One of the most important Jamaican musical figures was the keyboardist/composer Jackie Mittoo. He was a child prodigy who learned piano at four years old, was leading popular club bands recording sessions for Studio One as a teenager. He became the label's Musical Director and was a founding member of The Skatalites, along with Tommy McCook (who shares a date of birth today).
Very much influenced by soul music (such as Booker T & the MG's), he not only held down key roles in The Soul Vendors, Sound Dimension and The Soul Brothers, but he also made some funky records under his own name. He worked on tons of sessions for all the great ska and rocksteady singers on the island.
He headed to Toronto by 1970 and continued a reggae/soul career there, as well as in Jamaica. While in Canada, he also became a well-known easy listening artist. He left the planet much too young (due to the Big C, at 42) but not without a massive legacy as one of the foundations of Jamaican music.
With Alton Ellis on vocal:
With the Soul Vendors:
Here's a really funky one:
This one was a sizable international hit for him: