A Piece of the Story

Los Angeles music veteran Joey Altruda has been held in high esteem for the past thirty years for his wide pallet of musicality and positive influence on other musicians. His stylistic experience includes American Roots (Rockabilly, Blues, early Country, Bluegrass etc), Afro-Cuban, Jamaican Ska/Rocksteady/Reggae, Brazilian, and several eras/styles of Jazz. He is also known as an arranger/composer for studio orchestras, film and television. The Music Of Joey Altruda features a variety of musicians, depending upon the context.


Joey has been known for his work with Don”Sugarcane”Harris during the early to mid eighties in the band, Tupelo Chain Sex. From 1989-1999 his band, Jump With Joey gained great notoriety for reviving traditional Jamaican Ska music. In 1993 the band released “Strictly For You Vol. II” which features Roland Alphonso, of Skatalites fame. It was co-produced by Joey, along with the godfather of all Jamaican producers, Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd (of Studio One). His solo CDs “Cocktails With Joey” and “Kingston Cocktail” (Lakeshore Records) have enjoyed international acclaim and feature the likes of legendary tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson (of Pink Panther fame) and Jamaican guitar genius Ernest Ranglin (on Kingston Cocktail).


Altruda has been known to work with a plethora of musical greats over the years- Don & Dewey, Bo Diddley, Joe Strummer, Tom Waits, Rico Rodriguez, Leo Nocentelli & Zig Modeliste (the Meters), Lloyd Knibbs (Skatalites), Jack Costanzo, Ernie Andrews, El Gran Fellove, Mongo Santamaria, Chocolate Armenteros, Candido Cameron, Patato Valdez, and many others.


In 2006 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the preservation of Jamaican music and culture.


His recent projects include two original songs for Seu Jorge’s upcoming album, as well as a songwriting collaboration on Bebel Gilberto’s latest CD (Tudo). Joey’s most recent band is called Joey Altruda’s Crucial Five, featuring a combination of dub/ska/soul style covers and original tunes.

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