Back in 2012, the world celebrated Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence from the British rule. This small island’s independence in 1962 was also around the same time that Jamaican folk music combined with several other genres (American soul music being one of them) and became ska, ultimately Jamaican pop music for young people. In 1964, Millie Small’s “Lollipop” became a hit song in the U.K., and Jamaican music was on its way to becoming a global phenomenon.
With a culture and legacy as rich as JA’s, it’s only right the world celebrate this annual holiday in style. New York’s Sweet Spot Festival keep outdoor parties all summer in parks around Manhattan, and each year on Jamaica’s independence weekend (cleverly renamed, “Indepen-Dance”), the West Harlem Pier is taken over with sounds, dances and tastes of “Yaad.” The event takes place on Saturday, August 1st, from 2-9pm, and is complete with selectors, a dancehall dance instruction class, an art workshop for kids, food and artisan vendors, and a widely diverse crowd of people who come out to celebrate.
In addition to all the great things happening at Jamaican Indepen-Dance, JetBlue have partnered with the event and are giving out a voucher for two, anywhere they fly, which includes Jamaica by the way!