Music is the pulsing heartbeat of life in the Caribbean, as much a part of our days and nights as the sun and the sea. Our lands are alive with sounds and rhythms that evoke both our past and our sense of hope for the future.
These are carnival countries, where many festivals celebrate historic, religious, cultural or sporting events - and where music explodes spontaneously whenever a handful of musicians and singers are gathered together. It could happen on the street, in a town square or on the beach.
The Afro-Caribbean and Latin American musical heritage is a rich mixture, changing from country to country according to our varying backgrounds, and growing from year to year as young musicians build on their legacy.
This is the birthplace of the steel band, and of “beats” like calypso, compas, merengue, rumba, salsa, soca, and ska. Bob Marley exported reggae across the globe; salsa followed soon after. Some of the lands maintain musical traditions—like drumming—dating back to the time of slavery. Gospel music reflects both our colonial past and the influence of American culture.
The Caribbean is now a center for world music. Jazz, rhythm & blues and country music are popular imports from the United States; concert venues around the region attract top artists from all three genres, as well as international stars of the classical music circuit, for sell-out performances.
Whatever your taste, you’ll find it more than satisfied in our lands of rhythm and melody.