Jahmark & the Soulshakers
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Jahmark & the Soulshakers

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Band World Reggae




"Love Power CD Review (by Teacher and Mr. T)"

Jahmark's top hit album "Love Power" is a 13-track Cd, filled with uptempo and powerful reggae. It's best described as a high energy blend of traditional roots reggae and dancehall flash. The music has a fine authentic Jamaican feel, although it was recorded in the US. The album opens with a cover of Foreigner's world-wide hit I Want To Know What Love Is. It's one of my favorite tracks on the album and previously anthologized on the compilation 'Thumpin Reggae Jamz'. All other tunes are original selfpenned tunes. Furthermore the album includes the song 'Toy Gun', one of their most memorable live songs. The themes heard here are mostly love related, especially the healing power of love between people of the world. Most noteworthy tunes are Ganjah Song, Soul Jammin' and Love I'm Feeling.
- Reggae Album Review

"2012: BOOK OF REDEMPTION CD Review (by Tom Orr)"

Jahmark and the Soulshakers - 2012: Book of Redemption I - The Beginning / 2012 Book of Redemption II - The Rebirth ... Jahmark was Jamaican born but has done most of his music making in the U.S., in such locales as Miami (where he befriended the Marley family), New York City and, since the early '90s, Los Angeles. His latest work, the two-volume 2012: Book of Redemption, is a kind of historical/cultural lesson set to the riddims of reggae music and imparted from a Rasta-centric perspective. And to clarify that perspective from the outset, the first disc kicks off with "Rootsman Time," a joyous skanker that sets the tone for what's to come. In between songs pinpointing particular key times in history when human foibles changed things for better or worse ("Khemet 4500 B.C.E.," "Conversion 350 C.E.," "Columbus 1492," "Space Shuttle 1999") come tunes addressing concerns that have never been far from the minds of anyone who considers themselves civilized ("Stop the War," "International Revolution," "Unity"). It's an ambitious couple CD's worth of reggae and it would come across as overly pedantic if Jahmark hadn't done his homework. Thankfully he did, and the result is true roots and culture music to be savored sonically, absorbed lyrically and enjoyed fully. The backing accompanying Jahmark's reasonings of past and present is crisp modern roots lovingly laid down by players from the CA and JA scenes, with bassist and co-producer Mike Irwin anchoring the proceedings in terms of both groove and finished product. (Mixing and mastering by the ever-dependable Fabian Cooke doesn't hurt either.) I suppose you could call these concept albums, but better they should be labeled as simply great reggae, assuming you like reggae that gives your mind plenty to wrap around while your feet and waistline are in perpetual motion. Recommended. - Tom Orr / Jammin’ Reggae Archives - Banana Boat Records - Jammin' Reggae Archives


A few weeks ago I discovered that my good brethren, Tony Byrd, had his normal every day life interrupted by the news that he had stage 4 lymphoma cancer. Certainly not good news to receive by any means, but we also know that at least this is one form of cancer that is treatable and beatable. I know this because my own brother had a battle with this very same beast a few years ago and vanquished him by the will of the Most High and sent him right back from where he came…

For those of you who do not know, Tony is one of Jamaica’s premier keyboard players (currently residing in Los Angeles), and even though his name did not appear on the liner notes it was he who played keyboards on Bob Marley and; the Wailers “No Woman No Cry” which was released on the 1974 “Natty Dread” album. He also did some outstanding keyboard work on our very own Jahmark and the Soulshakers 2004 “Life” album, which besides the title cut also featured songs such as “Let Your Love Flow”, “Who Tek Mi Kali”, and “Rainbow Paradise”.

Anyone who has had a friend or family member who is battling or has battled cancer knows that cancer treatment is not cheap. With all the various drugs involved, not to mention chemo, radiation, and rehabilitation therapy (as a result of the sudden onset of the disease Tony has lost all feeling in his legs and will have to go through a number of rehabilitation sessions in order to regain the muscle memory in his legs)… bottomline, we need your support!

