Jamaica's independence from England on August 6, 1944, may have been somewhat of a red herring -- the Queen of England's portrait was not removed from the King's House -- but that year did produce Alton Ellis, also known as Mr. Rock Steady. For those who don't already know (and you really should), rock steady is the slowed-down, organ-driven derivative of reggae that provided a bridge from ska to dub. And though Ellis will be headlining this Sunday's 21st annual Miami Reggae Fest, commemorating the island's 61 years of sovereignty, there will also be a healthy mix of dancehall, dub, and more traditional reggae. Bring extra cash for arts and crafts and Caribbean cuisine -- jerk chicken, curry goat, the essential pint of Red Stripe beer.
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