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Legends of Ska

Stranger Cole, Roy Shirley, Justin Hines

During the summer of 2002, the original stars of Ska gathered for a special weekend of concerts featuring music, memories and fun.

The Legends Of Ska concerts occurred on July 12-13, 2002 at the Palais Royale Ballroom on the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto, Canada. The event was produced by Steady Rock Productions LLC in the United States and filmed in Hi-Definition for an upcoming movie and soundtrack release.

Ska is a musical genre featuring upbeat, positive dance rhythms, which have energized three distinct generations of fans. Born in the days prior to Jamaica’s independence from Great Britain in the early 1960s, Ska played a vital role in the creation of the island’s music industry. Other popular styles of Jamaican music include Mento, Rock Steady, Reggae, Dub, Dancehall, Deejay and Ragga.

Backed by an All-Star Skatalite Orchestra, top vintage Jamaican singers included Prince Buster, Derrick Morgan, Stranger Cole, Patsy Todd, Owen Gray, Justin Hinds, Lord Creator, Alton Ellis, Winston Samuels, Doreen Schaffer, Roy Wilson, Lord Tanamo and Derrick Harriott.

The 13-piece band featured Lloyd Knibb (Drums), Lester Sterling (Tenor Sax), Johnny Moore (Trumpet), Lloyd Brevett (Bass), Rico Rodriguez (Trombone), Lynn Taitt (Guitar), Herman Sang (Piano), Larry McDonald (Percussion), Phil Chen (Banjo), Dennis Sindrey (Guitar), Jo Jo Bennett (Horns), Bobby Gaynair (Alto Sax) and Cannonball Bryan (Alto Sax).

A host of other Ska luminaries contributed to the success of the event. There was King Stitt (Original Boss Deejay), Carlos Malcolm (Arranger), Graeme Goodall (Engineer), Keith Scott (Associate Producer), Karl Mullings (Coordinator), Pluggy Satchmo (Legsman) and Jeff Barnes (MC).

Additional personnel interviewed for the project include Toots Hibbert, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Dave Wakeling, Miss Lou, Coxson Dodd from Studio One, Ken Khouri of Federal Records, guitarists Ernest Ranglin and Jah Jerry, pianists Monty Alexander and Ken Stewart, singer Eric “Monty” Morris, and the original members of the Jiving Juniors.

 

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