WHEN AND HOW DID JAH PEOPLE GET ITS START?
"In 2012, I approached Paul Baroli of Steal your Face, with the idea of starting a reggae band. So in August of that year, along with Keyboardist and vocalist, Noah Sokoloff, Drummer, Shimon Suissa, and guitarist Avi Ezra , we got together to jam. We felt the chemistry right from the very start..... We had so much fun jamming out Bob Marley songs that it just grew very quickly, in a very organic and natural way into what would be the most fun project that I'd personally ever been involved with."
"The music of Bob Marley has always been a huge influence for me. The message in his songs speak about love, peace, equality and freedom. His songs move and inspire me in a very unique way."
WAS IT DIFFICULT TO FIND OTHER PEOPLE TO GET ON BOARD?
"When I suggested to Paul, Noah and Shimon that I wanted to start a Bob Marley tribute, they all were excited about the idea from the start. Given the success that Paul has had locally with Steal Your Face, and seeing the surge of tribute bands in recent years, it was clear that people enjoy and support bands that play music that that they are familiar with. We all were big fans of Marley, so it was a no-brainer for all of us."
ARE THERE EVER ANY POWER STRUGGLES BETWEEN BAND MEMBERS?
"Jah People is unique, in that unlike most bands, there isn't a single lead singer. We alternate singing lead, so it is a constant challenge for me, as a band leader, to find a balance when I am crafting a setlist to try to make sure that everyone gets an equal amount of songs and time in the spotlight, by singing lead during a given performance. There have been times that a band member has expressed frustration that they wanted more songs to sing lead on, but for the most part, we love and respect each other and usually get along really well."
"What sets us a part from most tribute bands is that we don't try to BE who we are paying tribute to, we are all uniquely talented in our own way and we do not ever play a song the same way twice because we all love to improvise and put our own unique personal stamp on each and every performance. I am still floored by how we add our own personal ingredients to make up a combined sound that naturally comes together to sound great."
WHAT WOULD BE A DREAM VENUE FOR YOU TO PLAY?
"As a reggae band, I envision playing in some tropical and exotic place on the crystal blue water. Jamaica would be nice for obvious reasons. Realistically, a very attainable goal is to play in New York at the Brooklyn Bowl. Noah and myself have driven up there many times to see concerts and it is one of the best venues to experience a show."
DO YOU THINK THAT YOU WOULD ALL HANDLE FAME WELL?
"I think at this stage of our lives, I couldn't see fame changing much about how we operate, but I guess you don't know until you are in that position."
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY WITH JAH PEOPLE SO FAR?
"There are so many great memories thus far. We have had a lot of personnel changes within the three years that we have been together, but it has been a pleasure playing and spending time with every member that has been in the band thus far. We really enjoy each others company, so every time we are together is enjoyable. But if we were to pick one favorite memory, we would all agree that our show at Havana in New Hope was the most fun that we have had. Philadelphia rap legend, Freeway joined us on stage. I think I can speak for everyone in the band that on that night we felt like we had 'made it'."
The Current Lineup of Jah People are:
Dean Rubenstein - Guitar , vocals
Noah Sokoloff - Keyboards , vocals
Alesia Dessau - Vocals
Drew Walls - Drums
Josh Klein - Guitar, vocals
Mike Stankus - Bass guitar
Rick Tate - Saxophone
Jah People will be on the bill with The Wailers on Dec 6th at Havana in New Hope, PA.
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