Home Arts-Entertainment Things to do THIRD WORLD IS HERE AND SHOWS WILL GO ON



Yes, reggae lovers, the Third World shows will go on!
The band flew into St. Thomas at 10 o'clock this morning after being stranded overnight in San Juan because American Airlines had no flights into St. Thomas Friday, and tonight's concerts at the Reichhold Center for the Arts are on as scheduled, at 7 and 10 p.m.
For both shows, tickets are $25 for all seats in the house, reserved. Tickets remain available for both shows, but the only place to get them at this point is the Reichhold box office. Charge card purchases may be made by calling 693-1559.
Third World, Jamaica's most enduring reggae band, has developed and sustained a reputation for producing and performing music that holds firm to the artists' cultural roots while continually pushing the edge of contemporary sounds and rhythms with themes that are positive, progressive and internationally relevant.
Third World's broad appeal is a response to its unique sound, which in turn is a credit to the band members' vast array of musical influences, styles, talents and interests.
Purists may regard the group as having sold out to the establishment, but much of the rest of the contemporary music-loving world has embraced Third World — and learned a lot about the roots and outreaches of reggae in the process. Credited with being the first reggae band to use a synthesizer, the group was also instrumental in popularizing dub poetry, which in turn became the basis for dancehall music. The band's enduring popularity validates its genius in fusing the musical traditions of the Caribbean, Africa and the contemporary African-American experience — rhythm 'n' blues, pop and funk.
It was in 1973 that a teenage guitarist, cellist and vocalist named Stephen "Cat" Coore left the security of Jamaica's popular Inner Circle Band to link up with a musician from another band, Colin Leslie, and form Third World. They were soon joined by Michael "Ibo" Cooper on keyboards and vocals, Richie Daley on bass, Carl Barovier on drums, Irvin "Carrot" Jarrett on percussion and Milton "Prilly" Hamilton on lead vocals. Unlike most reggae groups of the time, theirs was made up mainly of formally trained musicians, and the difference came through loud and clear in their music.
Cooper stayed with the band until 1997. Coore remains its leader today, playing guitar, cello and harmonica and singing, and Daley is still playing bass. The remainder of the group now consists of William "Rugs" Clark on lead vocals; Rupert "Gypsy" Bent on keyboards, guitar, kete drum and vocals; Tony "Ruption" Williams on drums; and Leroy "Baarbe" Romans on keyboards, flute and vocals. Mikel Wallace, who last March was invited to replace keyboard player Romans, was killed in a shooting incident in July.
In 1974, the band opened for the Jackson Five at the Jamaican National Stadium, impressing the audience of more than 30,000 with its versatility and professionalism. The group was soon off to England, where Island Records impresario Chris Blackwell, offered not only a recording deal but a job opening for Bob Marley and The Wailers on their European tour. From then on, Third World needed no introduction.
Their debut album, "Third World," in 1976, featured the hypnotic "Satta Amasa Gana." It was followed a year later by "96 Degrees in the Shade," which received rave reviews in Europe for "Jah Glory," Bunny Wailer's "Dreamland" and the title track "1865 (96 Degrees in the Shade)." The 1978 release, "Journey to Addis," produced two hit singles, "Now That We've Found Love" and "Cool Meditation."
Marley's death led to a collaboration between Third World and Stevie Wonder, including a joint appearance at Jamaica's Reggae Sunsplash. The band's hit single "Try Jah Love," produced with Wonder, became the group's anthem, assuring them a place in archives of modern music as promoters of love and spirituality.
The list of hit Third World albums since then includes "The Story's Been Told," "Prisoner in the Street," ""Arise in Harmony," "Live It Up," "You've Got the Power" and this year's "Generation Coming."
Moving into the new millennium, Third World remains at the forefront of the reggae- crossover movement, incorporating elements of classical, rhythm 'n' blues, soul, hip-hop and other music forms.


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