BENICASSIM, Spain – Though she has been travelling the world for nearly 50 years, Marcia Griffiths still gets her share of surprises. At Rototom Sunsplash’s Reggae University in Benicassim, Spain on August 18, she was overwhelmed by two fans.
Griffiths was part of a panel discussion about reggae’s history when fans from North Korea and Russia spoke of their appreciation for her music.
Moved by their pronouncements, Griffiths rose from her seat and embraced them.
“The guy from North Korea said he had to meet her. He left his country years ago because of all the oppression and told her that reggae music was what helped keep him alive when he was there,” said Copeland Forbes, Griffiths’ tour manager.
The event was also attended by members of Ethiopia’s Royal family, including Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie I.
Rototom Sunsplash was one of the stops on Griffiths’ tour promoting her latest album, Timeless, released in July by Tad’s International Record.
She also performed at festivals in Austria, Belgium and the United Kingdom. She did club dates in the UK with Super Cat and a solo gig in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
On August 31, Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, her colleague in famed harmony group The I Three, will perform at the inaugural Westchester Reggae Festival, which takes place at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York.
The I Three, which also included Rita Marley, recorded and toured with Bob Marley from 1974 to 1980 when he was diagnosed with cancer. He died in May, 1981 at age 36.