Heather Augustyn releases Operation Jump Up: Jamaica’s Campaign For a National Sound

Operation Jump Up: Jamaica’s Campaign for a National Sound by Heather Augustyn has been published by Half Pint Press and released on November 1st. The book is the story of how ska came to America in 1964 and the events surrounding the comprehensive effort. It is a look at the period surrounding Jamaica’s independence on August 6, 1962, when ska music played in yards, dancehalls, and in recording studios while this new nation celebrated. The Jamaican government, tourist and business industry, and newly developing music industry made it their mission to debut this music through events they termed Operation Jump Up. This book is a detailed narrative of that effort and how, for a brief time, ska rivaled the Beatles and the Twist.

Operation Jump Up: Jamaica’s Campaign for a National Sound is the sixth book from Augustyn on Jamaican music and culture. The book features dozens of interviews with musicians, businessmen, and government officials involved in the efforts including the Honorable Edward Seaga who served as Jamaica’s prime minister from 1980 to 1989 and was charged with leading his country’s efforts to promote music and culture in the early 1960s. Other exclusive interviews include Island Records Founder Chris Blackwell; Minister of Information, Youth, Sports & Culture, the Hon. Olivia Grange; vocalist Mille Small of “My Boy Lollipop” fame; Federal Records Engineer Graeme Goodall; band manager and advertising executive Ronnie Nasralla; and musicians Bob Andy, Keith Lyn, Carlos Malcolm, Roy Panton, Lynn Taitt, and others. The book also includes exclusive photographs and memorabilia that supplements personal narratives and archival material.

Augustyn is also author of the acclaimed Alpha Boys’ School: Cradle of Jamaican Music with co-author Adam Reeves, Half Pint Press 2017; Songbirds: Pioneering Women in Jamaican Music, Half Pint Press 2016; Don Drummond: The Genius and Tragedy of the World’s Greatest Trombonist, McFarland 2013; Ska: An Oral History, McFarland 2010; and Ska: The Rhythm of Liberation, Scarecrow Press 2013.

She is continuing lecturer in the Department of English at Purdue Northwest and she has been invited to speak on Jamaican music at Rototom Sunsplash in Benicassim, Spain; the Institute of Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica, and throughout the United States. She lives with her husband and two boys in Chesterton, Indiana. Operation Jump Up: Jamaica’s Campaign for a National Sound is available at skabook.com and amazon.com.

About Heather Augustyn

Heather Augustyn is a journalist and writing teacher living in Chesterton, Ind., one hour outside of Chicago. She author of Ska: An Oral History, McFarland, 2010, with a foreword by Cedella Marley which was nominated for the ARSC Award for Excellence, Don Drummond: The Genius and Tragedy of the World’s Greatest Trombonist, McFarland, 2013, with a foreword by Delfeayo Marsalis, and Ska: The Rhythm of Liberation, Scarecrow Press, 2013.

Feature articles on Augustyn’s work have appeared in the Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica Observer, and The Onion’s A/V Club among dozens of others. She has been co-host of Radio M on WBEZ-FM, Chicago’s NPR station with Tony Sarabia, spoke on NPR’s Sound Opinions and was interviewed for radio shows in Indiana and Minneapolis. She is a great fan of ska, rocksteady, and reggae music and has been invited to lecture at the International Reggae Conference in Kingston, Jamaica where she spoke on women in ska and music of Jamaican independence. She is currently serving as an assistant director for a documentary, Man in the Street, based on the life of Don Drummond from Gusto Films in Melbourne.

Augustyn has been a correspondent for The Times of Northwest Indiana, the state’s second largest newspaper, since December 2004. She is contributing editor for Shore Magazine and is managing editor of the quarterly Duneland Today Magazine. Her work has appeared in such national publications as The Village VoiceThe Humanist Magazine, World Watch Magazine, E! The Environmental Magazine, and she was the last journalist to interview the late novelist Kurt Vonnegut. The story appeared in In These Times Magazine and was published in the book Kurt Vonnegut: The Last Interview and Other Conversations, Melville House, 2011.

Augustyn is also a professional photographer and her work has appeared in numerous magazines and books. She received her M.A. in writing from DePaul University and a B.A in English and philosophy from Bradley University. She currently directs a Montessori school’s writing program in Northwest Indiana where she and her husband Ron have two boys, Sid and Frank. Source: https://www.amazon.com/Heather-Augustyn/e/B00420FZ4K

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