by Howard Campbell
SOUTH FLORIDA – Though Third World officially turned 45 last year, the band had not marked the milestone in South Florida where its members are based. They made up for that in fine style on July 5 at The Casino at Dania Beach.
The six-piece band’s performance was divided into three segments, complemented by performances from The Resolvers, Kaushion, Pluto Shervington and Diana King.
They also honored 12 persons who contributed to their journey, including original drummer Carl Barovier and lawyer Paul Bestwick.
Among the attendees was former bass player Colin Leslie, who was part of Third World’s original lineup in 1973. He said the band is still “a strong brand around the globe” thanks to an impressive catalog of songs.
“What helped Third World in the beginning was that their founders Ibo Cooper (keyboards) and (guitarist) Cat Coore were classically-trained, and they brought a different level into the mix. They appreciated the old stalwarts like Earth, Wind and Fire, Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears; when you mix that with our Jamaican flavor, it gave you something that has stood the test of time,” Leslie stated.
Cooper and drummer Willie Stewart left the band in 1996, leaving Coore and bassist Richie Daley as the only members from the classic Third World cast that recorded their biggest hits back in the 1970s and 1980s.
Original vocalist Prilly Hamilton, who was at the Dania Beach gig, also performed with the band.
Third World has suffered losses in recent years. Longtime singer Bunny Rugs died in 2014, while percussionist Carrot Jarrett, a member from 1973 to the mid-1980s, passed away last year.
Singer A J Brown, drummer Tony Williams, and keyboardists Norris Webb and Maurice Gregory, complete the current lineup.