Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra

Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra

Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra is the world’s premier Jamaican Jazz Orchestra. At a “standard” performance, there are more than 20 world-class jazz musicians. Featuring past and present members of bands like Hepcat, the Aggrolites, Brian Setzer Orchestra, the Expanders, and many others, WSTKO have carved themselves out a wholly unique spot, straddling the worlds of both ska and big-band. By infusing elements of jazz, particularly big band jazz, into the contemporary musical mix, this group of Jamaican jazz gunslingers is rebranding the music of yesteryear and propelling it into the future.



The Legends of Ska Screening with Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra Key Note Address and Workshop
Vic Theatre
Sat. June 23rd 12:30pm - 3:30pm doors at 12noon
“...to sing real reggae you have to tell a story. It has to be about the roots.”

• Frederick "Toots" Hibbert

In the 1950s, a genre was born that would change the world of music forever. Learn about the roots of Ska with the west-coast premiere of “The Legends of Ska”, a film by Brad Klein, and discuss both the film and the genre during an open Q&A session following the screening.

Before the film, spend some time with the Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra, led by Eitan Avineri, who will take you on a descriptive tour of Ska as it made its way from Jamaica to Southern California. Avineri will also discuss how the genre integrated with and borrowed from the American music of the time (and vice-versa) to give birth to a truly multicultural genre that still shapes the face of music today. The Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra have built collaborative relationships with many artists past and present that played a role in Jamaican-rooted music. They will draw upon these experiences to provide a picture of the ska genre presently world-wide.

Ship Point (Inner Harbour)
Sat. June 23rd 2 - 10
Ticket Info
After nearly a decade, American ska legends THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES are finally making a triumphant return to the Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest stage! One of the most recognizable and enduring acts of the North American ska movement, the Bosstones were instrumental in introducing legions of new fans to the sounds of ska, infusing the classic sound with high-octane punk and incredible ears for hooks. With their new album "While We're At It" re-energizing the group, the Bosstones are ready to get the music-lovers of Victoria jumpin' and skankin' once again. This is their only stop in Western Canada this year, so you better not miss your chance to see these icons in action once again!

Joining the Bosstones for this Saturday celebration is powerful WESTERN STANDARD TIME SKA ORCHESTRA. It's only been a couple of years since this incredible band blew away a packed crowd at Ship Point with their unstoppable wall of horns playing some of the greatest ska music of all time. Also making the trip up from California are reggae superstars FORTUNATE YOUTH. For nearly a decade these laid-back reggae troubadours have been touring relentlessly, establishing themselves as one of North America's most reliably entertaining reggae bands. Highlighted by the phenomenal voice of lead singer Dan Kelly, a Fortunate Youth set is going to help you chill out and get irie while making you gasp with their insane level of musicianship as the band trades instruments and roles like nobody's business.

Also making their return to the Festival stage are Victoria ska legends THE HILLSIDE HOOLIGANS! Fresh off their incredible return at our St. Paddy's Day Throwdown, the Hooligans are re-energized and refocused after some needed time out of the spotlight. We're so proud to have these longtime festival friends and family on this massive bill for all our true Ska lovers! Holding things down between sets is one of Victoria's most reputable party-rockers and haver-of-incredible-taste THE FUNKEE WADD. Armed with a seemingly endless arsenal of funk, reggae, glitch-hop originals and remixes of eternal classics, your party life is in good hands when the Wadd is behind the decks.