The Jamalar Agency was founded in 1981 by the members of the Joyful band. It was organized out of a need to produce Joyful’s first recording(In Command on the Chekmate Label). The band was not able to find a suitable deal with a national company, so establishing their own was the next best option.
The company’s name was penned after the first initials of the founding band members(Jessie Veal, Albert Mickel, Meredith Mickel, Alvin Washington, Loretta Caston, Alfred Caston and Reginald Veal.
Since inception in the early eighties, the company has become one of the most respected agencies in the Crescent City. For more than thirty years, Jamalar has been consistently booking world-wide tours and recording regional Louisiana musicians.
To date, Jamalar features some of the best talent this region has to offer. The agency has spawned a thriving record label(Rampart Street Music) and studio, all domiciled in the famous 9th ward of New Orleans.
President and Senior Producer
Alfred was born in New Orleans in the 50’s when the world was just catching onto what New Orleans folks already knew, that New Orleans was a different musical planet. Because of the hard times and a single mother, he was forced to spend his adolescent years with his grandparents, in neighboring McComb, Mississippi.
Alfred was always intrigued by the roots based music of the South(particularly Louisiana and Mississippi) Traveling back and forth from Mississippi to Louisiana rendered to him a quality sampling of what he needed to foster a career in this style of music. As Alfred attended Southwest Junior College in Mississippi, he became acquainted with all the local gospel and Blues groups from the tri-state area(MS, LA and AL). While attending Southwest College, he stumbled upon the opportunity to produce his first recording. That first production was with a local group from Mississippi. Even though the band was based in MS, he insisted that the recording had to be done in New Orleans. He just felt that there was something special about that New Orleans’ sound.
To date, Alfred has produced and recorded hundreds of gospel, jazz, soul projects around the world. Artist that frequent New Orleans are certainly at the top of that list. Some include: the Late Blues Queen, Marva Wright, Joyful and The Spirit of New Orleans, Bishop Paul S Morton, Lyle Henderson, Pianist Davell Crawford, Pastor Ray T. Iglehart, Jazz bassist Reginald Veal, Eddie “lil Fats” Domino” The Children of God and the famed Friendly Travelers.
Alfred has also worked on several recorded projects for major festivals around the world. Japan TV Network, Blues House productions in Switzerland, “Bob Dillon’s America”, UK’s Adventures of Joe and Casper and the British comedy “How to kill your mother” are just a few samples of those projects. He has performed, as an artist, for the likes of Coke, Microsoft, Sara Lee Bakers, The NFL, Tupperware USA, A&E Network, Fox Network, HBO’s Garry Shandling, New Orleans Hornets Basketball, New Orleans Sports Foundation and Starbucks. Today, Alfred yet tours and produces music from the New Orleans region for clients all over.
Vice President and General Partner
Albert was fortunate enough to be born in a place called “It’s”, Mississippi. He moved to New Orleans in the early fifties and was educated in both public school systems(Mississippi and Louisiana). Right out of high school, he joined the US Military and continued his education. During his time in the Military, he took an interest in Business Management studies.
After his military stint, he came back to New Orleans to study broadcasting and Public speaking at Tulane University. Albert would later earned a Masters Degree in Christian Theology at The Union Baptist College & Seminary of New Orleans. While Albert is a general partner at The Jamalar Agency, he is also serving as Senior Pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church of Marrero, Louisiana.
Gospel music has always been his life’s love. Joyful, and the Jamalar family, have proven to be a major part of that love. He’s spent the last 35 years performing Gospel music for audiences around the world. He counts it a blessing to be able to share this message in word and song. He’s always happy to proclaim “WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD” it is!
Programming and Logistics
Jan was born into a family that has thrived on cooking up down home, soul stirring, gospel music. Her father was a strict “gospel quartet disciplinarian”. He insisted on having his kids play some kind of role in spreading gospel music. It was just the Randolph way. Every weekend found them on the way to a gospel program…somewhere!
Jan first displayed her vocal talents in the local churches as a young child. Her parents quickly noticed her special gift and afforded her every opportunity to exploit it. She performed in several family groups for years before coming with The Jamalar Agency. We believe her time performing with those family groups groomed her for the professional stage.
Jan is one of the area’s most prolific gospel singers but also possesses the skills to extricate talent from others. This has become one of her premier roles at Jamalar/RampartStreet. She has worked on a variety of commercial projects for a myriad of fortune 500 companies.
Artistic direction and Programming
Chandra is a Nebraska native and she started singing at the ripe young age of seven.
Since that time, she has never looked back. By the time she was twelve, she found herself(in the audience) enjoying her first gospel concert. Her reaction was ”I want to sing like that”. When she turned 16, she joined her first gospel group. Chandra would find more opportunities than most to parlay her vocal talents, as her father was a Baptist preacher. We can only imagine how the opportunities came her way.
Shortly after the Katrina disaster in New Orleans, Chandra decided to move to there. It wouldn’t be long before she got the chance to audition for the Joyful Band. Joyful was more than satisfied with her character and her talent. That same year she embarked on her first European tour with the band.
Chandra recently received her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and an Associate Arts degree in Addictive Behaviors Counseling and Prevention. Chandra enjoys spending time with husband and extended family. She is grateful for the opportunity to travel and minister abroad through the prism of gospel music.