It’s tough to picture a future without travel on the horizon, but as the pandemic spreads and a growing number of countries implement lockdown proceedings, that vision is quickly becoming reality. There’s little more transporting than music, though – and the Jamaica Tourist Board has dropped a playlist to cure those self-isolation blues. 

A man river rafting in the forest of Jamaica.
The Jamaica Tourist Board has released a playlist to help with those feelings of pandemic-induced isolation © Pat Maguet/Shutterstock

Appropriately dubbed ‘Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright’, the 252-song Spotify set kicks off with Desmond Dekker and runs through the island’s best-known artists, from Jimmy Cliff, Buju Banton, and Lee Scratch Perry to King Tubby, Barrington Levy, and yes, Bob Marley. 

The playlist “aims to bring a little bit of sunshine to brighten up these darker days,” the tourism board says. “Irie vibes are right this way.”

Man walking along Jamaica’s Winifred Beach on a sunny day.
Jamaica's music industry has a global influence that belies its size © Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock

Per capita, Jamaica creates more recorded music than anywhere else in the world, and it has an outsized influence on the global music scene, with genres like reggae, dancehall, ska, and soca hitting big on a massive scale. Kingston’s street parties are justifiably legendary, and people come from all over to catch the live shows during Reggae Month, timed to coincide with Mr Marley’s birthday in February.

For the millions currently quarantined at home, jumping on a plane for a music tour is obviously out of the question. But in the meantime, there are living-room dance parties – a great way to get that blood flowing – either solo or coordinated with friends and family via the social-networking tool of your choice. 

“Music is creation,” roots reggae superstar Burning Spear told the Los Angeles Times back in 1990. “The lyric, the music itself, arrangement, that vibe, such melody – everything within the music moves the people.” 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is now a global pandemic. Find out what this means for travellers

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