Jazz Jamaica is a jazz/reggae music group formed by musician Gary Crosby in London.
In 1991, inspired by the rhythms of traditional Jamaican music and the largely improvisational nature of jazz, original Jazz Warrior, jazz double bassist, and nephew of veteran Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin, Gary Crosby conceived a fusion of mento, ska, reggae and jazz styles in playing classic and modern jazz standards alongside Jamaican folksongs. To achieve this, he gathered together a group of musicians drawn from the jazz and reggae circuits, to form Jazz Jamaica.
Since its realisation, Crosby developed the Jazz Jamaica concept by introducing more young jazz musicians, so increasing the size of the pool of 'Jazz Jamaicans', and enabling him to extend the boundaries of the music played. Crosby and his musicians are exponents of this musical fusion known as skazz, which has earned global appreciation.
In March 1999, Crosby expanded the core lineup of Jazz Jamaica to formal big band status by adding a number of guest soloists including Denys Baptiste, Andy Sheppard, Soweto Kinch, Juliet Roberts, Orphy Robinson, Guy Barker, Kevin Robinson, Ashley Slater, Annie Whitehead, and Alex Wilson, resulting in the Jazz Jamaica All Stars, a 20-piece band featuring featuring vocals, five saxophones, four trumpets, and four trombones with a rhythm section of double bass, piano, drums, guitar and percussion.
In 2002, Jazz Jamaica won the best band award at the BBC Jazz Awards.
In 2004, Jazz Jamaica collaborated with Hugh Masakela, and a choir of young people for a performance at the Barbican Centre as part of the City of London Festival marking South Africas 10th anniversary of democracy.
Jazz Jamaica were described by The Independent as "one of the UK's leading "good-time" bands".
- Skaravan (1993) Skazz, reissued (1996) Hannibal
- Double Barrel (2002) Hannibal
- Massive (2004) Dune
- Motorcity Roots (2005) Dune
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- Alyn Shipton. Biography of Jazz Jamaica All Stars. The Times. Retrieved on 11 January 2008.
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- CASE STUDIES: Hugh Masekela, Jazz Jamaica All Stars and Serious. visitingarts.org.uk (2007). Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved on 11 January 2008.
- John Fordham (October 2005). Jazz Jamaica - Jazz Cafe, London. The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved on 11 January 2008.
- John Fordham (May 2005). Jazz Jamaica - Cheltenham Jazz Festival. The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved on 11 January 2008.
- Phil Johnson (August 2007). Jazz Jamaica: Lighten Up!, Bristol Zoo Gardens. The Independent. Independent News and Media Limited. Retrieved on 11 January 2008.