Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jimmy Cliff launched his career in Jamaica around the time ska was evolving into reggae, and his music still contains elements of ska, calypso, pop, and R&B. But Cliff, through his association with Chris Blackwell's Island label, was the first to introduce reggae to many audiences outside Jamaica, including Britain, Brazil, Africa, and the U.S., initially via his early hits and compositions, then thanks to the landmark reggae film The Harder They Come. Cliff not only starred in the 1972 film, he also dominated the excellent soundtrack with songs that remain indelible classics: "You Can Get It If You Really Want," "Sitting in Limbo," "Many Rivers to Cross," along with the title track. Cliff's subsequent career never reached the heights of Bob Marley's, but over the years he's remained a solid and often inspirational artist, and recent tours have earned rave reviews, including this spring at Coachella and his performance with Bruce Springsteen at SXSW. A new album has been pending for several years. But last year he issued an EP, Sacred Fire, which sported covers of the Clash's "Guns of Brixton" and Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall."
Sat., June 16, 7:30 p.m., 2012