Bahamian music has, for a long time, been centered on Junkanoo, the big Bahamian annual holiday famously featuring elaborate parades on Bay Street in downtown Nassau. Junkanoo music is an intoxicating combination of African and Caribbean rhythms, often played with drums and various skin or pipe instruments.
Most of what is known to tourists as “Bahamian music” may well be the rhythmic beats of Junkanoo, or traditional island music like Rake’n’scrape, Calypso and Reggae. But Bahamians enjoy music of all types. Young Bahamians are listening to Rap music and Hip Hop, some from the United States and an increasing amount that is home grown. The Nassau Music Society brings classical and jazz performances to The Bahamas.
The music of the Bahamas is largely centered around Junkanoo, a Bahamian holiday celebration which occurs on Boxing Day (December 26) and again on New Year’s Day (January 1). A large parade, traditionally on Bay Street, is the highlight of the event attended by many locals and tourists from around the world.
The Bahamas most famous export may well be the rhythmic form of Bahamian music that comes from Junkanoo, a combination of African and Caribbean rhythms, often played on drums and various skin or pipe instruments. Rake’n’scrape music, prominent on the Out Islands, features rough guitars and percussion instruments made from ratchets and saws; calypso and reggae are also popular.
Bahamas Island Music
Bahamas music events
Check the Bahamas Events Calendar for events in The Bahamas featuring Bahamian singers, bands, musicians and other musical entertainment including live shows at Bars and Night Clubs.
To give you a taste of Bahamian music, here are links to some of our favourites.
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Bahama Islands Music Links and Resources
– shop online for keyboards, percussion and stringed instruments, sheet music.
Bahamas Directory – Categories include Arts & Humanities, Culture and Entertainment.
Tony Seymour Jr. – The son of legendary Bahamian singer, Tony Seymour, is a legend on his own.
Sounds of Exuma – From the Peace & Plenty Resort in the Exumas.