Portal:Jamaica

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The Jamaica Portal

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Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 240 kilometers (150 mi) in length and as much as 85 kilometers (50 mi) in width situated in the Caribbean Sea. It is 635 kilometers (391 mi) east of the Central American mainland, 150 kilometers (93 mi) south of Cuba, and 180 kilometers (112 mi) west of the island of Hispaniola, on which Haiti and the Dominican Republic are situated. Its indigenous Arawakan-speaking Taíno inhabitants named the island Xaymaca, meaning either the "Land of Springs," or the "Land of Wood and Water." Formerly a Spanish possession known as Santiago, then the British West Indies Crown colony of Jamaica. It is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada.

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Ska is a Jamaica-originated music genre that combines elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. It is characterized by a walking bassline, a scratchlike tempo, accented guitar or piano rhythms on the offbeat; and in some cases, jazz-like horn riffs. Originating in the late 1950s, it was a precursor to rocksteady and reggae.

In the 1960s, ska was the preferred music genre of rude boys, although many ska artists condemned the violent rude boy subculture. Ska was also popular with British mods and skinheads, so artists such as Symarip, Laurel Aitken, Desmond Dekker and The Pioneers aimed songs at members of those two subcultures. Music historians typically divide the history of ska into three waves, with a revival in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and another in the 1990s, mostly based in the United States.

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Buju Banton performing at the Ilosaarirock festival in Joensuu (Finland).
Credit: Flick user wili_hybrid

Buju Banton performing at the Ilosaarirock festival in Joensuu (Finland).

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  • August 17: Hurricane Dean is on a direct path toward the southern coast of Jamaica. The prime minister called an emergency meeting to prepare for the hurricane, which could disrupt the August 27 general elections. (iol World)

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