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The Israelites

Jamaican Ska
Los Angeles, California, USA

Rich Carlstedt was also formerly in C.R.O.S.S. and Dead to Sin.

“In the winter of 1989, The Israelites emerged from the city of La Cresenta, California as a “modern sounding ska band.” However, as years passed and the line-up changed, The Israelites experienced a musical revolution. They began mimicing the authentic sounds of early jamaican ska, and fused Dancehall, Rocksteady, Skinhead Reggae and Reggae into their sound as well. By working hard, keeping faith in God and giving him all the glory, The Israelites have earned a reputation as one of the top authentic ska and reggae bands around - both to christian, and secular audiences alike.

The Israelites play Authentic Jamaican Ska which was first created in 1956. They have written many instrumentals and their lyrics have a positive spiritual message. Many of the original jamaican artists attended Christian churches and sang gospel songs. Though the band does have gospel overtones in their lyrics they do not wish to force “religion” on their listeners. For twenty years now “The Israelites” have established themselves for the first 19 years mainly playing in Los Angeles and Orange County (Ca) venues such as; The Whiskey, The Roxy, Show Case Theater, Hong Kong Cafe', The Knitting Factory, Chain Reaction, The El Rey, The Glasshouse, The Loft and numerous other clubs. The Israelites have toured the country playing many venues and have played in parts of Mexico as well. The Israelites have also been support acts for performers such as: The Skatalites, Lord Tanamo, Derrrick Morgan, Justin Hinds, Hepcat, Bad Manners, General Public (English Beat) and many more.

In the Christian Industry “The Israelites” have performed such events as; Cornerstone Festival (Bushnell, ill), Tom Festival (Skamania, Wa), Life Fest (Oshkosh, Wi), Somebody Loves You Crusade, Miles Mcphearson Crusade, literally hundreds of churches and camps for Calvary Chapel and Victory Outreach. They have been support acts for bands such as: P.O.D, Mc Hammer, The Kry, Christafari, Plankeye and others. The Israelites are known around the world as the founders of Christian Ska and Rocksteady.

In June of 2007 The Israelites founder Rich Carlstedt relocated to Oregon. By 2009 the band played their first show with a whole new lineup. They opened for The English Beat at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland. The flood gates opened after that when they performed several shows throughout Oregon including The Victoria Ska Festival in Canada. The Israelites have no intentions of stopping. In the words of founder Rich Carlstedt “I've been in several bands throughout my life. When I was called by God to do this band I knew it was the last band I would ever be in and he will let me know when it's done”. The Israelites have no plans of stopping.”


“In the summer of 1989 I was at The Roxy in Hollywood California watching the band Fishbone perform. As I looked around me a sudden feeling of emptiness came over me. God spoke to me and told me, “Look at these people, This is all they have, I want you to give them something deeper”. I thought to myself that it would be impossible to start the first Christian Ska band but as the days went on it was all I could think about. The origianal Jamaican artists were raised in Christian churches and most of their tunes were spiritually based so I wanted to continue that tradition. I had been in many bands by that time and I was tired of starting new ones so I decided that this would be the last band I ever started. I had to come up with a name that would reach Christians as well as everyone else who loved this music. The first song that came to my mind was, “The Israelites” by Desmond Dekker. It was a spirtiual tune that was famous worldwide and of course it made refrence to Gods chosen people who crossed the desert to find the promise land. Little did I know however that my long journey was about to begin. With the help of my friend Dave Hawkins we enlisted some friends from church and had our first practice on Holloween night of that year ironicly.

Within a few months the members from our church did'nt work out and we found people from the scene that were interested and by the summer of 1990 we had our first show which was a backyard party in fontana with a band called, “The Specs”. Our first real show was at Clairmont college with Hepcat. We did many shows for Steady beat promotions over the next few years. In that year we recorded our first 4 song demo, “Friend”. In 1993 we began recording our first album, “Wash Away” due to finances it was not released however till 3 years later.

By 1995 a huge “Third Wave” revival exploded across the country. Christian “Ska” bands started popping up all over due to the success of a band called, “The Supertones”. Up until this time our sound was more like the english bands of that time such as; Skaos, The Busters and the Potato 5. This new “Third wave” sound was a fusion of punk. With the comeback of the original Ska band from Jamaica called, “The Skatalites” and local band “Hepcat” a traditional revival was born. Bands now had decide what style they were going to play. We choose the real deal, Jamaican Ska. We however got mixed in playing many shows with the Christian third wave bands. Though I did not consider the third wave bands to be Ska I supported their spiritual message.

