New Orleans’ own JOYFUL (USA )has been delivering their own brand of soulful Gospel music to enthusiastic audiences all over the world for more than 3 decades. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, they’ve been privileged to visit more than 1000 different cities, ten European Countries, fifty festivals and a multitude of clubs. The group was formed in 1980 by duo Alfred and Loretta Caston, along with father and son team, Jessie and Reginald Veal (former bassist for Wynton Marsalis’ group). Today, the group is fronted by Alfred Caston, Albert Mickel, Jan Randolph, Chandra Grayson and Angela Dunn.
JOYFUL started performing at the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It was there, in fact, that they got their first European gig. In the past, this festival has been a hot spot for promoters the world over. Logging more than 50 international shows a year, JOYFUL, is New Orleans’ most travelled gospel group. JOYFUL has authored 7 independent label recordings; several European labels as well as on the hometown Rampart Street Music label. Their biggest chart songs, to-date are two classic re-makes; If I Had A Hammer” and “People Get Ready.” Current releases, “9th Ward Revival” and “Caught in the Middle” have definitely raised the awareness of this soulful group.
In the early nineties, JOYFUL became a favorite on the Hollywood(Century City) scene at the R&B Live club, one of California’s most prestigious clubs for the stars, where they worked with the likes of STACY LATISAW, EARTH, WITH & 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, Germany and beyond.
The group features a four vocal set-up with a four-piece rhythm section. Soul is the main ingredient for this world traveled sevenmember band, which is delivered in huge proportions. Switzerland as well as small churches and venues in the tiny towns of the Czech Republic, Sicily and Sardegna. Albert Mickel, Alfred Caston, Jan Randolph, Chandra Grayson , Ronnie Dents and Charles Butler are Joyful.