SKAFIRE is a new authentic Jamaican Ska band founded and led by guitarist and composer Maurice Gordon. The group plays “authentic Jamaican ska” in the tradition of the greatest Ska band “The Skatalites. Ska is the first popular music form that evolved in Jamaica after the folk music style of mento as covered by Harry Belafonte on the first million selling album called “Calypso”. It is an exciting form of Jamaican Jazz and dance music that developed just before Jamaica’s Independence in 1962. Though primarily an instrumental music at the beginning it also features a lot of singing as well.
Ska was influenced by American R n B, Jazz, Cuban music and Jamaican folk music. This is the celebratory and exciting improvisational and dance music that reached its zenith to take Jamaicans through Independence in 1962. Although it did not last long because other styles evolved, it was taken to the rest of the world and has had a long-lasting impact and influence on popular music world wide. It greatly influenced the young rockers in England like the Police, The Specials, The Beatles and many others in what they called Bluebeat and 2Tone, I also call it “Skaah”. This created the second movement of this music outside of the original in Jamaica. There are currently a lot of “Ska” bands and orchestras playing this music worldwide. SKAFIRE could be said to be Toronto/Canada’s first authentic sounding band in this genre.
The Skatalites provided backing support to a long list of Jamaica’s greatest musicians including Bob Marley and the Wailers, Stanger Cole, Toots and the Maytals, Jimmy Cliff, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires was also a part of the movement. The first worldwide hit in Ska was My Boy Lollipop recorded by Millie Small. The original founding members of the Skatalites include the highly rated, gifted, main composer and soloist, Don Drummond on trombone, the recently deceased last founding member alto saxophonist Lester Sterling, Roland Alphonso, Johnny Dizzy Moore, Lloyd Brevette and former Canadian resident pianist Jackie Mittoo, and others including Prince Buster and Derick Morgan. The Skatalites are still currently very active and continues to Ska towards the future. Skafire wants to be apart of that legacy in the future.
SKAFIRE features Maurice Gordon on guitar and composer of the original songs, Meirion Kelley on the Trombone, Michael Kennedy on Bass, Austin Rowe Jr. on drums and Koriq on piano. Skafire’s repertoire keeps blazing and dancing through the very best music of the Skatalites, Gordon’s originals along with adopting a few classics from the great White North
Bookings: Greg Gooding