2021 marks the 57th anniversary of The Skatalites. Formed in 1964, the original members helped create the entire genre of ska, which evolved into rocksteady and reggae, and all of it' s derivatives. In addition to the hundreds of instrumental tunes they recorded, they also backed most of the major singers of the era, including The Wailing Wailers featuring Bob, Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. Toots and The Maytals, Prince Buster, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe,Delroy Wilson, most of the singers recorded multiple tunes with The Skatalites. Studio One, Treasure Isle, Randy's, King Edwards, Prince Buster, Leslie Kong, every record producer of the day used The Skatalites as their backing band in the studios in those days. Officially the band started in May 64 and broke up by August of 65 having recorded literally thousands of tunes in that period. After the band disbanded, the individual members remained on the scene, recording at various studios, as the music evolved from ska to rocksteady and then to reggae. Bob Marley became one of the biggest artists of our time and reggae music spread all around the world. In the late 70's a new interest in the music of Jamaica started in the UK and
In 1983 the band emerged on the scene again to stake their claim to what they had spawned 2 decades earlier. They were featured on the famous Reggae Sunsplash concert in Montego Bay and they began recording again. Many members had emigrated to the USA so by 1986 there were enough of the core members living there to start touring and the band performed in NYC at The Village Gate for an entire week. In 1989 The Skatalites toured with Bunny Wailer as direct support on his Liberation Tour. In 1990 they played 25 engagements from coast to coast and the band has not stopped touring ever since. They have played everywhere from tiny little clubs in the Irish countryside barely big enough to hold the band onstage, to the largest of festivals including Glastonbury, FujiRock, North Sea Jazz Festival,Montreux Jazz Festival, Summer Jam, and Rototom Sunsplash. The band has also continued to release new music and most recently has been in Jamaica recording at Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, ironically in the same building where so many hits had been created back in the 60's.