“Reggae, oh man. It’s the ultimate music. The positivity. The musicality. The whole cultural expressionism of it. The danceability. Just the cool factor. The melody factor.” — Lupe Fiasco, American rapper
Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica during the late 1960’s, incorporating musical elements of R&B, jazz, Jamaican folk, calypso, Jamaican ‘ska’ and ‘rocksteady’ of the 50’s & 60’s, as well as African and Latin music, but it’s distinguished by that now familiar reggae beat — a counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat and the offbeat rhythm section.
Other than the beat, reggae often has common themes in its lyrics. In the beginning, romantic love dominated the lyrics of reggae, then it expanded to different kinds of love in the 70’s — spiritual love, the love of one’s fellow man, and of God, or “Jah”. Reggae lyrics soon evolved even more as a voice against violence, poverty, racism, and government oppression.
After more than 50 years, reggae has spread throughout the world, often incorporating local instruments and mixes with other genres. It’s also inspired innovation of entirely new musical styles, and has been interfused with other popular genres, like hip-hop and rap.
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Since 1993, the Reggae Sumfest has been held at Montego Bay every year in July, presenting an “authentic Jamaican musical and cultural experience”, and growing to become the largest music festival in Jamaica.
If you missed the live stream broadcasts of Reggae Sumfest, watch video recordings of the 2017 music festival by selecting from the video posts located on the right side of the media player below or click/tap the “Watch Again” button ↓ And, you’ll find videos of all 2018 Sumfest performances at Reggae Sumfest YouTube channel → Here
FREE To WATCH dancers compete at the 2018 World Reggae Dance Championship
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Feature photo is courtesy of Flickr user, Nina Ninya, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0