Junior Marvin pays tribute to Bob Marley at the Hamilton

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Entertainment,Music,Marie Gullard

The brightly colored tour poster reads: "Tribute to Roots, Rock and Reggae King Bob Marley featuring Junior Marvin & One Love of Bob Marley & The Wailers." A lengthy title, but the words say it all -- except to add that their performance takes place at the Hamilton on Saturday night.

"This is a special year -- I'm launching my new career with my new band," Marvin said in nearly flawless English, "so I decided that I would do the first year of my launch basically thanking Bob for what he's done for me in the past years."

What Marley did for the young Jamaican who grew up in London and performed with his own rock band, Hanson, was to invite him to join his group, the Wailers. Theirs would be a working and personal relationship until Marley's death in 1981.

"My first album with Bob was 'Exodus,' which was voted Best Album of the 20th Century by Time magazine, of which I am very proud," Marvin continued. "That's where a lot of the classic songs came from."

Onstage
Junior Marvin & One Love: A Tribute to Bob Marley
» Where: The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW
» When: 7 p.m. doors, 8:30 p.m. show Saturday
» Info: $33, $38 day of; 202-787-1000; thehamiltondc.com

And many of those gems are at the core of this tribute tour, as he and his 10-piece band perform hits such as "One Love," "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Get Up, Stand Up," to name a few. Like Marley, Marvin is a prolific writer and performer and, by his own happy admission, says he learned from the best.

"He taught me that hard work and discipline is the key to success. Whatever it is you desire in life, it's all about hard work," he said. "Bob Marley was definitely a workaholic."

Marvin also noted that Marley wrote more than 100 songs a year and then he would take the best 20 for an album.

"Sometimes I'd be with him and we'd be playing really late and I'd want to go to sleep and he would say, 'Just a half-hour more,' " Marvin recalled. "And then we'd sit for three hours! But for him, it wasn't like work, it was like a mission, you know?"

Now, Marvin and his band are on their own mission -- a tribute to the one who started it all.

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