'Revival' and 'Duke Vin and the Birth of Ska'
(Dir. Howard Johnson, 1980, 50 min.)
This BBC produced documentary presents the origins and early days of Jamaican popular music with attention to history, ethnomusicology and religious practices. Poetess and historian Louise Bennett traces the development of Jamaican music from the days of slavery through religious revival, mento and R&B, to Ska and Reggae. The film closes with the birth of Ska, with interviews and performances by members of the Skatalites, setting up nicely for our evening's second feature which covers the birth of Ska in Great Britain.
'Duke Vin and the Birth of Ska'
(Dir. Gus Berger, 2008)
London in the 1950's was a cold place in more ways than the obvious. Or so it appeared if you were one of the thousands of newly arrived Jamaicans. Many were overqualified for their menial jobs. Thousands of others quite simply could not get work. Discrimination and racial tensions culminated in fierce riots in both Nottingham and Notting Hill Gate. It was in this environment that the Jamaican soundmen; Duke Vin and Count Suckle arrived in the UK. They both stowed away on a boat from Kingston and brought with them a sound that was sweeping across the small Caribbean island and would later change the face of music in the UK. This was the sound of ska!
Part of Keeling's Caribbean Showcase: Every first Sunday of the month, Keeling Beckford of Keeling's Reggae Music and Video shares his vast library of films, concerts and vintage dancehall parties.
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