Celebrating the rhythms of Jamaica

Fifty years of Jamaica’s independence — being celebrated this year — also marks more than 50 years of legendary Jamaican music. To commemorate the renowned artists and genres that hail from the island, there are a number of special music events and festivals this year. The evolution of Jamaican music over the last 50 years has seen the rise of reggae with legends such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff and Winston Rodney (aka Burning Spear); the introduction of ska including the sounds of the Skatalites and Derrick Morgan; the emergence of rocksteady; and now the pulsating beats from today’s dancehall through award-winning artists such as Shaggy and Sean Paul. Upcoming events highlighting Jamaica’s music offerings include: Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, island-wide (June 9-17); Reggae Sumfest, Montego Bay (July 15-21); Stir it Up Film & Music Festival, Montego Bay, (November, TBD); Live Music Nation, Kingston (year-round). (http://visitjamaica.com)