Fifty years of Jamaica’s independence also marks over 50 years of legendary Jamaican music. To commemorate the famous artists and genres that hail from the island, there are a number of heart-thumping music events and festivals this year. Throughout 2012, visitors will have an opportunity to experience the music of Jamaica during a series of island-wide concerts for a taste of Jamaica’s past and present.

The evolution of Jamaican music over the last 50 years has seen the rise of reggae with legends such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, and Burning Spear, the introduction of ska including the sounds of the Skatalites and Derrick Morgan, the emergence of Rock Steady, and now the pulsating beats from today’s Dance Hall through award-winning artists such as Shaggy and Sean Paul. The island’s music is currently heard and emulated around the world. For instance the ska beat is included in songs by musicians like Gwen Stefani or the late Amy Winehouse.

For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the JTB’s Web site at www.visitjamaica.com, or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422).

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