Recalling the Legends of Ska

Filmmaker Brad Klein (left) speaking with veteran deejay Stranger Cole (centre) and Herbie Miller, director/curator of Jamaica Music Museum, on Monday. Klein donated a cache of digital tapes to the museum in downtown Kingston.

BRAD Klein loves to describe himself as a 'student of ska, a student of reggae'. Some of what he has learned over the years is in Legends of Ska, a documentary he produced.

The 101-minute film will be shown this afternoon at the Kingston offices of Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO) as part of the Jamaica Film Festival.

"Hopefully, it's finally going to be released this year. I'm hoping to turn people on to the early times of Jamaican music," said Klein, 51. "Dancehall is great music and I do like some of the new stuff, but I have a fondness for this music that played such a significant role in the early years of an independent nation."

Legends of Ska is based on a July 2002 concert Klein promoted at the Palais Royale Ballroom in Toronto. It featured a stellar cast of ska musicians and artistes such as The Skatalites, Rico Rodriquez, Alton Ellis, Prince Buster, Derrick Morgan, Lord Creator, Stranger Cole and Patsy Todd.

Klein, who is from Minneapolis, staged the concert two years after he began working on the documentary which was first shown at the Rototom Sunsplash festival in Spain in August 2013.

It has since been screened at small film and music festivals throughout Europe, the United States, Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago.

Klein discovered Jamaican music in the early 1980s while attending Ithaca College in New York. He later worked with a number of reggae acts such as Culture and Eek-A-Mouse at the Washington DC independent label, Ras Records.

On Monday, he donated a cache of digital master tapes to the Jamaica Music Museum at the Institute of Jamaica, downtown Kingston.

The digital DV Cams contain over 100 hours of the concert, rehearsal and interview footage from the Legends of Ska show.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, July 8, 2015