Ska music is a genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s, combining elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. 

A walking bass line, offbeat guitar or piano rhythms, and brass instruments characterize it.

The development of ska music is often attributed to musicians and producers such as Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, Duke Reid, and Prince Buster, who were instrumental in shaping the sound of the genre. 

It is difficult to pinpoint a specific individual who “started” ska, as it was a collaborative effort among various musicians and producers.

Ska music emerged around 1958-1959, and its popularity peaked in the early 1960s before giving way to rocksteady and later reggae music.

Some of the main artists and bands associated with ska music include:

The Skatalites: Formed in 1964, they were a highly influential ska band that featured many of Jamaica’s top musicians at the time.

Desmond Dekker: A Jamaican singer-songwriter who achieved international fame with his 1968 hit “Israelites.”

Toots and the Maytals: A Jamaican musical group led by Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, known for hits like “Pressure Drop” and “54-46 That’s My Number.”

Prince Buster: A Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer who was a key figure in developing ska music.

These are just a few examples of the many artists and producers who contributed to the ska music scene in Jamaica. The genre has continued to evolve and influence other music styles, with bands like The Specials, Madness, and The English Beat emerging during the British ska revival in the late 1970s and early 1980s.