Fashion Fridays: Alpha Boys School, the Birthplace of Ska, Gets Its Own T-Shirts

April 26, 2013

Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by Martei Korleyโ€”

Alpha Boys School Ska

The Alpha Boys School in Kingston, Jamaica is generally acknowledged as the birthplace of ska music. The four original members of the Skatalitesโ€”Tommy McCook, Johnny “Dizzy” Moore, Lester Sterling and Don Drummondโ€”got their start in the Alpha Boys band, as did other figures in the music’s development, including Rico Rodriguez. Other notable alumni who have passed through Alpha’s doors include Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, Yellowman and Leroy Smart. Today, the school, run by Sister Susan Frazer, continues to be an oasis for troubled boys in Jamaica, and an incubator for musicians. Its famed music program was even featured in a key scene in the recent Snoop Lion documentary Reincarnated.

Artist Michael Thompson, founder of the International Reggae Poster Contest, recently designed a new logo for the school, which has now also been turned to a T-shirt. Proceeds from shirts not only go to support the school but are being printed by students as well as part of its skills-building program.

LargeUp’s Martei Korleyย snapped a few pics at a launch event for the T-shirt, held at Alpha Boys this past weekend. Stay tuned for info on how to buy the tees soon.

Alpha Ska T-shirt

Michael Thompson, with a poster featuring his new Alpha Ska logo



shirt white alpha black logo mens-green-front-alpha