Funkin’ For Jamaica by Tom Browne

Funkin’ For Jamaica by Tom Browne

“Funkin’ for Jamaica” is a song by American trumpeter Tom Browne, released in 1980. The song was written by Browne, keyboardist and songwriter Toni Smith, and drummer and songwriter Marcus Miller.

“Funkin’ for Jamaica” is characterized by its infectious horn riff, catchy melody, and driving rhythm. The song is a fusion of jazz, funk, and R&B, with elements of Latin music, and features Browne’s distinctive trumpet playing.

The lyrics of the song celebrate the joy and energy of music, particularly the vibrant music scene of Jamaica, Queens, in New York City. The song’s chorus, “We’re funkin’ for Jamaica, and we’re funkin’ for Jamaica, New York,” has become a popular catchphrase and is often used to reference the song’s upbeat and danceable vibe.

“Funkin’ for Jamaica” was a commercial success, reaching number one on the US Billboard R&B chart and number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also earned Browne a Grammy Award nomination for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals.

The song has since become a classic of 1980s funk and remains a popular party and dance-floor staple. Its memorable melody and infectious groove have been sampled and covered by many other artists in a variety of musical styles, further cementing its place in the pantheon of funk and R&B classics.


Tom Browne is an American jazz trumpeter, born on October 30, 1954, in Queens, New York City. He began playing trumpet at an early age and studied at the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. After graduating, Browne attended the College of Music at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he received a degree in music education.

Browne’s career took off in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he became a leading figure in the emerging jazz-funk movement. He recorded his debut album, “Browne Sugar,” in 1979, which featured the hit single “Funkin’ for Jamaica (N.Y.),” a funky instrumental that reached the top ten on the pop and R&B charts.

Browne went on to record several more albums throughout the 1980s, including “Love Approach” (1980), “Magic” (1981), and “Rockin’ Radio” (1983). His music combined elements of jazz, funk, R&B, and pop, and featured his virtuosic trumpet playing and catchy melodies.

In addition to his solo work, Browne has collaborated with a variety of other musicians and artists over the years, including jazz pianist Earl Klugh, saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., and singer Toni Braxton.

Browne continues to perform and record music today, and his legacy as a pioneer of jazz-funk and smooth jazz remains an influence on younger generations of musicians.