NYC Ska Orchestra

Recording Project
Artistic Discipline: Music
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2023
Location: Prospect Heights

The NYC Ska Orchestra is a unique 18-piece big band that creates and performs lush original compositions and arrangements of songs from the rich, historic, and culturally-iconic Jamaican music of ska, mento, rock steady, reggae, and jazz from the 1950s and 60s. Led by trumpeter and vocalist Kevin Batchelor, and featuring Jamaican music legend Larry MacDonald on congas and vocals; the NYC Ska Orchestra blends the exuberant musical layers of the jazz big band era with Jamaican roots music, and the tremendous collective talent of the orchestra into an impressive, unique, accessible and joyous sound that they passionately share with everyone. With support from BAC, NYC Ska Orchestra (NYCSO) is planning a linked, two-part project. Part one is a recording project to document their work, with the goals to use it for future promotion of NYCSO, and to feature and celebrate the legacy of 85 year old legendary Jamaican music vocalist/percussionist Larry MacDonald. Part two is a free-to-the-public record release concert for the Brooklyn community where the recorded music will be performed live.