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Subscriptions must comprise an equal number tickets to each show. Prices subject to change after November 29.
Using a wealth of archival drawings and photographs, as well as interviews and performances with historian folklorist Miss Lou and legendary percussionist Scully Simms, this episode explores the island’s history as a Spanish then British slave colony in the 1600s, with its indigenous folklore and strains of spiritual practice—fromobeah(Jamaican “voodoo” mysticism),kumina(the Jamaican religion derived from Congolese practices), and Revival (the African-influenced Christian movement), to the creation ofmento, Jamaica’s first proper folk style, which led to the American-influenced ska. Features one-of-a-kind footage from the early 60s of a 16-year-old Jimmy Cliff and Toots and the Maytals.
Focusing on what is arguably the most dynamic aspect of reggae—sound systems (outdoor mobile discotheques) and their DJs, the primary agents for the music’s innovation in writing, production, and arrangement—“Ranking Sounds” features the most legendary sound system operators: the rock steady innovator Duke Reid, sax legend Tommy McCook, and the first DJ superstar U-Roy, with interviews and phenomenal performance footage of DJs Count Machuki and Sir Lord Comic (the latter seriously skanking in a red Adidas track suit!).