Ska Rebirth Band Reviving Ska; Hear New Tunes

Ska Rebirth BandWinston ‘Sparrow’ Martin started the Ska Rebirth project only about six months ago but as the island is in the midst of celebrating 50 years of independence their schedule is filling up fast.

He felt compelled to revive the Skatalites sound, which has been pretty overlooked in recent years on the island, due to the lack of consciousness in the lyrics of contemporary music. “This generation needs ska,” he said according to a recent Gleaner piece.

He went on to say “Ska is a part of jazz. In England it is called blue beat but it was originated in Jamaica. I want to bring back this spirit as we are the only ones who can make authentic ska music because it is Jamaican. It would be like a foreigner attempting to cook ackee and saltfish, it just will never taste the same like when a Jamaican does it.”

The core of the young group includes members picked from the cream of the Alpha Boys School band similar to the original Skatalites including Odane Stephens (Keyboards), Kenroy Byfield (Sax), Rayon Thompson (Sax), Camal Bloomfield (Sax) Lance Smith (Trumpet), Kemar Miller (Trombone) Rohan Merdith (Bass), Ceae Bloomfield (Guitar) and school band leader and mentor Winston “Sparrow” Martin (Drums).

Lionel Gayle for the Regggae Bloglines site said in a recent article “I’m convinced that the Ska Rebirth Band will be a sort of continuation of the sound of the Skatalites who is still very active…”

The schedule for the Ska Rebirth Band includes recently playing at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival and will play for Prince Harry on his upcoming trip to the island. There are also plans for an album to be released in August and they’ve recently launched a Facebook page. After that plans are for promotional tours around UK, Japan and the States.

Want to hear new clips from the band? A Dorsh Music site post about the band features 2 what I think are exclusive clips “Ska on Broadway” and “Something Else” streaming! It also includes a photo gallery of images from the band in practice.

Here they are doing another classic Skatalites tune “Latin Go Ska”

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.