Jah Eye

Born in Tallahassee Florida, on October 19, 1955, Claude A. Lewis aka Jah Eye spent much of his early childhood in upstate New York before moving to Los Angeles with his family at the age of eight.  Growing up in Los Angeles during the turbulent 1960's and 70's, Jah Eye was witness to the African liberation, civil rights, Black power, and anti war movements that were taking place at this time. During this period Jah Eye was heavily influenced by the self help philosophies of organizations like the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party. Because his parents were consciously involved in civil rights and other progressive struggles, Jah Eye was aware even as a youth that people of color and people of lower economic status were being treated unfairly.

Early musical influences were James Brown, the Temptations, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Sly and the Family Stone, the Chi-lites, Marvin Gaye, the Ojays, and Parliament Funkadelic to name a few.  As a young man his musical taste grew to include the likes of Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston Smith, Gil Scott-Heron as well as the Jazz and Blues styling's of Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn and Chico Hamilton. Although he listened to mostly Black music, he was also influenced by some of the White rock groups of the time such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.    

In 1975 Jah Eye first became exposed to the sounds of Reggae music when he heard Bob Marley's classic album Rastaman Vibration.  It was during this time, through Reggae music that he was first introduced to the message of Rastafari. Reggae influences during this time included Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Culture, the Mighty Diamonds, Third World, Aswad, U Roy, Big Youth, Fredlocks, Joe Gibbs, King Tubby's, Soul Syndicate, Dennis Brown, and Ijahman Levi to name a few. All of these artists deliver a strong message of Rastafari livity, freedom for the Black race as well as oneness, Inity and respect for all people.

Jah Eye began studying the teachings of Marcus Garvey and other great prophets. It was through these studies as well as the wisdom being imparted by the conscious roots Reggae music of the day that Jah Eye began to fully understand that Africa was his mother land and that Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia was the Lion of Judah spoken of in the Book of Revelations; the modern day Christ.  A turning point in Jah Eye's life was in 1977 when he was invited to work as a photographer at Festac 77, a world festival of Black and African art, music and culture in Lagos Nigeria. " It was during the time of Festac, when I met Black people from all over the world that I fully realized the far reaching effects of slavery and colonization. I saw Black people, people of African descent suffering the same hardships regardless of where they lived on the planet."

While championing the cause of Black liberation, Jah Eye's message is also one of  universal freedom for all who are oppressed by corrupt governments, as well as a return to a more natural and humane lifestyle in these times of global warming and relentless war. Jah Eye has recorded three CD's to date. ISIGHT, recorded in 2003 was the first CD on the Unity Works label.  The follow up; WORLD WIDE DECEPTION  was recorded in 2004. Both CD's deal with spiritual, social and political current events (911, the war in Iraq, greed and materialism etc.) while at the same time maintaining a strong vibration of Love and Rastafari.

Jah Eye’s third and most recent CD Is RASTA MUSIC, released in 2011 as a collaboration between Unity Works and Explosive Records. With some of the tracks recorded and mixed at the legendary Radio Recorders recording studio in Hollywood, CA (Elvis Presley, John Coltrane etc.), this CD features guest appearances by the great U Roy and and legendary guitarist Earl Chinna Smith. While being backed by a high powered band that includes Carlton “Santa” Davis (Soul Syndicate, Peter Tosh / Word Sound and Power and Ziggy Marley), Haile Maskel (Rastafarians and Light of Saba) and Lesterfari (Boom Shaka), Jah Eye continues with his universal message of love, redemption and freedom.

Jah Eye
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