Who is Coming to the Festival of Hope?

Christafari 

 

As trailblazers, Christafari is continually pioneering the genre of Gospel reggae in the U.S. and throughout the world. But the band is more than just musicians: they’re “musicianaries” (musical missionaries), spreading the message of hope and salvation globally to approximately 150 outreach events per year.

 

Christafari was founded in 1989 by Pastor Mark Mohr. Raised in a Christian family, Mohr strayed from his spiritual upbringing during his teens and turned to drugs and alcohol, going as far as growing and even dealing marijuana. After running away from home, living on the streets and hitting rock-bottom, he had an undeniable encounter with God that drastically transformed his world. At 17, Mark re-committed his life to Christ and took what he now calls his “Freedom Step” out of addiction.

 

At that point, his greatest desire was to help others escape the same bondage that once entangled him. He felt God leading him to start the first Gospel reggae band in America. Just two weeks later the band was birthed at a camp talent show, when a friend said, “So you’re not a Rastafarian anymore; you’re a Christafarian.” And the name stuck!

 

While their name may just sound like a play on words, in Biblical Greek it stands for a group of people who bear or represent the name of Christ. “At that time, the best advice I was given was to go to Bible College so I could be theologically and doctrinally sound,” says Mark, who attended BIOLA University with an emphasis on pastoral studies and missions. During his college years, Christafari continued to take shape as Mark wrote songs for the band’s first three albums.

In 1999, after recording two albums with Gotee Records under the tutelage of TobyMac, Mark branched out and founded his own record company, Lion of Zion Entertainment, with the goal of “reaching the world through world music,” and he later launched GospelReggae.com

 

In 2002, while ministering in the Caribbean, Mohr met Trinidadian musician Avion Blackman. The two married a year and a half later and Avion joined the band full-time on bass and vocals. Avion comes from a very large musical family. Her father Ras Shorty I invented Soca and Jamoo music and trained his children to become his own backing band. She began singing lead on stage with him at only four years old and playing bass in his band The Love Circle at 14.

 

Christafari is comprised of men and women from various continents, countries and cultures that share a love for reggae music and passion for following Jesus to the ends of the earth.

 

Christafari is no stranger to chart success. Since the release of their first “Reggae Worship” album in the early 90s, most of their CDs have held positions on both the Christian and/or Reggae Billboard charts.

 

In 2012 Christafari made history as the first Gospel artist to hit #1 on the Billboard Reggae Charts with “Reggae Worship: a Roots Revival.” Each of the band’s subsequent studio releases has also topped the Billboard Charts.

 

However, speaking about the band’s chart successes, Mohr states, “We care a lot more about

hearts than charts. Our passion is for souls, not sales, and we only do concerts as a way to make

converts and fulfill the great commission.”

Papa San – Reggae Music Artist 

 

He is without a doubt the trailblazer in Gospel Reggae, and is known as Jamaica's fastest lyrical speaking DJ. His astounding international success and a hearty signature sound has established him as a visionary in Reggae music while being anchored adamantly in Kingdom building.  With a career spanning over twenty years, Papa San has emerged to the forefront in music and in ministry as a leader and an innovator continuing to push the envelope with enthralling rhythmic Dancehall music immersed in the Word. This evolution is reflected in his continual presentation of poignant lyrics and in his dedication to the Gospel. "It's taken me a while to get here, to evolve into the Christian I am now," he states. "I know who I am and who I represent. I represent the Father, I am His son."

 

Evan Craft 

 

Nativo del sur de California, comenzó a tocar la guitarra con tan sólo 12 años, mostrando también una gran habilidad para cantar y componer música, y para el tiempo que la escuela secundaria había pasado, había llegado a ser altamente competente en el canto, la composición de música y había incluso completado su primer álbum como aficionado, Spotlight.

 

Su posterior debut nacional, Giants, se convirtió en un éxito inmediato y abrió las puertas a la producción de Yo Soy Segundo, con los amigos Bob Curtin y Sean Cook (bajista de Press Play) y Ryan Cook. En 2012 lanza su primera grabación en español, «Yo soy segundo», una mezcla de pop, rock y de profundas y conmovedoras baladas. «Yo soy segundo» es su segunda producción discográfica, luego de su debut con el exitoso álbum,«Giants», lanzado en los Estados Unidos en marzo pasado por EMI Christian Music Group. En él, Evan Craft incluyó un corte en español que tuvo una gran respuesta, lo cual le inspiró a pensar en una producción completa en ese idioma.

 

Evan Craft aprendió a hablar español en México durante su trabajo como voluntario en un albergue en North Hollywood, al igual que en un viaje a España durante 2011. Previo al lanzamiento de «Yo soy segundo», Evan ha viajado por México, España y América del Sur para promocionar las canciones incluidas en el álbum.

 

Evan Craft tiene en el corazón una pasión por el pueblo de habla hispana, lo que convierte este álbum en un proyecto cercano a su corazón. «¡Las palabras no pueden describir la emoción de mi corazón al estrenar este álbum!», expresa Evan. «Ver vidas transformadas en adoración cuando la presencia del Señor desciende es todo lo que puedo pedir, e incluso más», concluye.

 

CanZion distribuye internacionalmente «Yo soy segundo» en todos los territorios en donde tiene presencia, como parte del convenio de distribución que el sello tiene con EMI Christian Music Group. 

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