– Jamaica’s Third World Headlines Coexistence Festival In New Jersey
The Statute of Liberty in the New York harbor is a symbol of America’s embrace of peoples of diverse origins, backgrounds, races, and beliefs. In recent times, various acts of ignorance and intolerance have raised questions
about the long held belief that America is truly a melting pot. As the world becomes a smaller interconnected space, respect for diversity and recognition of the need for peaceful coexistence becomes more pronounced. While the world plays catch up, the Caribbean continues to shine as a beacon of diversity and coexistence which had its
genesis in the encounter between Europeans and Caribbean natives and was enriched with the arrivals of Africans, Asians and others centuries ago.
The power that Caribbean culture has to build bridges and mend fences will be on show at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 18, when Jamaica’s legendary reggae ambassadors Third World appear at the Coexistence Festival at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey . With a trajectory that includes winning of numerous awards and playing in some of the hottest venues world wide, Third World will use this appearance to demonstrate that it is still Committed to Try(ing) Jah Love with a Sense of Purpose.
Diversity promotes the notion that differences of ideas, ethnicities, languages, and lifestyles can be exploited to enhance the quality of human relations in contemporary societies. When diversity is understood, respected and is deeply rooted in a nation’s psyche it allows for the unleashing of the human potential that in turn engenders coexistence. Coexistence of course must be predicated on the belief that as people move across space and time and societies merge and transform, space has to be created for individuals to feel a sense of belonging and to lead productive lives without fear of rejection or ostracism.
In taking its rightful place under the sun, the Caribbean is unique because it is evidence of what emerges when peoples from various societies of the world converge in one spot, and over time find ways to engage each other positively. In a real sense, the Caribbean offers important lessons for our diverse world.
First, its acknowledgement of the fact that while the legacy of slavery and indentureship cast a long shadow, it is a shadow which have not been allowed to divide, but rather to serve as a rich plank to create a mélange of understanding.
Second, the Caribbean understands that in forging an identity, a fundamental respect for the self and the other is necessary for peoples of different ethnicities, races, and beliefs to coexist in one space. Third, and most importantly, that our diversity strengthens rather than weaken us because it gives us the competence of world citizens who are not stifled by myopic or jingoistic rhetoric. Thus the citizen of the Caribbean is an enlightened being who is a shining example of the need for diversity and coexistence in today’s world.
Caribbean cultural forms and expressions in music, the arts, dance and religion play an important role in ‘globalization’ of leisure, recreation and consciousness raising in diverse places. This, of course, is in addition to the role particularly of Caribbean ‘message music’ as a tool to fight oppression worldwide. Artists such as Jewish reggae star Matisyahu, South Africa’s Lucky Dube, Carlinhos Brown Samba-reggae beats and Nora’s ground breaking Japanese salsa group Orquesta de la Luz are testaments to the power of Caribbean culture to permeate the consciousness of peoples in distant lands, and in doing so engender a level of understanding and acceptance of the other, that is often absent in monolithic spaces.
The Coexistence festival which aims to promote peace and understanding through dialogue
and interaction is an important undertaking and is appropriately being held at Rutgers
University in New Jersey, which ironically was in the news earlier this year as it grappled
with issues of bigotry and intolerance against its students. The festival which is now in its sixth year with the festival’s centerpiece as Exhibition Coexistence, is a large billboard-sized outdoor art exhibit curated by the Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem and has already been seen by people in over 20 cities around the world. The exhibit honors the universal message of diversity and acceptance through murals created by artists world wide
Tickets are on sale now from $30.00 – $75.00 Visit www.StateTheatreNJ.org or call 1-732-246-SHOW(7469) to purchase tickets. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and show starts at 8:00 p.m. For more information about the Coexistence Festival visit www.coexistencefestival.org
Legendary Reggae Ambassadors and the Caribbean’s foremost multi-culturalists, Third World, will be performing at Coexistence Festival, Friday, May 18th at the State Theatre, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The award winning, world-renowned band hits the stage in New Jersey as part of a celebration of culture and diversity in a three-week festival of art and music. With an impressive resume of now classic and roots reggae cultural hits and appearances at some of the hottest venues world wide, the inimitable Third World will use this appearance to showcase the power that Caribbean culture has to build bridges, mend fences and passing on reggae’s message of Peace, Freedom, Love and Unity.
Caribbean cultural forms and reggae music in particular has consistently played an important role in raising consciousness, fighting injustice and promoting peace across the world stage. Not coincidentally, the Caribbean continues to shine as a beacon of diversity and coexistence with its celebrations of people from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The relevance and force of Reggae’s “message music” is evidenced by its continued selection as the music of choice by artists from distant lands who seek to engender understanding and acceptance.
The Coexistence Festival tackles the hot button issue of coexistence and diversity by promoting peace and understanding through dialogue and interaction using the vehicles of music and the arts. It is an event that celebrates and promotes appreciation for ethnicity and diversity within our community. With the festival’s centerpiece as Exhibition Coexistence, a large billboard-sized outdoor art exhibit curated by the Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, the exhibit honors the universal message of diversity and acceptance through murals created by artists from around the world.
Thirty-four years ago, Third World begun a journey of spreading positive and progressive “vibes” to an international community with hits such as “Reggae Ambassadors”, “96 Degrees In The Shade”, “Forbidden Love”, “Committed”, and “Try Jah Love,” written by Stevie Wonder. They have been recipients of several awards, including the UN Peace Medal, the Jamaican Music Industry Award for best reggae band (in 1992 and 1996), as well as seven Grammy nominations.
Tickets are on sale now from $75.00 – $30.00. Visit www.StateTheatreNJ.org or call 1-732-246-SHOW (7469) to purchase tickets. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and show starts at 8:00 p.m. For more information about the Coexistence Festival visit www.coexistencefestival.org