For all those who know Tony Byrd, and for all those who know Jahmark & the Soulshakers, and even if you don’t know us and would like to support a good cause … please visit us at the Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach, CA. on Sunday, July 29th @ 4PM … there’ll be a humongous tip jar on stage waiting to be filled with your generous donations, and of course the band will be there as always to throw down some positive soulshakin’ vibrations’, come join the Reggae Lions and help us to defeat the Cancer Dragon … Peace In!!! - Los Angeles Times Pressmen / Ed Padgett

"Reggae Central 90.7 FM KPFK presents Jahmark & the Soulshakers"

Los Angeles reggae radio personality, Chuck Foster, welcomes Jahmark of Jahmark & the Soulshakers as his guest this coming Sunday, Nov. 25th, on his radio program "Reggae Central" 2-4pm. Jahmark appears from 2:30-2:55pm and will be speaking about his recently released double album, "2012: BOOK OF REDEMPTION". Of course Chuck will be spinning some of the killer tracks from off the album so be sure to tune in to this Soulshakin' event! - Los Angeles Times Pressmens / Ed Padgett

"Reggae meets Techno as Jahmark crosses cultural and musical barriers"

For Immediate Release: Los Angeles, California (January 30, 2012)

GIMME THAT SOUL by Kris Novy featuring Jahmark was released November 21, 2011 in Poland by Universal Music Polska / Magic Records as a collaboration. It debuted at #12 on Polish DJ charts and rose to #9, holding that position for three consecutive weeks. The upbeat, song has become a dance floor anthem. Getting a lot of radio airplay on Polish airwaves and being requested heavily at regional House / Techo parties.

Jahmark and the Soulshakers are a very popular Los Angeles based, traditional roots reggae band. Jahmark is the driving force behind the group, as he is band leader, guitar player and lead singer. With more than seven full length reggae albums under his belt, he became interested in exploring and being creative with other genres of music.

World renowned techno/house producer, Alexander Perls of Track One Recording has been working with Jahmark for a few years. They actually met through myspace, where Mr. Perls stumbled upon some of Jahmark’s original songs and was impressed with the texture and tone of Jahmark’s voice. He invited the Jamaican native to record in his Hollywood studio. They worked on five songs together and Mr. Perls sent the songs to European record labels. Universal Music Poland was instantly interested in Gimme that Soul for their up and coming Techno recording artist, Kris Novy.

Kris and Jahmark have never actually met face to face. They shared music files over the internet until they came up with something that the artists and Mr. Perl’s were pleased with. Jahmark points out: “This is the same way the Gorrillaz got their start, being that their band members lived in different parts of the world they shared music files over the web until they got themselves a collection of cohesive songs. There is something very spontaneous and magical about that type of process which seems to appeal to the high-tech masses of today.”

The song, Gimme That Soul, was put out on 60-song compilation CD, Europa Plus, Super Collection Winter Dance Volume 2. The song is available on itunes and other digital retailers.

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If you would like more information about Jahmark, or to schedule an interview, please contact Paraiso Music: 310-809-5810 - missmarjel@yahoo.com

- Los Angeles Times Pressmen / Ed Padgett

"Jahmark and the Soulshakers shake CSUN's Reggae soul at Noontime Concert (by David Sands - Staff Writer)"

Jahmark & the Soulshakers brought a roots reggae performance to the USU Wednesday that rallied a large crowd into harmony and musical fulfillment. The musically and ethnically diverse reggae band played longer than the usual one hour set allowed by noontime concert officials.

Common themes in reggae music were intertwined with a classically-jazzy upbeat style of roots reggae elements and sounds.

Jahmark & the Soulshakers took control of their set with flowing melodies and energetic vocal deliveries. The Soulshakers produced a wide range of musical sounds in prideful reggae unity and harmony. Gary "Bassy" Stevenson's bass lines grooved conspicuously into the funky beats and rhythms supplied by drummer Jamey "Zebbie" Dekofsky and Jahmark. Soulshakers and CSUN music students Eric "Ras" Rasmussen (sax), and Glen Marhevka (trumpet) kept notes safely away from the wind and in perfect tune with the band. The seven- piece reggae ensemble never missed a beat.

Jahmark introduced his band and quickly broke into their first song "Fire Burning." They quickly orchestrated into the environmentally inspired, "Save the Earth." Jahmark chanted lyrics of praise to mother Earth and Selassie (Jamaican God). "We have to wake up and save the earth," Jahmark said.

Sly rhetoric introduced-the next song called "Ganjah" and many people in the crowd responded with cheers. "This next one is for all the herb smokers out there - ganjah! ganjah! ganjah! - we know you not be studying 24 hours a day," bellowed Jahmark.

