The creators of the Ska kick off their 50th anniversary this year! The Skatalites were inventors and pioneers, crafting the original sound of ska music that would give birth to so many other styles and inspire so many musicians. Still touring, there are but two original band members, Lester Sterling on alto saxophone and vocalist Doreen Shaffer. Only musicians of the highest of caliber become members of this fine institution lest you think this is a tribute act or a spinoff.
In the early 2000s, I had the pleasure of seeing The Skatalites at the Middle East Downstairs. I believe Mass. Hysteria opened and I was grateful for the opportunity, never quite knowing when the band might throw in the towel. Something tells me that so long as they’re in high demand, they’ll keep playing music for the people. They don’t have any American tour dates scheduled in 2014 as of yet, but we’ll be sure to post them if they do. They performed in Rhode Island as recently as November.
I dug up the following two YouTube clips, both labeled as Boston performances. I can’t place them, but if you’ve got a clue or were at the show, tell us about it in the comments!