Reggae veterans Morgan Heritage stopped by the Paste Studio on Tuesday to perform a few songs from their 13th studio album, Avrakedabra, which came out in May, as well as from their Grammy Award-winning 2015 album, Strictly Roots. The Jamaica-based trio, which formed in 1994 in Brooklyn and primarily comprises the offspring of Jamaican reggae artist Denroy Morgan of The Black Eagles, also paid homage to Jimmy Cliff with a rousing rendition of Cliff’s classic “Reggae Night.”
Morgan Heritage has been exporting reggae to the far corners of the globe for over two decades. Originally made up of five Morgans—vocalist Peter “Peetah” Morgan, keyboardist Una Morgan, keyboardist Roy “Gramps” Morgan, guitarist Nakhamyah “Lukes” Morgan and percussionist Memmalatel “Mr. Mojo” Morgan—the group is now down to three: Peetah, Mr. Mojo and Gramps. On Avrakedabra, the Morgans are joined by another set of reggae siblings, Stephen and Ziggy Marley.
Between songs at Paste, the band discussed the significance of their 2016 Grammy for Best Reggae Album, how the years of travel have influenced their music, and the distinctive energy that reggae brings to any party. “Receiving a Grammy is any artist’s dream,” said Peetah Morgan. “Not to say you make music for awards—you make music because you love it, and you want to please your fans. But when you receive an accolade like that in life, in your career, it’s a big thing. We’re honored. We’re flattered. It was a great moment from us in our career.”
The band also emphasized the vital role their travels played in the creation of Avrakedabra, which came out May 19.
“It was literally recorded globally, so the world is in this album” Morgan said. “Different cultures, different people, different feelings that we captured while being where we were in the world, it’s in this record.”
Check out Morgan Heritage’s full Paste Studio session, which also included performances of “Wanna Be Loved” off of Strictly Roots and “Selah,” from Avrakedabra.