Some students danced freely in the center of the court swaying to the harmonies emanating from the stage. If Jahmark & the Soulshakers had been playing in a festive atmosphere, party favors included, anyone would have trouble bulldozing themselves up to the stage.

The set came to a close with words of praise for the release of Nelson Mandela. It was just after 1 p.m. and several students braved tardiness to classes and stayed around for the final songs.

The musical blend of a soul shaking tambourine, rhythm guitar, lead guitars, bass guitar, drums, congas and trumpet with spiritual vocals left some members of the audience in celestial bliss.

"Everyone on this earth came from the one same God," Jahmark said. "We are all brothers and sisters regardless of color."

Jahmark said his music is inspired by God and life. He wants to convey, through his music, ideas of global harmony and passive resistance.

"You have to realize what your mission is on this earth," he said. "It is not to rob and steal and that is part of what our music is trying to say"

Jahmark organized his Soulshakers in 1987 in Tokyo, Japan where they reigned over the reggae music scene. They received national acclaim in Japan after winning the best band award, best bassist and vocalist on IKA 10, Tokyo's equivalent to Star Search.

Since then, Jahmark has worked on a series of musical projects, while taking time to settle down in Los Angeles. He is currently performing and writing songs for two bands, which include The Soulshakers and local reggae breakthrough Urban Dread.

"I don't want millions of people to follow me like the pied piper," said Jahmark. "You can't change anybody, you need to purify and change yourself--more in line of what your Father (God) wants in you. I know there is a creator who is near and dear to me." Jahmark has released three CDs. The last release titled "Stop the War," was recorded with the new Soulshakers.
- Daily Sundial

"Column as You See 'Em (by Chuck Foster)"

Banana Boat Records has released Love Power, the debut U.S. release of Jahmark & the Soulskakers. Among the 12 cuts on the album (nine written by Jahmark Dan) is a Reggaefied remake of the popular Foreigner classic, "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Jahmark, a singer/songwriter and accomplished painter from Kingston, Jamaica, formed Jahmark & the Soulshakers in 1987 while residing in Japan. Now based in Southern California, the hard-working 10- member band prides itself on playing top-quality, original music drawing from a wide range of styles, including Roots, Dancehall, Ska, R&B, Rock Steady, Mento, and Soca.

They have performed alongside Third World, Pato Banton, Jimmy Cliff, Sly & Robbie, the Tamlins, Wailing Souls, Lucky Duke, Burning Spear, and many others, at such annual summer events as Oxnard Reggae Jam on the Coast and the San Diego Street Scene.
- Reggae & Global Music Report

"Jahmark & The Soulshakers - Love Power for the Children of the Rainbow (by Eric Kohler)"

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Mark DaCosta, aka Jahmark, is an accomplished singer, songwriter, musician, and painter. With one full-length album and contributions to four compilations already to his credit, Jahmark and his band, The Soulshakers, have released their U.S. debut album, Love Power. Jahmark and I visited one evening at his home in Woodland Hills, CA. Our discussion was informative, a truly spiritual reasoning session.

One of Jahmark's musical influences while growing up was Bob Marley. He feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to not only see brother Bob perform, but to talk with him on occasion. After moving with his family from Jamaica to Florida during the mid-'70s, Jahmark met Bob's sister, Pearl Livingston, who introduced him to the Marley family. In fact, he was at the Marley's Miami home the day Bob came back from that ill-fated the to New York. To this day, he keeps in contact with Pearl.

As far as how Jahmark began in reggae music: "My contact was listening and dancing to the music I heard coming from the sound systems. Whether you realize it or not, you become musical... it comes into your soul. I really started playing music when I came to America in the mid-'70s, when Jamaica was going through political changes." Being the first time off the island for Jahmark, he was "not wise to the world, and felt dazed and bedazzled at times." Naturally, it took a couple years to adjust. It was during this time that he "started to lick the chalice a lot more and was really getting into the Rastafarian doctrine and philosophy." This was also when Jahmark began painting and songwriting. "A lot of my bredrens started calling me 'Jahmark.' They could see that I was touched.. .that Mark belonged to Jah."

