When ska started to become popular in the late 1950s, this was due to a lot of performers who soon became well-known for this type of music. There have been famous musicians who offered ska music through its three eras.

The Beginning

With ska coming into the music industry, it brought early performers such as the following.

Aubrey Adams

Aubrey was one of the more well-known piano players. He was recognised as being one of the most impressive band leaders. He was well into music before ska became popular. Once he became involved in this type of music, he did so as a piano player with groups such as Clue J & His Blues Blasters. He also was part of several recordings. Ska performers often sought out Aubrey, due to his talent in piano playing.

Jimmy Cliff

Jimmy Cliff’s real name is James Chambers. He is well known in Jamaica for his contribution to ska music as well as other genres. He was given the Order of Merit. This is an honour given by the Jamaican government for those being recognised for their achievements in arts and sciences.

Justin Hinds

He was appreciated for his contribution to ska as a vocalist and his work with Duke Reid’s record label. His biggest hit was Carry Go Bring Come. This hit number one on the Jamaican music charts. He continued with his popularity in ska music and was accredited with recording seventy singles.

2 Tone Ska

This era of ska music surfaced near the end of the 1970s. Some of the musicians who made it popular are as follows.

Mark Bedford

Also known as “Bedders”, he became known as the bass guitarist when he played with the band Madness. He was born in London, England. Aside from being a singer, he is well-known for his songwriting and composing. He was also affiliated with the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra.

Chas Smash

His given name is Cathal Joseph Smyth. He is recognised in the ska music genre and also carried his performances into the new wave era. He has had a forty-year career and has the talent for playing several different instruments, such as trumpet, keyboards, guitar and flute. He is also a much-appreciated vocalist. He became well known in the ska genre with his performances as the backing vocalist for Madness.

Judge Dread

Judge Dread passed away in 1998, his real name was Alexander Minto Hughes. He was most recognised for his reggae hit in Jamaica, the first as a white musician. His music was brash, and much of it has been banned by the BBC. However, this did not hurt his popularity among his many fans.

Third Wave

The latest era of ska started at the beginning of the 1980s. A lot of bands became well-known during this time and took this form of music to its popularity. These included bands such as:

  • Athena
  • Mad Caddies
  • Monkey
  • Mouthwash
  • Mr Review

The ska artists talked about here are just a few used as excellent examples of the many who have contributed to this form of music.