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[mass noun] A style of Jamaican folk music based on a traditional dance rhythm in duple time.
- ‘The mento that graced the first Jamaican recordings of the early 1950s mixed an indigenous folk style with elements of Trinidadian calypso.’
- ‘The venerable Jolly Boys, often tagged as the Jamaican Buena Vista Social Club, have devoted their long careers to keeping mento alive and vibrant with their bongos, banjos and kalimba.’
- ‘Passengers are usually greeted in ‘Love Boat ‘style by an old mento or calypso band and dancers.’’
- ‘Jamaica's musical past goes far beyond reggae: There's the warm rhythms of mento, the sweet sway of calypso, the jittery jump of ska.’
- ‘It reflects a moment in which Jamaican pop music was synthesising Black R&B and West Indian mento music.’
Early 20th century: of unknown origin.
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