His two earliest songs written were "Misconception" and "Ganja Song," while his first live performance was at Liberty City Cultural Center in 1980. As do most singers and musicians during their early years, Jahmark performed in a handful of bands - Sun Ray, Rockstone (backing the Mighty Diamonds, The Meditations, Josey Wales, and Brigadier Jerry), and Redemption Posse (backing Leroy Sibbles, Pablo Moses, and Tiger - the latter at Jamaica's Sunsplash). On the evening when Redemption Posse backed Sibbles at SOB'S in New York, Jahmark met a promoter from Japan who offered to take the band to Japan.

Japan really impressed him. "The atmosphere was so much more relaxed in Japan. I painted a lot more." Jahmark says of the Japanese and their culture, "It restored my faith in humanity knowing that not all people around the globe get caught up in the con. We are all born as innocent beings. Corruption is learned as you go along." After he departed from Redemption Posse, he formed Jahmark & The Soulshakers which was comprised of Japanese musicians. Between 1989-91, they recorded three albums - compilations Unity and Jus' Passin' Thru, and their debut album Viva Mandela. "The musicians were very eager to learn. In a short period of time we were doing quite well, until that incident occurred." After residing in Japan for nearly four years, Jahmark was faced with some "herb runnings" and spent three months at Nagoya Detention Center. Although unfortunate at the time, he believes, "On a deeper level, it happened for a reason."

In late 1990, when he came to California, it was "start over business" for him. In a matter of weeks after watching Urban Dread perform, he joined forces with this California band. Itchin' to play music and now able to pay bills, Jahmark feels, "It was a blessing from the most high for us to link-up." "After noticing that they had their own idea of how reggae should sound and being accustomed to having female back-up singers, I decided to get the Soulshakers happening again." He still plays with Urban Dread on occasion.

Their first performance was in 1992 at The Palomino opening for The Itals. Not wanting to play the nightclub scene, this well-rehearsed ten-piece hand set their sites on festivals. Among the festivals/venues to the Soulshakers' credit are Reggae Jam On The Coast, San Diego Street Scene, Hemet's Reggae Fest, Ventura Theatre, and Beach Fest & Chili Cook-Off, performing alongside such artists as Jimmy Cliff, Third World, Pato Banton, Burning Spear, Wailing Souls, The Wailers, Eek A Mouse, and Lucky Dube. "I didn't want to be pegged as a 'local' band, even though we're in California. But to someone in Japan, we're international."

In 1995, Jahmark contributed tracks for the gospel compilation, Reggae Worship, and reggae-tied Foreigner's "I Want To Know What Love Is" for Thump'n Reggae Jamz. Last year, Jahmark hooked up with bredren Carl McGregor (bassist for Bamiki Bandula) who assisted him with the recording of Love Power. This U.S. debut album, released in early-'97 on Jahmark and friend Francisco Stitt's Banana Boat label, features twelve well-written songs that will "shake people's souls through hi-energy roots reggae." Whether because of the lead tr - Reggae Nucleus Magazine

"Los Angeles Reggae Vibes (by Chuck Foster)"

"... several of America's best-kept reggae secrets, Jahmark & the Soulshakers and L.A.'s Sapadilla and Kindread, contribute one song each (to the Thump'n Reggae Jamz compilation CD).

I had the pleasure of seeing Jahmark & the Soulshakers at Oxnard's Reggae Jam on the Coast this year and their live performance is not to be missed..."
- The Beat Magazine

"Jahmark & The Soulshakers, Love Power on Banana-Boat Records label (by Eric Kohler)"

Positive vibrations from start to finish! Love Power is the debut U.S. release from Jamaican-born singer, songwriter, and painter Ras Jahmark Dan and his band of ten years, The Soulshakers. This album features a dozen explosive songs with themes ranging from love to the youth to the holy herb.

Standout cuts include their irie rendition of Foreigner's "I Want To Know What Love Is" "Toy Gun," "Love Power," "Thinking of You," and the acoustic "Thank You Lord." In addition to the musicians in The Soul Shakers, Jahmark is joined here by the likes of Boom Shaka's Lesterfari, Rebel Soul's Edgar Montas, and Bamiki Bandula's Carl & Delhart McGregor. This is just another reminder of how blessed we are to have such talents right here in our backyard. - Reggae Nucleus Magazine

"Shakin' Souls at the Ramona Reggae Fest"

"...With a backdrop of Mount San Jacinto, Jahmark Dan of Jahmark & The Soulshakers gives a vibrant performance in front of a dancing crowd at the Ramona Bowl during Reggae Fest..." - Hemet News

"Life! CD Review (by Chuck Foster)"

