National Integrity Action, Tourism Enhancement Fund, RJR Communications Group, the KSAC/UNESCO Creative Cities, the Knutsford Court, Courtleigh and Pegasus hotels, Power 106 FM, Kool 97 FM, The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, Happy Ice, Bess FM and Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. Ticketing can be done online at Touchstoneticketing.com.