Jamaican music

The sounds of the island

We create music so contagious, it has spread around the world

If there’s one thing we’re well known for, it’s our music. From storytelling, to chat and gossip, if we can make music out of it, we do. See who influences us and why we love it.

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Folk Music

This is what we’re known for, here in Jamaica. The passionate and infectious sounds of our folk music is almost like the heartbeat of our people. With origins from villages in Africa, where our forefathers mourned the passing of an ancestor, welcomed a son into the family, or celebrated the end of the harvest, folk music has been a big part of our lives.

Music has always been our tool to express ourselves, which is why our beats are full of history and stories of freedom, independence and the current political climate. The fusion of our African and European heritage has produced several forms of music that still thrive in many modern communities.

These forms fall into three main categories:

Work and entertainment

With their roots in the slavery period, these songs were used to pass messages and gossip to friends. It also lightened the load of daily chores.

Religious melodies

The most popular forms are Kumina, Pocomania and Rastafari, and are characterized by drumming and chanting.

Dance music

Our traditional dance music forms, Jonkonnu, Bruckins, Dinki Mini, Quadrille and Mento, celebrate our special holidays and events.  We wear colorful costumes and have a feast.