Lloyd Knibb


Check out this article from the Star Newspaper in September, 1964. Lloyd Knibb is a young 33-year-old master, looking snazzy as always in his sharp threads. The article reveals that he was ranked the top ska drummer in Jamaica. As we all know, he went on to world-wide fame and is a legend. Here he tells how he helped to develop the ska beat–“I was playing at a north coast hotel when I first heard what sounded like a poor example of a new beat. With this I originated the current beat that we are now hearing. I then returned to Kingston and recorded a disc.”

Back in 1996 at a Skatalites show at the University of Chicago, Knibb told me this story personally. It is one I will never forget and I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to talk to this lovely man. “I didn’t go to Alpha. I was self taught at my house. I teach myself,” he told me. “I am the original drummer for the Skatalites. I was the original drummer for all recording sessions. Everyone, Duke Reid, Prince Buster, Coxsone, Treasure Isle, you name them all. I was the drummer they come to, for everybody. You name them all, Bob Marley, Ken Boothe, Derrick Morgan, Alton Ellis, everybody. Every show they go on are the same tunes we cut for them. I am the originator of the ska beat also. In the studio, me and Coxsone Downbeat try out a beat. My beat sound different, heavier, so my drumming is distinct. So most all the drummers try to play like me. They like the beat but then can’t get it to sound like me. So that is how it started.”

Listen to Horsemouth pay respect to the master, Lloyd Knibb, in this fantastic interview HERE

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