Reggae Music in Hawaii

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Reggae music is a popular genre in Hawaii. Here’s a look at some of the best reggae bands and artists in the state.


Reggae music in Hawaii has a long and storied history. The first wave of Jamaican immigrants came to the islands in the 1950s, bringing with them their own brand of musical expression. Over the years, this musical form has been adopted and adapted by Hawaiian musicians, becoming an integral part of the local music scene.

Reggae music first gained a foothold in Hawaii in the 1970s, when a number of Jamaican musicians relocated to the islands. These artists helped to popularize the genre, and their influence can still be heard in the music of today. One of the most popular reggae groups in Hawaii is Rebel Souljahz, who have been making music since the late 1990s.

While there are many different types of reggae music, the most common stylesheard in Hawaii are roots reggae and dub. Roots reggae is characterized by its focus on lyrics that promote social and political consciousness, while dub is a more experimental style that emphasizes heavy bass and drumbeats. Whatever your taste in music, you’re sure to find something you enjoy at a reggae concert in Hawaii.

The History of Reggae in Hawaii

Reggae music has been popular in Hawaii since the late 1960s, when groups like the Hawaiians and Hui Ohana began playing it at local clubs and dances. In the 1970s, reggae became even more popular with the arrival of Jamaican artists like Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, who performed in Honolulu to enthusiastic audiences. Marley’s visit coincided with the rise of the Rastafari movement in Hawaii, which helped to promote reggae’s popularity on the islands.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Hawaiian reggae artists like Slightly Stoopid, John Cruz, and Natural Vibrations helped to keep the genre alive and vibrant. Today, there is a thriving reggae scene in Hawaii, with local bands playing at clubs and festivals across the islands. Reggae remains a popular genre of music among both locals and visitors to Hawaii.

The Influence of Reggae in Hawaii

Reggae music has been a part of Hawaii’s music scene for over four decades, with roots that can be traced back to the 1960s. The sound of reggae, with its distinctive thump, distorted guitar riffs and offbeat rhythms, has been a mainstay of Hawaiian radio and nightclubs for years. While reggae’s popularity has waxed and waned over the years, the sound remains an integral part of Hawaii’s musical landscape.

Reggae’s roots in Hawaii can be traced back to the 1960s, when a small but dedicated group of fans began tuning in to Radio Jamaica. Reggae performers such as Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Toots & the Maytals found an audience among Hawaii’s young people, who were drawn to the music’s rebellious edge and Jamaican flavor.

In the 1970s, Hawaiian musicians began incorporating elements of reggae into their own music, giving birth to a new genre known as “Hawaiian Reggae.” This hybrid sound quickly caught on with local audiences, and soon there were Hawaiian Reggae bands playing in clubs and bars all over the islands.

Today, Hawaiian Reggae is as popular as ever, with top performers like John Cruz, Rebel Souljahz and Common Kings packing venues throughout the state. The sound of Hawaiian Reggae continues to evolve as new artists experiment with different styles and influences, ensuring that this unique musical genre will remain a vital part of Hawaii’s musical culture for years to come.

The Future of Reggae in Hawaii

The future of reggae music in Hawaii is promising. There are many young people interested in reggae music and the Hawaiian Islands have a long history with the genre. Reggae music has been popular in Hawaii since the 1970s when Bob Marley came to Hawaii to play a series of concerts. The popularity of reggae music in Hawaii has only grown since then.

There are now many reggae bands in Hawaii that are gaining popularity both in the islands and around the world. These bands are keeping the tradition of reggae music alive while also innovating and creating their own unique sound. The future of reggae music in Hawaii is bright and there is no doubt that it will continue to grow in popularity.

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