From 1996 to 2000 we were so busy and bringing in so much income between the band and my record label “Kingston Beat” that I had to quit my job and go full time managing the band as well. In those years we accomplished many things. We went on several nationwide tours. Played everywhere from clubs in Hollywood like the Whiskey and the Roxy to huge festivals and crusades performing to audiences of up to several thousand.”



1993 Friend Kingston Beat
1993 Roots ‎(single) Kingston Beat
1994 Roots ‎(7“) Kingston Beat
1995 Washaway Kingston Beat
1997 Israelite Train Kingston Beat
1998 Montego Bay (The Jamaican Persuasion) Kingston Beat
2000 Roots Jump Up! Records
2006 Jamaican Celebration Jump Up! Records
2009 The Holy of Holies Vol. 1 Shantytown Records
2011 Anthology, Vol. I (1990-2000) Moonstomp Enterprises
2012 Freedom Train ‎(7”) Moonstomp Enterprises
2012 The 7“ Sessions, Vol. I Moonstomp Enterprises
2013 Anthology Vol II (2000-2010) Moonstomp Enterprises
2014 Jamaican Revelations, Vol. I (live) Moonstomp Enterprises


1993 Kingston Beat (KB001)

  1. Intro (3:05)
  2. Rejoice (3:26)
  3. When I'm With You (3:41)
  4. Friend (3:22)


1993 Kingston Beat (KB002)

Carlstedt “Papa Ska” Rich - Drums, rhythm guitar, keys, lead vocals
Ortiz “Tiny” Omar - Bass
Anthony Robert - Keys, percussion
Jason Garcia - Drums, percussion
Alan - Vox organ
Wally - Leads, gits
Sherwin - Lead vocals
Ruth - Background vocals
J. Lite - Tenor saxes

  1. Roots
  2. Always There


1994 Kingston Beat (KB003)

  1. Roots
  2. Shanty Town


1995 Kingston Beat ‎(KB1001)

  1. Washaway (3:49)
  2. The Return (4:24)
  3. Jay Jah (4:35)
  4. Temptation (6:23)
  5. The Walls (4:09)
  6. Shanty Town Version 1 (5:27)
  7. Kingston Sound (3:46)
  8. Roots (4:55)
  9. Shanty Town Version 2 (5:24)
  10. Millinium Age (4:59)

Israelite Train

1997 Kingston Beat ‎(KB005)

Peter Trusty – Lead vocals, percussion
Richard Carlstedt – Guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals, percussion
Jackieblu Carlstedt – Keyboards, organs, backing vocals
Jennifer Villarreal – Drums, percussion, backing vocals
Ginger Reyes – Bass
Allen Trammell – Tenor sax, suprano sax
Justin Bernadino – Alto sax, keyboards
Gabriel Sundy – Trombone, baritone sax, chicken cluck

  1. Israelite Train
  2. By Your Side
  3. Jah Jah
  4. The Ressurrection
  5. Over The River

Montego Bay (The Jamaican Persuasion)

1998 Kingston Beat (KB1004)

  1. 12 Tribes
  2. Ransom
  3. Wise Man
  4. Aggro
  5. Bovver Boys
  6. I Don't Know Why
  7. I Believe
  8. Camron
  9. Let My People Go
  10. Swingin' With the King
  11. 40th Psalm
  12. Struggle
  13. King of Kings
  14. Stigma
  15. That Love
  16. Last Days
  17. Redemption


2000 Jump Up! Records ‎(JUMP041)

  1. Roots (4:59)
  2. Aslan (5:21)
  3. Chelsea (3:10)
  4. Fire (3:43)
  5. Great Tribulation (4:40)
  6. Reburial (3:22)
  7. Trust in the Lord (3:46)
  8. Chatty (3:49)
  9. I Know a Place (2:45)
  10. Genesis (3:34)
  11. Wonderful Day (3:58)
  12. Hollbrook (3:37)
  13. Promise Land (4:37)
  14. Justified (3:07)
  15. Angels (6:08)