The Amalgamated

Raphael "Rip" Pena: Harmonica, Vocals | Reggie Costa: Guitar (electric) | Brandon Corenman: Trumpet | James Garcia: Saxophone | J.R.: Horns, Trumpet, Vocals | Mike Ellison: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Elliot Ramsay: Bass guitar

Genre: Covers | Standards, Reggae & Ska, Rock

Sound description: Real rockin' reggae ska, played by real Rude Boys.

RIYL: Slightly Stoopid, Irieside, One Drop, Stranger, See Spot, Sublime, the Specials, Madness, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Manganista, the Aggrolites, Hepcat, the Slackers, Tim Armstrong, Rancid, the English Beat, Bad Manners, Ken Boothe, Desmond Dekker, Toots and the Maytals

No shows scheduled | Post a show | View show history


Inception: San Diego, 2007

Ex-Band Members: Jake Ruiz, Keyboards Chris Wise, Percussion Keith Duncan, Trombone August Christman, Bass guitar Jason Yandall, Drums Dave Polnik, Saxophone Sean Conway, Trumpet Mark McLemore, Drums Charles Roy, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric)

Influences: The Skatalites, Toots and the Maytals, the Crystalites, Jimmy Cliff, Ernest Ranglin, Lynn Taitt and the Jets, Pat Kelly, Justin Hinds and the Dominoes, the Aggrolites, See Spot, the Debonaires, the Self Made Men, the English Beat, Ryan Scroggans and the Trenchtown Texans, the Slackers, the Pietasters, the Dualers, the St. Petersberg Ska Jazz Review, Babylove and the Van Dangos, Western Special


Based in San Diego, the Amalgamated spun off from the Hi-Lites in early 2007. Five members of the Hi-Lites -- an eight-piece ska band -- left the group due to a falling out with bassist James Trent, who also writes the band's original tunes.

The five members who bolted and two other former Hi-Lites formed the Amalgamated, a ska-jazz band with early-1960s rock-steady and reggae influences.

“We are an incredible live band that makes everyone dance to up-tempo beats and can also get you into a groove with light reggae textures. We open each song up for solos, allowing all members the opportunity to show off their improvisation talents. The creativity flowing may remind the audience of great jazz standards being performed.”

The band has appeared at the Belly Up Tavern, Casbah, Soma, Queen Bee’s Cultural Center, Winston’s, O’Connell’s, Royal Dive, Hensley’s Flying Elephant, Kensington Club, Radio Room, and the Ramona Mainstage.

Founding Amalgamated trombone player Keith Duncan left the group in 2009, followed by founding percussionist Chris Wise, who also co-founded the Hi-Lites. The band also lost August Christman (bass), Dave Polnik (sax), Sean Conway (trumpet), Mark McLemore (drums), and Charles Roy (guitar).

Horn player Keith Duncan left the band late in 2007 when he moved to Washington, DC, though he did play a show with them in 2009, right before joining the Shifters.

Drummer Jason Yandall left the band in June 2011, to concentrate on his new band Ottly Mercer. Amalgamated guitarist Reggie Costa mixed and co-produced OM’s debut album, while Amalgamated singer Raphael “Rip” Peña helped them book shows as their promoter.


  • Pin it


UncleDuncan Nov. 13, 2014 @ 3:48 a.m.

I left the band late in 2007 when I moved to DC. But I did play a show with them in 2009 right before I started/joined The Shifters.


Sign in to comment