International Reggae artist Jahmark & the Soulshakers come forward with LIFE! (Banana Boat / Roughsounds.) On this disc, Jahmark offers a cycle of love songs including "Red Ginger", "Sweet Alicia", and "Sheryl & Me" to augment the cultural focus that's always been a part of his music. The disc was recorded at Roughsounds Studio in Redondo Beach, CA and co-produced with Roughsounds' Mike Irwin utilizing the musical talents of Tony Byrd, Cedric Bravo and others. Standout tracks include "Who Tek Mi Kali" and the stirring title track "Life!"
- The Beat Magazine

"Redemption Posse comes to 'Mash It'"

Born out of the need to give vent to the feelings end frustration which emit from a ghetto experience, Redemption Posse discovered a similarity in purpose and became a group in 1983. The single beauty which underlines each song they compose is the concerted cry for unity.

The group will leave Miami to carry across Jamaica their Festival top ten entry True Believer. This song was written by Immanuel "Drummy" Walsh, a past Alpha boy.

Other members of the three man group are Ras "Jahmark" Dan and Patrick "Big Dread" Ross. As a group of artistes they all sing and play at least three instruments. They are also talented song writers.

Individuals in the group have played for artistes like lan Hunter, Pablo Moss, Leroy Sibbles, Josie Wales, Brigidaier Jerry, the Meditations and Jacob Miller's Inner Circle.

So for Festival '86 Jamaicans will see a Posse, Redemption Posse who may come to 'Mash Down' the area with their song.
- The Star (Jamaica)

"Know The Festival Songs"

REDEMPTION POSSE (Emanuel and Jahmark) sing "True Believer." They were lively on stage jumping up and down in their presentation. They received prize for best performer, $3000 from Sonic Sounds.
- The Star (Jamaica)


Still working on that hot first release.



are an unstoppable force of nature. The group's leader, Jahmark, is a gifted singer/songwriter, dynamic performer and entertainer. He was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and the authenticity of his craft definitely shines through.

His musical talents began to emerge around the legendary Marley family when he was introduced to Bob through his sister, Pearl. At the time of Bob's passing Jahmark made a vow to the almighty to not let this classic form of roots reggae music fade away.

From that time on he has shared stages with the likes of The Wailers, Third World, Jimmy Cliff, Pato Banton, Eek-A-Mouse, Lucky Dube, Julian Marley, Black Eyed Peas, and more. He has performed on the annual Jamaica Festival Music competition, Reggae Sunsplash, San Diego Street Scene, Japan Song of Lion concert, etc.

Jahmark's reggae / house music crossover collaboration with Polish artist Kris Novy, GIMME THAT SOUL, debuted at the #12 position and climbed up to #9 on Poland's Top 50 DJ Trend Charts where it remained for three weeks as a reflection of the artist's versatility. It was written by Jahmark and producer Alexander Perls, and released by Universal Poland / Magic Records.

CDs include LOVE POWER, LIFE, the double album 2012: BOOK OF REDEMPTION I (The Beginning) and 2012: BOOK OF REDEMPTION II (The Rebirth). The title was inspired by Bob Marleys Redemption Song, and it is a vibrant collection of roots rocking message music. Their current album, Happiness, is being distributed through the Tunecore platform to Spotify, Amazon, Shazam, and iTunes, etc., and is receiving rave reviews.

Movie soundtrack credits include two of their grooving up-tempo songs, "Ocean Blue", in the film WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S II, and "Rock You Baby" (a.k.a. "I Wanna Rock U Baby"), in MIAMI RHAPSODY.

Jahmark is accompanied by his sizzling Soulshakers band, and together this 9-piece musical ensemble proudly carry the roots reggae music torch forward without any apology. The line-up includes Casey Jones on drums, Tafar Watkis on bass, Mark Tyson on lead guitar, Granville Cayetano on keyboards, David Gorospe on keyboards, Cedric Bravo on sax, and the Phillips sisters, Atara and Ashley a.k.a. The Angelics, on back-up vocals.

The time of revelation is at hand and here comes one of Jamaica's native sons and his well chosen Soulshakers at their very best...classic roots reggae music live and direct, conscious heartfelt and relevant lyrics, inspirational and percussively percolating beats, grooving basslines, a true revival of the golden age of reggae right here in this new time, and this new feeling, and this new sign ... Jah live!

Band Members