Jimmy Cliff Plans U.S., Canada Tour

Reggae great Jimmy Cliff embarks on his first extensive U.S. tour in 20 years, playing cities coast-to-coast as well as a few Canadian towns.

It’s looking like a great year for Cliff. The only living musician to hold Jamaica’s highest honor – the Order of Merit – will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame by Wyclef Jean March 15.

Photo: AP Photo/Keystone
Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland.

But you can just add that to the long list of Cliff’s accomplishments, including his starring role as a musician turning to crime in the 1972 flick “The Harder They Come.” Other acting appearances included Cliff appearing in the roll of Ernest Reed in Harold Ramis’ 1986 film “Club Paradise,” which starred Robin Williams and Peter O’Toole.

Then there’s all those Jimmy Cliff songs recorded by major artists, such as Bruce Springsteen who recorded “Trapped,” Joe Cocker’s 1982 cover of “Many Rivers To Cross,” and New Order’s version of “Vietnam” – a Cliff song Bob Dylan once called the best protest song he ever heard.

Cliff is currently wrapping up his first album of new material in six years, Existence. Writing on his Web site, Cliff said the new album is “almost finished except for some final production touches.”

Commenting about the tracks on Existence, Cliff said it took him two years to write the songs, saying, “I tried to touch all aspects of our existence, from global warming to starvation and moving to love and hope which are still alive and will always be here.”

Cliff launches his tour in Vienna, Va., at Filene Center At Wolf Trap June 11. is next on the schedule, with Cliff performing at the annual festival located near Manchester, Tenn., June 12.

July 19 brings Cliff to Toronto and a gig at Massey Hall. Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Beach is slotted for July 24 and L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl will host the reggae master July 25.

Other shows include Detroit at Chene Park Aug. 5; Council Bluffs, Iowa, at Harrah’s Casino Aug. 8; Calgary at Jack Singer Concert Hall Aug. 10 and Edmonton at Winspear Centre Aug. 11.

Photo: AP Photo
Cape Town, South Africa.

So far, the last stop is Del Mar, Calif., at the Del Mar Racetrack Aug. 14, but expect more dates including major festival appearances to be announced soon. For more information, click here for Jimmy Cliff’s Web site.