I started listening to reggae music on my local college radio station when I was in high school without really knowing what it was.
For me, it was exotic, a place I wanted to find out about, welcoming but it felt out of reach, particularly since college radio DJ’s have a way of playing amazing music but not ever telling you much about it.
It wasn’t until years later who the musician was. When I did, it opened the door to a whole new world of music.
When I first started DJ’ing at KCRW, I used to spend hours late at night combing the reggae section of the music library finding the artists I had heard so long ago. I didn’t know their names, only their music — which I had on cassettes I’d recorded off my transistor radio.
This is all a round about way of saying that Jimmy Cliff was key in my discoveries way back in high school and then when I came to KCRW.
A couple of years ago he performed live on Morning Becomes Eclectic and when he played “Many Rivers To Cross”, it felt like a small circle completing.
Jimmy Cliff actually loved his live performance at KCRW so much that he released it as a live record.
He’s energy is electric onstage and I can’t wait to see him at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday night.
– Anne Litt
Editor’s Note: Rounding out the bill is platinum-selling, Grammy award-wining reggae artist Shaggy (his latest album is a collaboration with reggae royalty – Sly & Robbie!) and Jamaican singer Don Carlos and The Dub Vision Band. Find tickets here