Reggae Ambassadors Third World Bring Reggae Fusion to 19 Broadway, Fairfax’s Live Music Venue

Reggae Ambassadors Third World Brings Reggae Fusion to 19 Broadway, Fairfax’s Live Music Venue

by Elisa Forsgren

Third World has received various awards over the years including the United Nations Peace Medal for their positive lyrics in music, Keys to the Cities of Atlanta and Key West, multiple International Reggae and World Music Awards additionally, the group has been honored by the National Black Arts Festival, the Caribbean American Heritage Awards as well as being honored on many stages for their great accomplishments in the music industry.
Third World has received various awards over the years including the United Nations Peace Medal for their positive lyrics in music, Keys to the Cities of Atlanta and Key West, multiple International Reggae and World Music Awards additionally, the group has been honored by the National Black Arts Festival, the Caribbean American Heritage Awards as well as being honored on many stages for their great accomplishments in the music industry.

With an international tour that began early July, the self-proclaimed reggae ambassadors, Third World, will be performing live music reggae style next Tuesday, July 29, at 19 Broadway in Fairfax.

Since the group formed in 1973, Third World produced an impressive, prolific career with more than 20 albums released in its 40-year history in the music industry. Third World has been entertaining audiences throughout the world for 4 decades. The group is known for producing and performing music that, while holding firm to the cultural and ancestral roots of its musicians, still pushes forward the cutting edge of global world music. Their themes are positive, progressive, internationally relevant.

William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke PC Ardian Boot June 1979
William Bunny Rugs Clarke
Photo credit: Ardian Boot
June 1979

William Clarke, also known as “Bunny Rugs,” joined Third World in 1976, after working with the Jamaican band Inner Circle and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Aside from their debut album, Clark has appeared on all Third World’s records.

The group’s biggest hit happened around 1978 with their version of the O’Jays’ “Now That We Found Love.” Followed by another record hit, this time a collaborative work with Stevie Wonder, “Try Jah Love” that was released in 1982.

Celebrating 40 years, ‘Reggae Ambassadors’, Third World is one of the longest-lived Reggae bands of all time, and one of Jamaica’s most consistently popular crossover acts among international audiences. The musician lineup has changed several times over the decades, so has their musical style, although Third World has not strayed too far from the “roots reggae.” Clarke once described Third World’s identity to Billboard magazine as, “Strictly a reggae band, no. Definitely a reggae band, yes.”

Third World Reggae Ambassadors making beautiful music forty years strong.   Photo credit: Third World Band
Third World Reggae Ambassadors making beautiful music forty years strong.
Photo credit: Third World Band

An  accurate explanation of Third World’s musical style considering the band performs a mixture of pop, soul, funk rhythm and blues incorporated along with the more traditional reggae to culminate their unique sound that has been described as reggae fusion.

A completely natural occurrence for the fusion, according to guitarist Stephen “Cat” Coore, who remarked Third World’s music is, “The hybrid of various types of music is a natural thing.” Coore further explains, “By growing up in Jamaica we know the direct roots of reggae and ska [while] at the same time we live in a country where you get to hear Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and all the R&B artists.”

Third World’s bassist Richard Daley adds a visual summary, “We took roots reggae music and put branches on top of it.”

Sadly, this tour will be without William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke, the beloved lead singer for the Jamaican reggae band who died earlier this year. Clark suffered from leukemia. He was 65.

Third World released the most recent Under The Magic Sun June 2014 as a tribute to Wiliam "Bunny Rugs" Clarke who  also contributed before his death earlier this year.
Third World released the most recent Under The Magic Sun June 2014 as a tribute to Wiliam “Bunny Rugs” Clarke who also contributed before his death earlier this year.

Third World released the newest album, “Under the Magic Sun” with Cleopatra Records June 2014 features vocals from Clarke, Brown, Coore and Maurice Gregory. The album is a superb collection of studio recordings that celebrate pop/rock classics of our time with Third World’s signature reggae grooves and four part harmonies. The “Under the Magic Sun” album is livacated to “Bunny Rugs” Clarke.

The current members of Third World are two founders: Coore on guitars and cello as well as Richard Daley on bass. Tony “Ruption” Williams on drums joined in 1997. Norris “Noriega” Webb brought in on keyboards in 2007. Maurice Gregory added additional keyboard in 2010. Third World picked up A.J. Brown as a replacement when Clarke’s health continued to decline and after his death, Brown was formally announced as Clarke’s permanent replacement.

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Tickets are on sale now, online advance sale $15 and $20 at the door. This 21 and over general admission show is expected to sell out so hurry and buy your tickets now. Doors open early for happy hour,  Tuesday, July 29, 2014.

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