Rocksteady was the one of the roots of reggae after ska music was created in the early 1960s. Sometimes referred to as “The Golden Era”, despite rocksteady’s short stint of popular appeal, it has had a huge impact on other forms of Jamaican music such as reggae, dub and dancehall. Today a lot of younger reggae and dancehall fans and artists still listen to rocksteady music. Popular dancehall artists such as Shaggy and Sean Paul use it in chart topping songs that are revered worldwide.
“Mr. Rocksteady” aka Kenneth George Boothe is a living embodiment of the rocksteady and reggae genres. Ken Boothe worked with Coxsone Dodd at Studio 1 and Leslie Kong in the late 60s and early 70s. Influenced by artists such as Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, and The Temptations, and being born into a musical family made the perfect recipe to encourage Boothe to further greatness up until today.
Ken Boothe will give festival fans a keynote address about the genre of rocksteady that is so often overlooked by even reggae and ska appreciators. Building on past Ska Fest workshops he will explain the difference in beat patterns and the instrumentation that most rocksteady groups posses in contrast to other Jamaican rooted musical forms such as ska and reggae. Along with technical knowledge and expertise from a man that lived in this era, fans will hear first hand experiences and key events that lead to the rise of “Mr. Rocksteady” Kenneth George Boothe.