Reggae fusion is nothing new–musicians have been combining reggae influences with other genres for years. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that reggae fusion was an official word for the practice. But what exactly is Reggae fusion and how did it originate?
Reggae fusion can mean two things. The first is for musicians who typically will combine reggae music with a variety of genres like pop, rock, R&B, and jazz in their tracks and records. The second is used to describe artists who may also just actively switch between genres, encapsulating the various sounds.
Reggae Fusion to Dancehall Bands
When many of us think reggae, we think Bob Marley. Played in 4-4 time, the offbeat rhythms by a guitar and piano in reggae are known as “skank”, which is the iconic tempo we think of when we hear traditional reggae music.
Most reggae music includes a larger message about religion or a life story but it doesn’t always have to. Sometimes the message of good vibes, freedom and raising awareness to some cause.
The instruments of reggae include:
- Bass– considered the backbone of reggae as it establishes the mood and tone of the entire song
- Keyboards–adds to the skank sound which provides momentum to the song and overall them
- Horns–sometimes used to add emphasis after a powerful lyric
As we have witnessed in other genres, the subgenre of dancehall reggae emerged.
Though many do not know there is a difference between the two, there are some distinct characteristics of dancehall music in Jamaica.
Dancehall music is also known as “bashment” and originated in the 1960s-70s but did not gain popularity until the 1980s. With the growth of digital instruments, the sound of dancehall music evolved. As sound systems rose, so did the popularity of dancehall music. It is also believed that because of the unique sound, the art of deejay mixing also became more popular in the 1990s and 2000s.
While dancehall music has a large role in music history for the modern-day, it also has a negative past in some ways, with criticism of homophobic lyrics, and violent themes. But, it also boasted female empowerment. Today, many dancehall musicians have dropped the offensive themes and instead are preaching acceptance.
While reggae fusion to dancehall bands are still most popular in Jamaica, it is available in the United States–like the River Street Jazz Cafe!
Check out our Reggae Fusion Show on February 22!
Three great bands will take the stage on February 22 at the River Street Jazz Cafe. Kluster Phunk, Space Kadet, and Peak will put on a psychedelic, electronic, funk jam session at 8 p.m.
Headliner, Kluster Phunk is a five-piece reggae funk band that has developed a large following throughout the Northeast due to their soulful original music and high energy stage presence. With a nod to rock and roll legends “The Doors,” they have made a name for themself in the jam-band community.
Good Vibes Only at River Street Jazz Cafe.
When you come to a show at River Street Jazz Cafe, you get live entertainment, great good and the most chill of vibes NEPA has to offer. Make your reservation today for the next show!
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SERVING YOU AT ALL OF OUR FINE ESTABLISHMENTS: