Since 1973, Third World has consistently thrilled fans with their smashing hits and inspirational messages. Dubbed the reggae ambassadors, the Grammy nominated group took New York City by storm on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 when they premiered their 23rd album, Patriots, at Highline Ballroom. The band thought it fitting to premiere their album in the Big Apple citing “we have not performed in New York City since 2007 and the decision to have this great City play host to what we wanted – a premiere event – was just a no brainer. New York is a melting pot of cultures and we wanted to celebrate with the diverse populace.”
The announcement to host the album premiere in New York had the Tri-state area buzzing about their anticipated performance. And in typical Third World style, prior to the big event, they took over the airwaves, had an in-store signing at VP Record Retail in Queens, a live in-studio performance at Sirius XM Radio (which was historical since it was the first time ever that a reggae band has performed live on-air at Sirius) in Manhattan and a workshop at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn.
On April 5th, the slightly windy and chilly weather did not hinder fans from making their way to the venue and were lined-up as early as 5:15 pm to witness the group’s performance and purchase copies of their latest installment. The event, sponsored by VP Records, Linkup Media, Caribbean Fever WBLS 107.5FM, JAMPACT, UWIAA New York Chapter and Middle Passage Commission Corp and Unchained Forever Inc., was hosted by Pat McKay of Sirius XM Radio and Dahved Levy of Caribbean Fever WBLS 107.5 FM. At 7:45pm, the hosts opened the show by welcoming everyone. Prior to bringing the band on stage, JAMPACT’s Tassie Scarlett, UWIAA-NY’s President Gerald White-Davis and Unchained Forever Inc.’s Mortie Butler honored the group with plaques for their achievements. Cat Coore, Richard Daley and William Clark accepted the awards on behalf of the group. Richard Daley remarked, “Wow! We have been nominated for a Grammy Award ten times but have never won. For us, this is like winning a Grammy. To be recognized for our hard work is indeed an honor and we are truly thankful.” Cat Coore dedicated his UWIAA Award to Tony “Ruption” Williams – the band’s drummer.
After the presentations, it was Showtime! The stage lights, camera flash and screams ushered the band on stage. Third World opened their set with “Spirit Lives” a song that was written as a tribute to the people of Haiti. They followed-up with hit singles “Sense of Purpose,” “Forbidden Love,” “Committed,” “Reggae Ambassador,” “96 Degrees,” “Now That We’ve Found Love,” and “Try Jah Love.” From the new album, they performed singles “Spirit Lives,” “Cello,” “Revolutionary People,” “Front Door” (a cover version of the late Gregory Isaacs hit) and “By My Side” with Tessanne Chin. Fans danced and sang along with the group. In their quest to support the talents of up and coming musicians, Cat Coore introduced Donahue Jarrett, who performed “All I’ve Got To Give.” Thereafter, Bunny Rugs introduced Tessanne Chin who, in addition to performing “By My Side” with Bunny Rugs, sang her breakout hit, “Hideway.” Both performances were well received.
As the band entered part three of their high-energy set, Third World team members gathered backstage with a surprise for Cat Coore, whose birthday was the following day – Wednesday, April 6th. Given the queue by Bunny Rugs, the team members brought a cake that read “Blessed Earth Strong The Original “Roy” Cat” on stage. The audience cheered as Cat posed for pictures and expressed his gratitude. Two hours had passed and with a huge catalogue of hits, the group could have easily performed for another two hours. But the group closed out their set by thanking everyone for their support and for coming out to the show. The night ended with the band signing posters and CDs and taking photos with their fans.
On Wednesday, April 6th, fans visited the Third World’s Facebook fan page and posted comments about the show, while others sent emails. Some of the feedback received included:
Tom Rickmers, a fan who won tickets through Sirius XM Radio remarked, “Wow, what a great time I had. It was such a wonderful experience to be present and breathe the same air with such an inspirational group of artists. I truly had a pleasant lifetime memory. They were all so down to earth and genuine.”
Dr. Gerald White-Davis, President of the UWIAA New York Chapter remarked, “Congratulations on a splendid event. It was truly vintage reggae, uniquely Third World style. Thirty eight years of providing the Caribbean and the world with consistently high quality music makes Third World unquestionably the “Ambassadors of Reggae.” The UWIAA-NY was pleased to be a part of the celebration and to be able to present the “Ambassadors of Education Through Music” award to the band members.”
Roland Hyde Photography: “Oh What A Night! Congratulations to Third World and their entire staff for a magnificent production and performance that can easily be considered one of the best album release events in New York history.”
Kris Linden: “Brilliant! Great performance! Thank you!”
Richard Bishop: “Great show fellas!”
Missy Jensen: “Absolutely the best show you’ve ever done! Love the new tunes from Patriots. Wish you were in New York more often.”