Sierra Nevada World Music Festival - 2004

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2004 Performers


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SNWMF '04
PERFORMERS

MARCIA GRIFFITHS
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Photo by Diane'Livonn' Adams

I shall sing as long as I live, As long as I live, I shall sing!- Marcia Griffiths

Kingston, JA. born and bred Linneth Marcia (pronounced Mar-cee-ah) Griffiths O.D., started her reggae education as a young teenager at Jamaica's "Motown", Coxsone Dodd's prolific Studio One. Marcia's love of music was encouraged by her father, Joseph, a singer and cabinetmaker and her mother, Beatrice, who also raised three other children. She was born into a home full of love, faith, music and humility which are, Marcia says, the roots of her personal and professional success.

Marcia is indeed an enduring diva of roots reggae and rock steady music. Her pride, ambition and drive has enabled Marcia to thrive and survive the often grueling music business. Her work which spans four decades, and as many styles, began with her earliest work at Studio One where Dodd coupled her with nearly every male singer there for a hit song. Her first hit, 1968's Feel Like Jumping has become a reggae standard covered by many artists over the years.

After graduating from Studio One's "reggae university", she collaborated with the prolific songwriter/singer Bob Andy as Bob & Marcia which produced: Young Gifted and Black, Truly, Melody Life, Tell Me Now, Mark My Word among others. Her first solo album, 1972's Sweet Bitter Love was produced by Lloyd Charmers. In the summer of '74, while performing at New Kingston's House of Chan, Marcia invited her friends Sister Rita Marley and Sister Judy Mowatt up on stage to sing back-up. The I-Threes were born that evening, going on to sing back up for Bob Marley and the Wailers until 1980, occasionally missing a few tours due to pregnancy. Marcia thinks often and fondly of that time as a family affair, realizing and counting her blessings of working together with Bob and the I-Threes as she was living it day to day.

During her work with Bob Marley, Marcia's concurrent solo career produced the roots classics LP's Naturally, Steppin', the singles, Dreamland, and the superb Peaceful Woman she made with Sonia Pottinger in the late 1970's for her High Note label. One hit, Electric Boogie penned by Bunny Wailer, crested the disco wave of the early 80's. A versatile performer, Marcia went on to work with almost every dancehall artist during the mid-80's into the 1990's.

More recently, Marcia's efforts include Carousel(produced by Jerks for Island), Marcia(VP), Indomitable, and Land of Love (Penthouse) produced by Donovan Germaine. Marcia has over a dozen LP's to her credit, scores of singles, and has vocal credits on a wide range of other artist's releases.

An integral part of the music process for Marcia has always been the message. Her hard-hitting duet with Beres Hammond, Should I Sing(Harmony House) asks us to listen to the critical messages of their songs, and to not just dance around in false bliss. Marcia and Beres are also asking us if they should sing another love song until they know they can depend on us to receive the messages of the Most High about our own livity, challenging us to really stand in love, peace and justice with one another.

Marcia Griffiths abundant life's work is entirely devoted to the messages of the music she writes and sings, so let us listen carefully to the important words of this exceptionally gifted Queen of Reggae.

Adaria Armstrong

Marcia Griffiths Links:

SNWMF '04

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