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There are many questions about who created ska music, the high-energy precursor to reggae. But there’s no question that The Skatalites are the Jamaican genre’s greatest band. A collection of the island’s best jazz musicians, led by saxophonist Tommy McCook, The Skatalites formed in 1964 and recorded prolifically. When trombonist and composer Don Drummond was jailed for murder in 1965, the group broke up, and it wasn’t until 1974 that the musicians resumed recording again as The Skatalites. The ensemble has been more or less together ever since, but due to disagreements and deaths, the only founding members performing with the group currently are alto saxophonist Lester Sterling and vocalist Doreen Shaffer. Not even the memories of pasty third-wave ska can kill the spirit of the original music, which still sounds vibrant in The Skatalites’ hands. The Skatalites perform at 8 p.m. at The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $17.50–$22. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com.