Words & Pics – M. Peggy Quattro & Barbara Reuther
Third World, Marley brothers Jo Mersa and Yohan, and Big Harvest delivered the Roots Rock Reggae, while Miami’s 10-piece band The Baboons brought the hot Latin, Funk, Pop, and Caribbean groove. Between sets, DJ Gravy and DJ Tom Laroc kept the music spilling into the iconic North Beach Bandshell on Miami Beach. This music-filled Day at the Beach was sponsored by CAC, LargeUp, and Blackwell Rum.
The Bandshell is a Miami Beach treasure. It holds less than 1000 people, and offers the opportunity to be directly stage-front, witnessing the performers only a few feet in front of you. As usual, it was a peaceful, fun congregation, similar to a big family reunion. For the $20-30 ticket price, I expected the place to ram. Fortunately for those present, there was plenty of room for skanking and a pre-celebration of the 4/20 unofficial holiday.
Big Harvest, featuring Pierre and Strings formerly with South Florida’s favorite Reggae band Fourth Dimension, opened the musical fest. Their mix of Latin, Reggae, and Roots makes for a true Miami Caribbean gumbo.
Jo Mersa, son of Stephen Marley, has been active on the stage and recording from 2010. Since that time, he has become a solid performer, owning the stage, engaging the audience, and singing and DJing in his own distinct style. Joining his older brother was Yohan Marley, who sang and danced to their originals, as well as performing their father and their grandfather’s hits.
Special guests Skip Marley & Christopher Ellis (son of Alton Ellis) joined the duo for a rapid exchange of singing, rapping, deejaying, & dancing.
The Baboons were up next. It was amazing that this large band could fit on the deco-style small stage, but they did. And what a show! One female singer fronted a band filled with a wicked horn section, drums, congas, keyboards, guitars, and bass. Their awesome set included Latin, Reggae, Soca, Pop, Funk…a true Worldbeat band with a true Miami sound.
Night had fallen when Third World took the stage. From “Reggae Ambassadors” to “Try Jah Love” to “96 Degrees,” this iconic group delivered a delightful performance. From Norris giving us a rap to Ruption taking us on a hand-drum safari, the crowd was in Reggae heaven. Not even a slight rainfall dampened anyone’s spirit and the music a’played on.
Highlighting a set filled with hit songs spanning 40 years was the introduction of “YimMasGan.” This song sounds similar to “Satta Amassagana” because it is also written by the legendary Abyssinians. The guitar riffs, soul-stirring harmonies, and heart-pounding drumming mesmerized the crowd. “YimMasGan” is produced by the talented Damian Marley for Ghetto Youths International.
Third World performing new single, YimMasGan
“If we can’t be good, we’ll be careful…and do the best that we can.”
The song’s full version is below.
To close the show, Cat brought out the entire Marley clan in attendance. From “Three Little Birds” to “One Love,” the talented brothers, cousins, and friends sang, skanked, and smiled, keeping Grandfather Bob’s legacy alive as only the Marley’s can.
YimMasGan is written by the Abyssinians & produced by Damian Marley for the Ghetto Youths label.