The Skatalites

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About The Skatalites

Ska is to reggae as blues is to rock & roll, and as ska's founders and foremost practitioners, the Skatalites are the single most influential group in Jamaican music. Starting in the mid-'60s, the Skatalites forged a horn-led sound that merged Jamaican mento and calypso with American R&B and jazz, inverting the boogie woogie rhythm for an upbeat accent that became the trademark of all subsequent reggae. Besides being a self-contained unit -- that over the years and various incarnations has included luminaries Don Drummond, Ernest Ranglin, Roland Alphonso, and countless others -- the Skatalites also served as a house band for Coxsone Dodd at the legendary Studio One, backing a long line of singers on early ska, rocksteady, and reggae hits.

Kingston, Jamaica
May 1964

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