Every year, Jamaica comes together and celebrates important events that mark momentous changes in our history. For us, having a party means three things: good food and drink, great people and lastly, the sounds of the good ol’ days for us to move and sway to in remembrance. Sure, we’re a country who has a way with words – just wait until you hear us speak patois – but we firmly understand the saying, ‘a time to dance.’ And for you, a vacation is that time.
Some of our traditional dance music includes Mento, which is a precursor to ska and reggae. It generally features acoustic instruments and the signature mbira, which is a big bass drum you can sit on and play. Ska is also a major musical influence on the rest of the world. It is characterized by a walking bass line, accented with rhythms on the upbeat. So, many of your favorite songs were probably influenced by the Jamaican beat.
Jamaicans dance everywhere and for all occasions - worship, cultural celebrations, social gatherings and even formal events. Traditionally shaped by our European and African influences, Jamaican dance forms have evolved over the years; From early folk rhythms like the “jonkonnu” practiced at Christmas time, to the post-Emancipation “bruckins,” the liberating “ska” of our newly independent nation to the vibrant reggae moves we enjoy on nights out today.