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Christafari

Christafari is the first Christian reggae band. Upon seeing the group's name and the fact that founder Mark "Tansoback" Mohr sports long dreads, one might deduce that the bandmembers promote a combination of Rastafarianism and Christianity, but the band's moniker actually comes from the Latin derivation of the Greek New Testament word "Christafaroi", meaning a group of people who represent Christ.

Christafari was founded in 1990 by born-again Christian Mark Mohr. At one time, Mohr, an aficionado of Jamaican culture and reggae music, was a Rastafarian himself -- mostly, he claims, because it sanctioned the frequent usage of marijuana. When he first began listening to reggae music, he didn't like it, but a family vacation to Jamaica changed his perspective. By the time he recommitted to Christ and gave up ganja at a church summer camp, Mohr was well-versed in roots reggae and different dancehall styles. Fluent in Jamaican patois, Mohr is known as an excellent toaster and ragamuffin.

Over the career of the band, over 60 members have appeared on-stage and in the studio. Christafari's other frequent members include lead singer Erik "Earth Man" Sundin, a son of Salvation Army missionaries who has himself been a missionary in Jamaica and Latin America and has also worked with urban kids in the U.S. Vocalist/keyboardist Marky "Rage" Sandiford hails from Barbados, where he once earned a "Male Vocalist of the Year" title; he also composes, arranges, and produces for the band. Percussionist Ken "Mr. Mention" Yarnes has been playing drums since childhood and has a music degree from Cal State Long Beach. Guitar player Bill "Painta-man" Kasper once toured with such reggae acts as Andrew Tosh and Steel Pulse. Keyboardist/vocalist Rob Ray is experienced in playing a variety of genres, while Johnny "Spragga Boom" Guerrero is the band's all-around musician and was involved in Los Angeles-area reggae. He too has played with some of Jamaican's top musicians. Finally, Vanessa Mohr, Mark's wife, performs authentic African dances during concerts and also choreographs the other bandmembers. In addition to founding the group, Mark Mohr has also studied at Biola University and started the missionary organization "Jamaica for Jesus," a group that preaches Christian doctrines on Jamaican streets and leads Bible schools. At Christafari concerts, they also assist those audience members with any religious experiences they may have during the performance. Musically, the band reflects Mohr's background in roots reggae and dancehall and are noted for their high-energy concert performances. In the reggae community, the band has not been well accepted, and matters were not helped when Mohr penned a book deriding Rastafarianism. While staying in a Cleveland hotel, dancehall artist Buju Banton showed his displeasure with the band by attacking and cutting Mohr with a knife, but Mohr, in a gesture of forgiveness, refused to press charges. Mainstream Christians have not always accepted Christafari either, primarily because they are unfamiliar with or suspicious of reggae music. But the band works hard at educating its audiences, and it seems to be working. Their 1995 album, Soul Fire, sold 80,000 copies and earned them a nomination for the Dove foundation's Urban Album of the Year. In 1996, they were selected to play in the Olympic Village during the Atlanta Summer Olympics. That year they also released Valley of Decision, which they followed three years later with Word Sound & Power. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I like hosanna by christafari
tonante27
@wALDO sLack : Yes Avion is on backing vocals for this song Hosanna..
On Hosanna, is Avion Blackman accompanying the vocals? Anyone have the LP cover?
I have been a roots fan long before I gave my life to Christ. I always have loved the easy listening. I stopped listening to reggae a long time ago because the lyrics advocated ideas that were not Christian. Until now that is. Now I have the best of both worlds. Thank you Christafari! ! !
I like this band...thank s God for Christafari
I thank God for being able to use all who he creates who chooses to be used by him. All praises to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
God is Real in Jesus Christ. Forget this world let pray for Jesus Christ to come again for us.
I don't care what you label thier style or call them, they are extremely talented. Keep on with what you do guys. Jesus be praised!!!
nwray01
Claiming to be the FIRST Christian Reggae band is completly ridiculous, especially since they were only founded in the 1990s and the found is not even Jamaican. The music is nice though. I've always like the vibe.
Much love!
These guys are awesome! I have heard them In Olathe, Colorado and they came and did a concert at my church in Farmington, NM. They are nice people and love God very much!
God B Praized! Good time for a new LP... Amen Phillip, babellira & 1mrsamuel!
charlenemcda n i e l 5
Love what you doing! GOD BLESS!
As hard a riddim as any serious dub production. Whether Christian reggae or Rastafarian reggae, we all bow to one creator.

P4peace
christian reggae is awesome!
babellira
The Way, Truth, and The Life; Big up! Much Love to da Father of Creation!
bigblue91
Nice!!!
1mrsamuel
powerful and simple message of God's love and our adoration for Him
Very good. Me and Deano Like em
yvegerano2
Awesome music! What a wonderful way to praise the Lord.
MAY THE LORD BLESS THEM IN THERE WALK IN CHRIST!
tinaroyal78
my love and true reason
stampoint6
This is a great group to listen to....
jelcworks
Nice Bio...but Mark's wife's name is Avion Blackmon-Moh r from Trinidad & Tobado.
jelcworks
I love Christafari no matter what anyone says - they speak and sing the literal Bible. Got all their music! Blessings, Miss JelC
I used to lesson to world ragge but when I heard Christafari i change to christian music its more positive in my life music has alot of influence in peoples life God Bless you
dance_like_d a n i e l
I love Christafari - especially the new singer Jennifer Howland. Can't wait for her new CD to be released. The group is awesome.
seeta_1228
my favorite two groups of music has met!! Love this...wonde r i n g how come I've never heard of them before.
pmodeste
Wow...never heard of them b4...So Sweet:)
I'm new to this genre coming from Bob Marley, Buju, Capleton, etc. This group maintains a similar tempo, while keeping the message in sync with scripture. Cool AND the whole gang......

" "For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 (off my coffee cup..)
sandramundy
NICEEEEEEEEE
fotihedge
They are sick wit it. Gotta luv dem.
adnohser
i love christafari i hope thry make more music i saw them once as a teen in alabama-sooo soothing,upl i f t i n g and praiseworthy - g o o d rep for christianity
foundation artist. Well grounded
jajirah
I have always been an ardent supporter of Christafari. I wish that they would put out more albums,they sing about Jesus, could it get any better?
I think not!
somorra
Love the message they send as well as the beat. Music is from God. We are all his people, enjoy the differencein thier music as God celebrates our differences as his people. God Bless.
truly blessed. dope christian reggae band/ they are the best ive heard
yup there amazing keep it up
active07
I just saw them live at my church calvary chapel golden springs it was awesome!! i saw the wailers last summer but this show was better (dont get me wrong the wailers were tight too) i could have been the fact that it was a much smaller show anyway if you get a chance to see them dont miss it. not only great music but even a better message, something that is hard to come by these days. God bless
jdodorico
DOES IT GET ANY BETTER? AWESOME MESSAGE, AWESOME MUSIC, A TRUE GODSEND
I really love this group because of their sound and their stand on Christ Jesus. I sure would like to see them in concert!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !

Thank you Guys
GREAT FUN! These guy's are very anointed and bring joy and praise in a fun way. I hope Pandora can add the original Word Sound and Power soon.
rangri420
I love this group and have all their CDs. I wish they would tour more in the US.
What a sweet sound these guys have. So glad Pandora could link me to 'em!
cecepooms
I have all there music and know every song. i was hesitant about there appearance at first but after listening to their music i was sold
I LOVE THIS GROUP AND HAVE SINCE THE 90'S.

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