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Summer Concert Features Reggae Legend

Summer Concert Features Reggae Legend

Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff is coming to New Zealand for one show only at New Plymouth’s TSB Bowl on Saturday March 18.

WOMAD presents the ‘Summer Session’ featuring the Jamaican music icon Jimmy Cliff, and Brazilian troubadour Chico Cesar, both direct from WOMAD in Australia plus New Zealand’s own reggae combo Cornerstone Roots and indie folk group Lucid 3.

WOMAD New Zealand director Roger King says Cliff is headlining WOMADelaide and the opportunity to bring him for his first visit to New Zealand was “too good to pass up.

“Jimmy Cliff really is one of the last living legends of reggae music and will be performing with his 12-piece band. Together with Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff created today’s modern reggae music.

“And we’re thrilled to be able to add Chico Cesar to the line-up. Chico is an incredible musician and composer who has grown up in a place where storytelling is done through music.”

Jimmy Cliff is best known for tracks including ‘Wonderful World, Beautiful People’, ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want It’, ‘The Harder They Come’ and the classic reggae anthem ‘Many Rivers To Cross’ which has been covered by Linda Ronstadt, Elvis Costello, Joe Cocker and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Jimmy Cliff also starred in the 1970s cult classic The Harder They Come and has also co-starred with Robin Williams and Peter O’Toole in Club Paradise and with Stephen Segal in Marked for Death.

His cover of Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now was featured in the movie Cool Runnings. He also performed with Elton John on the Lion King soundtrack.

With more than 22 albums and decades of performing, Jimmy Cliff still wows capacity audiences around the world.

“I want to stimulate and motivate people to appreciate life – it’s my calling,” Cliff says. “My way of serving is through music, so that’s what I have to do.”

Joining Jimmy Cliff at the ‘Summer Session’ is the multi-talented Brazilian composer and performer Chico Cesar.

Hailing from Brazil’s staunchly traditional north-eastern region, Chico Cesar was immersed in the tradition of troubadours from childhood – stories were told through song and Cesar’s first musical influence came through the ever-blaring music of his neighbour’s radio.

He has since written more than 300 songs, which are regularly covered by Brazilian music “royalty” including Daniela Mercury, Elba Ramalho and Maria Bethania.

He released his first album in 1995 and struck gold with a follow up album which featured the international hit Mama Africa and Brazil’s popular television soap O Rei do Gado features a theme tune written by Cesar.

Jimmy Cliff and Chico Cesar are supported by two New Zealand acts – Cornerstone Roots, an eight-piece reggae combo with a skanking rhythm section, and Lucid 3 who won over audiences at WOMAD New Zealand 2005 with their magical musical tapestry.

A special family ticket is available. “We’d love to see people come along with their families and a picnic and enjoy a summer evening of great music at the Bowl,” Roger says.

Tickets for the ‘Summer Session’ featuring Jimmy Cliff, Chico Cesar, Cornerstone Roots and Lucid 3 are on sale from December 2 at a special pre-Christmas price of $55 (adult) and family tickets for $165 (2 adults plus 2 children 12 years and under), plus booking fees.

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