Music flows through the veins of the Jamaican people and their love for reggae and jazz is instilled almost from birth. Live music is a popular feature at many of the venues across the island and tourists who want to enjoy authentic Jamaican jamming won’t be disappointed.
After spending all day exploring the island, eating rice, peas and goat curry, or relaxing on the beach there’s no better way to end off the day than dancing the night away. Traditional Jamaican dancing can be particularly raunchy and relies heavily on grinding or fierce dance moves, so watching and enjoying the music without joining in is totally acceptable. Classic jazz is also a favourite in Jamaica, so for a more toned down live music experience look for venues that offer these soulful sounds.
Some of the best live music venues in Jamaica are:
Reggae Entertainment Complex
This complex is located in Negrill on the land side of the Cliffs road within 1.5kms of Downtown. The concerts held here are legendary, with the biggest acts performing at MXIII and Hotel Samsara. During peak season there are live performances every night, featuring Jazz legends, local reggae talent, impromptu jams and folk music shows.
Jack Ruby Bar and Grill
This Ocho Rios bar and nightclub features live bands and traditional Jamaican- style backyard parties in its courtyard. Situated about 50 kms east of Montego Bay, Ocho Rio is a resort town that caters for cruise ships, so when the port is full the parties go on all night. Jack Ruby Bar and Grill is located in James Street which has also been nicknamed Reggae Strip thanks to its multiple bars and nightclubs.
The Little Pub is also located in Ochos Rios and is a tourist favourite. A resident band plays 6 nights a week and the entertainment line up changes regularly. A karaoke night, weekly cabaret and Afro-Caribbean musical make up some of the great entertainment on offer.
Alfred’s Ocean Palace
Located in Negrill in the heart of the famous 7 mile beach is Alfred’s Ocean Palace. This Negril institution is one of the oldest beach bars and regularly showcases some of Jamaica’s best rock, reggae and roots performers. The open air beach stage is an especially attractive feature and visitors dance the night away under the stars.