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Jimmy Cliff ponders peers, present and future

Jimmy Cliff refuses to stand still, literally. When the 62-year-oldreggae legend performs, he high-steps, skanks, shimmies and grooveslike a man one-third of his age, all while hitting the high notes.

Jimmy Cliff refuses to stand still, literally. When the 62-year-old reggae legend performs, he high-steps, skanks, shimmies and grooves like a man one-third of his age, all while hitting the high notes.


“It’s a part of me,” he says of his movements. “I just can’t help that.”


Cliff also carries this exuberance into his career. He just finished making a concept album called Existence that will see a fall release.


“I really don’t want to live in the past at all,” he says. “There is always something new to learn. And what makes it interesting and exciting is some of the audiences I am playing for are all across the board, from really young youths to people of my generation.”


While Cliff wants to keep on moving, he’s aware that some fans may need to be reminded of his past. And in doing so, he says he doesn’t mind singing classics from his Harder They Come era.


“What I feel is that I tuned in to one moment in time where I captured it; what a great piece of music, what a great sound, what great inspiration. That has become kind of timeless,” he says. “So I never get bored performing them.”

 
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