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Dancehall: The Story of Jamaican Dancehall Culture By Beth Lesser Paperback – September 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Soul Jazz Records Publishing (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955481716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955481710
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 11.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,966,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Beth Lesser has been a devoted reggae fan since the 70's. During the 80's, Beth edited and published Reggae Quarterly Magazine the first international reggae publication to focus on Dance Hall style music. Beth and her husband, David, spent the decade thoroughly immersed in Jamaican music, David hosting the top reggae radio show in Toronto and the couple promoting several small shows, releasing a record, working public relations and even flying to Jamaica to bring artists through immigration to perform. In 1989, Ms Lesser was asked to write what became the first book to examine the digital revolution in Jamaican music, King Jammys, published by Black Star in Finland. An expanded edition was later published by ECW Press, Toronto, Canada, in 2002. A few years later, Soul Jazz, requested that Ms Lesser write a book about the 80's that could showcase her photographs from the period. Dance Hall: The Rise of Dance Hall Culture came out in 2008.
In between books, Ms Lesser wrote articles for several reggae magazines including Small Axe, UK, and Natty Dread, France. Her photos have appeared in magazines and newspapers around the world such as Mojo (UK), Natty Dread Magazine (France), Focus (Germany), Small Axe (UK), Wire (US), Riddim (Germany), Reggae Festival Guide (US), Reggae Vibes (France), Wax Poetics (US), NME (UK), as well as on CD's/ Albums released by companies like Blood and Fire, Greensleeves, Heartbeat, RAS, Pressure Sounds. Trojan, Soul Jazz, VP, 17 North Parade, as well as many Jamaican Labels. Ms Lesser's photos are also being used in the upcoming documentary films Return of the Rub-A-Dub Style, Tom Chasteen, 2010 and Holding Onto Jah, Roger Hall, 2009. Several are included in the permanent collection, Exhibit Z, housed in the Jamaican Reggae Museum.
Beth and David were married in a dance hall session in the yard of Jamaican singer Sugar Minott in 1986. Beth is currently managing foundation deejay, Jah Stitch.
Beth can be reached at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lou G. on September 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book offers great insight into a culture that still remains largely a homegrown experience. Try as we might, there just is no way anyone can ever fully recreate the sheer explosiveness and creativity that emerged from one tiny likkle island in the Caribbean so many years ago; but it sure is fun to keep a dance yard-style. Sure the dancehall 'style' has been adopted on many a foreign soil, and spawned a multi-million dollar industry (Hip-Hop anyone?), but ah no anyone can do it like they do ina Jamdown. Nor can one ever hope to see such photos unless they're from Yard, or know someone who lived in JA during the 80's. This book is just large. If you consider yourself a dancehall fan you would do well to get your hands on a copy of this book, fi real. You'll learn a lot.
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Format: Paperback

THE SARTORIALIST Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Reading List... Dancehall

I love when I find a book that investigates a particular scene or sub-culture. Beth Lesser's Dancehall captures the Jamaican Dancehall culture of the 1980s with the same level of sincerity and curiosity that Brassai exhibited while capturing Paris nightlife in the 1930s.


Posted in Book Features, Men
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary G. Lewis on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Without a doubt one of the most important books published about the history of post independent Jamaican music. Great for the coffee table or the verandah! A copy of this book would be a great educational reference for young Jamaicans especially who have no clue as to that pivotal era in music.

The photos capture a wonderful period in Jamaican music. As for the poses you just going to laugh when you see them.

How many of us have ever seen photos of artists like Nicodemus, Josie Wales, Yami Bolo, Papa San, Peter Metro, Lone Ranger, Coco Tea, Sister Nancy etc in the prime?

Every library in Jamaica should have a copy.

Be warned - its a very weighty book!

But you will enjoy :-)
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