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Hip hop, funk, & all that jazz

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Triple Three hits the GLC March 30

Who: Triple Three

Where: GLC

When: March 30

They put the "d" back in diverse.

"We are acoustic-hip hop-jazz funk-spoken word-freestyle," says Green TaRa, a.k.a. Tara Nicole Donald of Vancouver band Triple Three.

The multi-dimensional collective, whose tracks include socially conscious lyrics, make their Whistler debut this weekend.

"We want to have a good time, and also produce music that has a positive message. We look to socially conscious music," says TaRa.

Triple Three, formerly known as Flux, play hip hop, but not the heavy, dark brooding kind.

"In one song we do a few loops that use a little R&B with songs like Get It On."

Triple Three also performs covers of Hill’s Everything is Everything, as well as some Erykah Badu.

The band brings you soul, too, with an emphasis on live MC, from Ndidi Cascade.

As a collective, their musical experience is extensive.

An ethnomusicologist, TaRA likes to mix it up with the unconventional in music and sound. Previously, she performed in acid jazz groups Off the Record, and Honeyspot, and studies the digereedoo.

"We are the drivers of our fate," she says.

Her stage name originates from the tale of the different Taras in Buddhism, the Eastern philosophy linked to Gautama Buddha. There were both white and green Taras, "the most powerful and the most feared" female figures.

But she doesn’t take herself too seriously, as her conversation is punctuated with laughter.

"But your perception of the world definitely contributes to who you are," she adds.

On vocals and guitar with the band, her influences include Michael Franti and solo artist Lauryn Hill, formerly of the Fugees. TaRa has opened for George Clinton’s P-Funk All Stars, Arrested Development, and Little Richard.

The ex-Whistlerite, who lived here from 1998 to 2000, combines music and fund-raisers in the city. These include the Sisterhood Benefit, a show in aid of the east side women’s shelter.

The Triple Three lineup includes performers Emmanuel, a spoken word artist from Vancouver, and Deanna, a gospel choir vocalist who recently completed a four year acting degree at the Gastown Actors’ Studio in Vancouver.

Patrick Watson is on bass guitar. He played with the band The Bionics out of London, UK, as well as Calgary-based reggae outfit Strugglah. Shadikka plays drums, and also performs in the percussive theatre group, Scrap Arts Music. Their show was nominated for Best Live Act at the 2002 West Coast Music Awards.

Chi Wai is on vocals and keys, and was also lead vocalist with the modern Funk Quartet.

Says TaRa of the band, "We’re a revolution of the senses."

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