The group was formed in 1980 by duo Alfred and Loretta Caston, along with father and son team, Jessie and Regionald Veal (former bassist for Wynton Marsalis' group). Today, the group consists of Alfred Caston, Albert Mickel and Jan Randolph.
New Orleans' own, JOYFUL!, has been delivering their own brand of gospel and soul to enthusiastic audiences all over the world for more than three (3) decades. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, they were privileged to visit some 1000 different cities in more than ten European countries, fifty festivals and a multitude of clubs.
At home in New Orleans, JOYFUL! started out perfroming at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, one of the world's largest music festivals. It was there, in fact, that they got their first European gig as the festival is a hot spot for promoters the world over.
JOYFUL! has authored 7 independent label recordings; several European labels as well as on their own Rampart Street Music label. Their biggest chart songs, to-date, were two classic re-makes. If I Had A Hammer” and “People Get Ready.” Since that time, the group has charted other tunes like “Makin’ It Thru A Storm” and “Don’t Leave Me.”. Their latest release, “Caught In The Middle” is selling well in Europe.
In the early nineties, JOYFUL! became a favorite on the Hollywood scene as they often performed at R&B Live, one of California’s most prestigious clubs for the stars and worked with the likes of STACY LATISAW, EARTH, WIND & FIRE, and DOUG E. FRESH, just to name a few. They have played great club venues from New York City to Athens Greece, famous Cathedrals and theatres in Italy, Spain, Poland and Switzerland as well as small churches and venues in the tiny towns of the Czech Republic, Sicily and Sardegna.
The group features a four vocal set-up with a four-piece rhythm section. Soul is the main ingredient for this world traveled seven-piece band, which is delivered in huge proportions.
JOYFUL, USA is the original group for the Jamalar Agency, who began 'Takin' New Orleans To The Rest Of The World' back in the 1980's. This great soulful, R&B-styled group not only sings great, groovy gospel music, they also perform original music, as well as a number of urban styled R&B numbers that are spiritual in nature; a combination so explosive the audiences always clamor for more. Their arrangements of traditional gospel favorites are so fresh they reach audiences of all ages. They go on tour every year to Italy, Spain, Germany and France with occasional visits to Greece, Poland and the Canary Islands.
Joyful having fun on tour with the Roman soldiers.
The Old Rugged Cross
featuring Albert Mickel on lead vocal
Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus
Arranged by Big Mike / E. Gullage
"Oftentimes there is much ado about the old and the new, which is better? We like to think that there is virtue and redeeming value in both. We think that we have found common ground. Big Mike thought that it would be interesting to apply a hip hop groove to one of the most basic Negro Spirituals. Here the past, in some ways, could meet the present."
What's Going On
Arranged by E. Gullage/A. Caston
JOYFUL's spin on an old classic.
In addition to being one of the world's greatest gospel groups, JOYFUL will often record secular music 'with-a-message' or that is spiritual in nature. This Marvin Gaye classic question is a relevant now as it was back in the day. We're still in a ball of confusion. War, hunger, global warming and demonstrations continue to be the headlines of today's news.
Caught In The Middle
We dedicate this project to the memory of "Big Mike" Robinson. We never realized the treasure we had in him, nor did we realize that he would never see this project to fruition. We join a long list of gospel professionals (Kirk Franklin, Shirley Ceasar, Paul Morton, Mighty Clouds and a host of others) that still want to say thanks.
"Let My People Go"
In an age where evolution seems to be the recurring trend, we're beginning to see the masses around the world struggle to become free. Whether it's child slavery in Haiti, or oppression of the people in Libya, Egypt, or Iran, although we say there exists a concise, clear and defined common goal, "The need to be free".
For the last 20 years, we have had the unique opportunity to traverse the world, spreading "The Gospel" of love. We've always noticed that as each tour ends, we find that the band is eager and excited to get back to America. Although we always say that we miss our food, our family, culture and friends, I think the most influential intangible is the unique freedom in America we often take for granted.
This project is our tribute to millions around the world still caught up in the struggle to attain one of the most valued commodities known to mankind.......freedom! We can attest that true peace can only be attained through a real and personal encounter with The Almighty.