world music – b

Welcome to World Music – a musical journey around the world. The object of this segment is to showcase artists from around the world, and in particular the musical styles synonymous with each country, and since this week we’re looking at B.


The music of the Bahamas is associated primarily with Junkanoo, a celebration which occurs on Boxing Day and again on New Year’s Day. Parades and other celebrations mark the ceremony. Groups like The Baha Men, Ronnie Butler and Kirkland Bodie have gained massive popularity in Japan, the United States and other places. Other popular Bahamian artists include Stileet and Stevie S.

The Bahamas features many styles of music including:

Calypso – Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in Trinidad and Tobago. This form of music has spread through many parts of the Caribbean, including The Bahamas.

Soca – Soca is a form of dance music which originated from many calypso music in Trinidad and Tobago. It originally combined the melodic lilting sound of calypso with insistent percussion (which is often electronic in recent music) and local chutney music.

Junkanoo – The word Junkanoo is said to be derived from a Ghanaian leader, John Connu, or from the Qujo supreme deity (Canno) and ancestral spirits (jannanin). The junkanoo is still practiced in North Carolina and remnants still exist in Belize. It is most well known, though, from Nassau and Freeport. In this milieu more traditional Bahamas performers such as Joseph Spence, have still enjoyed successful careers playing junkanoo, Christian hymns and the ant’ems of the local sponge fishermen, which include “Sloop John B”, later made famous by The Beach Boys.

Rake and scrape – Rake and scrape music is played traditionally with concertinas, Goombay drums, and a handsaw. Rake and scrape is believed to have originated on the island of Cat Island but evidence suggest that it was emerging in many

Traditional Music

And now some traditional music from the Bahamas

Featured Artist

The Baha Men are a Bahamian junkanoo band formed in New Providence, Bahamas in 1977. They are best known for their Grammy Award-winning hit song “Who Let the Dogs Out”. A song I certainly remember fondly.

Love to know what you thought of the music from the Bahamas, and love to hear your favourite song or artist from the beautiful Bahamas.

Take a second and add a comment or a video of your own. We can’t wait to see what you have to say!

See you next Wednesday for our next destination in this music journey, and don’t forget your passport.

© A-DAW Arts


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