Members: Joseph Israel and the Jerusalem Band
As a youth Joseph Israel found substantial comfort in the music of Bob Marley & other reggae greats. Joseph spent his teenage years studying the Bible & reasoning with many rasta elders on his many trips to Jamica. Learning guitar from and living with Earl China Smith, Joseph was blessed with a great understanding with truth and rights music. Communicating through his songs the hope and the message of the scriptures, Josephs music is an uplifting experience. He returned to Jamaica to produce what many are calling a Master Piece album. The production took place in Kingston at Jamaica's top studios. These studios included Tuff Gong (Bob Marleys studio), Big Yard (Shaggys studio), Buss Out Studios (Chris Meredith's studio), and Bobby Digitals studio. Once again Joseph was recording with Jamaica's .. 1 musicians which included Chris Meredith on Bass, Earl Chinna Smith (Melchezidic the High Priest) on lead guitar, Dean Fraiser on sax, Ian Beezy Coleman on rhythm guitar, Wilburn Squidley Cole on drums, Paul Scooby Smith on keys, Bubbler, and Paul Wrong Move Crossdale on piano. Also included in this line up are, the harmony vocals of Erica Newell and Rochelle Bradshaw. This culmination of musicians, are comprised of Ziggy Marley and Lucianos bands. They have united together to form the Jerusalem Band for this new CD entitled Gone are the Days. The music and lyrics of this CD reflect Israel's deep-rooted knowledge of the Bible.
As the CD was being built, excitement could be felt all around. A high point for Joseph was working with Luciano on the hit single Ruff Times. This single exploded onto the scene receiving enormous airplay in Jamaica, America, and Europe. In August of 2004, Luciano invited Joseph to join the U.S. tour promoting his new album Serious Times.
After the tour Israel returned to Jamaica to further promote the Ruff Times single and his soon to be released album. The official single launch was held December 9th at Hope Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica. It was well attended by the press (both journalist and radio djs) and a roaring audience.
Word is spreading of this Israelite youth from the U.S. whose music and prophetic message are an inspiration to all. Israel has received many different offers to perform at shows and festivals all over Jamaica. Joseph has performed all over the Island but his biggest appearance was when he joined the stage with Luciano who headlined Rebel Salute (the biggest roots and culture show in Jamaica).
In the summer of 2005, Joseph Israel joined again with Jah Messenjah Productions and the world-famous Luciano for the Jah Words Tour. The tour spanned from coast to coast and touched many reggae hot spots like Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, House of Blues San Diego, and B.B. Kings Blues Club in New York. In 2006 he performed his new song 'Away with This', he co-wrote with Matisyahu joining them on stage at various shows on there spring "Youth" tour.
Erica Newell has recorded and toured with Ziggy Marely and the Melody Makers since 1985. She is a major force in the group providing sweet and powerful background vocals. Erica has worked with the legendary I-Three (Bob Marleys background vocal trio), which includes Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley, and Marcia Griffiths. Erica has also worked with Reggaes prince, Dennis Brown, Damian Marley, and Mikey General. She has performed live with the internationally acclaimed group, U2 and has done studio work with the Fugees and The Black Crows. Erica is coming out with her debut album this year, and will be promoting and performing her hit single 'Inspire Me'.
Christopher Pow Meredith is one of the most prominent Bass players in reggae music. His legacy of international acclaim was built by touring with reggae greats like Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Israel Vibration, Jimmy Cliff and many more. In recent years he has worked extensively with several time Grammy winner Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, and also Lauryn Hill. In Jamaica, Chris is greatly respected as a hard working producer for his production company, Buss Out Studios.
Michael Walker coming out of Little Rock, Arkansas this singer hits you straight for your soul. Raised from a long line of gospel singers & muscians, he carries that southern gospel influence. He is currently touring with Joseph Israel & is a member of Little Rocks ..1 Gospel Group, The Gospel Sons.
Matt Smith Matt Smith is a phenominal fusion rock guitarist with backwoods grit. Adding something new to Joseph Israel music everynight. Son of Gus Smith well accomplished jazz guitarist. A member of the Jersualem Band, Matts also one of the founders of Flip Off Pirates, Arkansas's ..1 Fusion Rock Band.
His specialty is spontaneous improvisational touch.
Ozoune He lives true to his name, which means chief musician. At the age of fourteen, he had a spiritual revelation that his purpose on this earth was to spread goodness onto all of mankind through music. Ozounes mystical grasp and understanding of music enables him to play the keyboard as if it was an inborn quality. He has a reputation in Jamaica of being a music teacher who will polish a student from brass to gold. His capabilities as a studio musician are matched by no other.
Marlon "Cat" Davis Started playing drums when he was three years old, born into a rich heritage of gospel tradition. Marlon is a natural. It wasn't long before he was the drummer in his family's church. Not wanting to be bound only to the drums and having a good ear for key, he taught himself to play the bass. Along with Michael Walker, felton golden they formed the Gospel Sons. They have won peoples hearts for their wonderfal harmonies and groove. In 2001 Marlon became a member of the Lions of Israel Band and has been working with Joseph Israel ever since.
Alrick Thompson He is the engineer of the group, the reason why the band sounds so sweet up front. Son of famous reggae percusionist Sticky Thompson Alrick grew up in the studio and at live shows. Working with Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, Alrick learned to craft his skills quickly. As an engineer Alrick has toured with Ziggy Marley, Damian Marley, Sean Paul, Joseph Israel & many more.