Reggae Music in Minneapolis

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Reggae music is a genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The music is characterized by a strong bass line and drum beat, as well as a distinctive vocal style. Minneapolis is home to a vibrant reggae music scene, with a number of venues and festivals that showcase the music.

The History of Reggae in Minneapolis

Reggae music has been a part of Minneapolis’s musical landscape for nearly four decades. The genre first gained a foothold in the city in the early 1980s, when a small but dedicated group of fans began organizing reggae nights at local clubs. Over the years, these events became increasingly popular, attracting both established and up-and-coming reggae artists from around the world. Today, Minneapolis is home to a vibrant reggae community that celebrates the music and culture of Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Reggae’s presence in Minneapolis can be traced back to the early days of the genre itself. In 1979, Bob Marley & The Wailers released “Survival,” an album with a strong political message that resonated with many Jamaicans living in Minneapolis. Shortly thereafter, local radio station KMOJ began playing reggae music on its “Caribbean Connection” show, further increasing interest in the genre.

In the early 1980s, a group of Minneapolis reggae fans decided to take matters into their own hands by organizing their own reggae nights at clubs like First Avenue and The 7th Street Entry. These events proved to be popular, and over time they attracted both established artists like Burning Spear and Steel Pulse as well as up-and-coming acts from Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Today, Minneapolis is home to a lively reggae scene that includes clubs, radio shows, and annual festivals such as Reggae Fest MN. This rich cultural tradition continues to thrive thanks to the dedication of its fans and musicians.

The Birth of the Minneapolis Sound

In the 1970s, the Minneapolis sound began to take shape. This new style of music was a blend of rock, funk, and soul. The Prince-fronted band, The Time, helped to popularize this new sound. Another Minneapolis group that made waves with their innovative music was Mazarati. This group was fronted by Prince’s bass guitarist, Mark Brown.

The Minneapolis Sound Today

While the Minneapolis Sound is not as prevalent as it was in the 1980s, you can still hear it in the music of many modern artists from the Twin Cities. Some bands, like[[The Hold Steady] and Soul Asylum, openly embrace their debt to Minneapolis’ musical history, while others, like [[Dessa]] and [[M NPR]]] take a more unique approach to melding various genres. No matter what style they adopting, these artists all keep the spirit of the Minneapolis Sound alive.

The Future of Reggae in Minneapolis

Reggae music has been a popular genre in Minneapolis for many years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The Twin Cities have a large population of Jamaican immigrants, and reggae is a popular style of music among them. Minneapolis is also home to a number of reggae clubs and events, including the annual Reggae Fest.

The future of reggae in Minneapolis looks bright. The genre continues to grow in popularity, and there are many young people who are passionate about it. Minneapolis is an ideal place for reggae fans, with a diverse population and a number of great venues for live music.

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