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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

King Alpha’s Song in a Strange Land

The Roots and Routes of Canadian Reggae

When Jackie Mittoo and Leroy Sibbles migrated from Jamaica to Toronto in the early 1970s, the musicians brought reggae with them, sparking the flames of one of Canada’s most vibrant music scenes. Professional reggae musician and scholar Jason Wilson tells the story of how reggae brought black and white youth together, opening up a cultural dialogue between Jamaican migrants and Canadians along the city’s ethnic frontlines. This underground subculture rebelled against the status quo, broke through the bonds of race, eased the acculturation process, and made bands such as Messenjah and the Sattalites household names for a brief but important time.

362 pages


Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction: King Alpha’s Song

1 Hybridity and Jamaican Music

2 Music of the Black Atlantic

3 Jamaica to Toronto

4 Place and Meaning in Toronto’s Reggae Text

5 The Bridge Builders

6 Blackness and Whiteness

7 In Search of the Canadian Sound

8 A Strange Land

Notes; Bibliography; Index

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