Alpha Institute music students led by musical director and Alpha music instructor Andres Lopez offer a new audio and visual take on the Don Drummond classic!
Creatively designed by the students themselves, the Don De Lion music video was filmed on location at Alpha Institute (formerly Alpha Boys School) and allowed students to explore Jamaica's musical history and that of one of Alpha's most acclaimed graduates.
Many thanks to Whitty Gordon Projects for technical and editing assistance.
Before The Skatalites broke up in 1965 Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label released this eclectic recording featuring flulte, saxophone and trombone solos...
Burning Spear's "Slavery Days" features iconic horn arrangement by the late Robert 'Bobby' Ellis, OD
Originally recorded in 1962, Prince Buster's "They Got To Come" features Alpha alum and Skatalites co founder Lester Sterling on sax.
2016 is the year Rocksteady was created and the Alpha connection was there right away! According to Sparrow Martin, Tommy McCook was asked to slow down ska by Arthur 'Duke' Reid.
Listen to Sparrow tell the story on the Ask Sparrow Martin program.
And you can hear it as well in the song "Tommy's Rocksteady" featuring Tommy McCook and the Supersonics.
Alpha past student Lester Sterling is credited with recording perhaps the first reggae song of all time...
His debut solo album, Bangarang, was released on Pama Records in 1969. Classic early reggae, producer Striker Lee often claims it as the first proper reggae tune, featuring the John Crow skank organ shuffle c/w updated dub.
Joe Harriott attended Alpha in the 30s and 40s before moving to the UK in 1951 where his career took off.
Joe Harriott + John Mayer Double Quintet: Joe Harriott (alto saxophone); John Mayer (violin, harpsichord); Shake Keane (trumpet, flugelhorn); Chris Taylor (flute); Pat Smythe (piano); Diwan Motihar (sitar); Chandrahas Paigankar (tambura); Coleridge Goode (bass); Alan Ganley (drums); Keshav Sathe (tabla).