Ska is a music genre that was a revival of Jamaican ska with various additional American and British styles of music, such as 2 Tone, rock music, punk rock, pop punk, hardcore and jazz. The term third wave ska has also been used to refer to all ska music performed by bands, particularly American bands, that started in the 1980s or later. The original Jamaican ska period in the 1960s is considered the first wave, and the 2 Tone period in Britain during the late 1970s is considered the second wave.

The term was first used in 1989 by Tazy Phyllipz and Albino Brown of the Ska Parade radio show when bands such as No Doubt and Let's Go Bowling were submitting demo tapes in order to get airplay. The Toasters, formed in New York in 1981, are commonly referred to as the first US third wave ska band.

The third wave began primarily as an American continuation or revival of the British 2 Tone movement. The initial third wave bands, such as the Toasters, Fishbone and Bim Skala Bim played in a style similar to the 2 Tone bands. This style was characterized by brass instruments and a heavily-accented offbeat. As the movement grew, some bands melded a faster version of ska with other music styles, such as hardcore punk or punk rock.

Many of the popular accoutrements of the 2 Tone and mod movements were also popular with the third wave of ska. These include black and white suits with skinny black ties. Many third wave ska songs were written about wearing a pork pie hat, however, the hat worn by bands and fans is more accurately described as a Trilby. The checkerboard pattern of the 2 Tone record label was also a popular stylistic element on third wave ska clothing, album covers, and posters.

Third wave ska reached the peak of its commercial success between 1995 and 1998. During this period, third wave ska bands such as Sublime, No Doubt, Reel Big Fish and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones achieved high record sales, mainstream radio play and video rotation on music video networks such as MTV. Most of the bands that received heavier airplay played ska-core or ska punk such as The Raging Pimps of Doom, however some bands playing a more traditional sound, such as Hepcat and Stubborn All-Stars, achieved some mainstream attention.

Long Island Ska Bands*Edit

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