“The good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley
As the birthplace of the global reggae star, Bob Marley, Jamaica is the founding father for many music genres we listen to today, which includes: reggae, mento, jazz, ska, dub and dancehall. These music genres have significantly influenced the introduction and development of other genres in the industry, and have become an integral part of the country’s culture.
It is no surprise that Jamaica is home to some of the best music venues, events and festivals in the world. If you want to experience Jamaican culture firsthand, then these are 6 must-visit music stops to add to your holiday in tropical paradise:
1. Drifters Bar and Entertainment, Negril
If you’re looking for a cosy live music vibe, this is definitely a venue to go to. Luddy Samms, a former member of the soul vocal group, The Drifters, performs a wide range of songs from motown to soul and blues during the bar’s Live Jam Sessions. If you’re a musician or singer yourself or just fancy playing a song or two, you will be welcomed to join the local and international performers on stage!
2. Bacchanal Jamaica Carnival, Kingston
To experience an explosion of Jamaican culture, Carnival is something you cannot miss. The colourful costumes, heavenly local foods, high-energy street dancing, and of course the music! Reggae, dancehall, calypso and soca music feature in this cultural celebration of people and life, and it happens every year on the island.
3. Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records, Kingston & Montego Bay
Considered as one of the greatest athletes of all time due to breaking multiple world records, the Jamaican legend Usain Bolt opened Tracks and Records; a dining experience serving authentic Jamaican dishes. Whilst dining and enjoying the wide selection of foods, you can also experience live music from some of the best dancehall and reggae artists in the Caribbean.
4. Bourbon Beach, Negril
What better way to experience live reggae music than on the stretch of the seven mile white sand beach, Long Bay, with exotic drinks in hand and watching the sun go down. The venue hosts some of Negril’s amazing entertainment and parties, and is also well known for its Jerk Chicken cuisine you just have to try.
Pro Tip: Get here early to grab a prime seat and watch the sunset go down!
5. Dub Club, Kingston
Situated on Jack’s Hill overlooking the twinkling city lights of Kingston, this venue hosts some of the best roots music and dub. Learn more about the Rastafarian culture, lose yourself in the soul of Kingston and meet diverse music lovers galore.
6. Reggae Sumfest, Montego Bay
Montego Bay is well known for its white sand beaches, abundance of exotic marine life and diverse nightlife. The vibrant city also houses the largest music festival in Jamaica, Reggae Sumfest, which has been operating for over two decades! The festival is a week long, ensuring you will not miss any of the biggest names in reggae.
Music is everywhere in Jamaica: in the people, the city, the air. You are bound to come across a musical wonder every corner you turn, and it’s what brings everyone together.
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