In This Issue ~
Interview: Saxophonist Mark McClure. Mark
has a new CD that covers jazzed up arrangements of
hymns and worship choruses!
Besides being director of the Choral division at
Word Music Mark has many wonderful experiences to
share playing jazz in church and crossing many
denominational boundaries! ... Read
entire interview here!
Our Network conducted a survey and both artists and our
readers responded. There are some great responses
and you can read all of them
It Happen Where You Are!"
Make every effort to help create an
audience for CJA Network artists. Read it
Christian Jazz Music Email Discussion Group!
started an e-mail discussion group about jazz,
spirituality, jazz in the sanctuary, and other
related topics. This discussion group is open to
anyone interested. Whether your a fan, jazz artist,
jazz educator, or jazz lover this discussion group
wants to hear your thoughts, opinions, and ideas!
subscribe to this group visit:
New "Jazz In
a new page with links to relevant articles about
Jazz in Church located
Christian Musicians Directory
a directory that lists contact info on Artists,
Composers, Producers, Studios, Instrumentalists, ect.
This is a convenient way for you to be contacted by
potential clients who are interested in your
services, as well as encourage connecting and even
collaborating with other Christian Musicians. If you
want to be included in this list or want to check it
Christian Jazz FM Radio Program
in Melbourne, FL are interested in having a
weekly show featuring Christian Jazz music.
They are in need of CD's and are now accepting CD
submissions from Christian Jazz Artists. Contact:
325 Valencia Road
Melbourne, FL 32904
(321) 951-9310 station
Bud Fox has a Christian coffeehouse in Bowling
Green, KY called The ConneXion. He has some local
jazz connections and would like to do a jazz
coffeehouse sometime soon. For more info contact Bud
The ConneXion Coffeehouse
(270) 782-2889 or (270) 393-8817.
Smooth Pizzazz Radio
had its best month ever in March! Over 2,600 hours
of listening time was recorded!!! People tuning in
to listen all over the world! Keep spreading the
word about the
Jazz Artists Compilation CD!
Network compilation CD featuring members playing
Jazz arrangements of Hymns! 16 great renditions of
Hymns served up in a wide variety of flavors! To
hear audio excerpts or to purchase this CD visit
New CJA Network Members!
Saxophonist, vocalist, composer and arranger, Lance
Bryant hails from Markham, Illinois. He received his formal music education
at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. During
his tenure at Berklee, Lance fostered musical
relationships with fellow classmates, saxophonists
Branford Marsalis and Greg Osby, drummer Marvin "Smitty"
Smith, trumpeter Wallace Roney, pianist Cyrus
Chestnut and other renowned musicians.
After moving to New York continued to study
saxophone and arranging privately with Frank Foster,
the former director of the Count Basie Orchestra. As
a freelance artist in the late 1980s, Lance
performed, toured and recorded with Steve Coleman,
Monte Croft, Graham Haynes, and Lonnie Plaxico.
Lance has rounded out his professional experience by
teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation at New
York City's famed JazzMobile and began his
decade-long relationship with the Lionel Hampton
Orchestra. In 1993, Lance became the Orchestra's
Musical Director and Principal Arranger – a role in
which he served for seven years. Lance also made his
film debut in Spike Lee's Malcolm X and traveled
extensively with Phyllis Hyman, Jon Hendricks, Pete
"LaRocca" Sims, Wallace Roney, Abdulah Ibrahim,
Bootsy Collins and others.
Recognizing the role that his spirituality plays in
the creation and expression of his work, Lance
currently serves as Director of Instrumental Music
at Fountain Baptist Church in Summit, NJ, where he
and his family are members and where is he committed
to devoting his talent to the church. For more
information on Lance visit
Michalski is a very gifted woodwind player and Christian
recording artist. Bob's focus and desire is to share
his passion for jazz with an unmistakable spiritual
dimension. So Bob started ReedMan music ministry.
Bob shares that the essence of Reedman music can be
summed up in the following statement, "The music is
jazz...the message is hope! "I feel closest to God
while listening to jazz music" says Michalski.
"There's just something special about the unusual
chords, rhythm and melodies in jazz."
Music originally started out as a radio program in
South Carolina called "JC Jazz" Bob shares
that, "it's no surprise that jazz is the medium used
to entertain as well as bring listeners into an
atmosphere of praise and worship. Throughout the Bible music is used to
encourage God's people and provide a means and
avenue for celebration. More importantly music (both
instruments and voices) is used to praise and
worship God." ReedMan Music seeks to continue these
traditions ... utilizing today's musical styles and
instrumentation to entertain, encourage and open
people's hearts to the love and presence of God.
Music is proud to offer Bob Michalski's debut CD
"Transparence". It's a collection of songs that
range from jazz to worship. This is a fresh project
that has fused gospel with jazz and is sure to be a
treat for the listener. For more information on Bob
Merrell, a native of Warren, Ohio, is a worshiper,
gospel and jazz pianist, educator, music producer,
songwriter and composer.
holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education
with an emphasis in Jazz and Classical Piano
Performance from Youngstown State University
graduating Cum Laude. He also holds a Master of
Music Degree in Piano Performance from Youngstown
State University. He is presently pursuing a Master
of Theology from International Seminary and will
soon begin doctoral studies to obtain a Doctor of
Musical Arts degree in Jazz Composition and
Mr. Merrell has ministered with gospel artists
Martha Munizzi, Donnie McClurkin, Dorothy Norwood,
LaShunn Pace-Rhodes, Rev. Timothy Wright, and Parkes
Stewart. He has also been seen several times on the
nationally televised Bobby Jones Gospel Show. Mr.
Merrell has also performed with jazz artists: Benny
Golson, Slide Hampton, James Moody, Phil Woods,
Marvin Stamm, Maria Schneider, Kenny Burrell, Billy
Pierrce, Conrad Herwig, Leslie Lewis, Frank Foster,
Roger Humphries, and Jim Rupp. He has also been a
member and soloist with, the Cleveland Jazz
Orchestra, Cleveland State Jazz Heritage Orchestra,
Pittsburgh Concert Chorale, YSU All-Star Alumni Jazz
Ensemble, Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, and the
OMEA Intercollegiate All-Star Jazz Ensemble.
Alton presently serves as the director of Covenant
Church at Pittsburgh's Fine Arts Academy, a
Christian arts school that offers training in music,
dance, and drama to students of all ages. He is also
a pianist and choir director at Covenant Church of
Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where Bishop
Joseph Garlington is the pastor. Alton and his wife
Kimberly reside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
For more information about Alton visit
rose sprung from a rock" are the words critics use
to describe Oakland, California native Angelo
Luster, a saxophonist whose music invites the
listener to embark upon a unique spiritual journey.
You will without a doubt be enraptured by the
emotion conveyed through his rich soulful sound,
birthed from the union of contemporary gospel and
the west coast jazz movements.
age twelve, he was accepted on scholarship to the
Young Musicians Program at the University of
California, Berkeley, where he trained for six years
in jazz and classical music. This led Luster to
realize his purpose in life was to, "inspire others
through my music." Luster was taught by Bill Bell
and Jim Moran who previously trained Dave Ellis,
Tony, Toni, Tone guitarist, John Smith, Rodney
Franklin, and Benny Green.
Luster received a scholarship to Grambling State
University where he achieved the position of
featured saxophone soloist. He also earned the honor
of being spotlighted with such artists as Boyz II
Men. Luster has spent may of his summers playing in
big bands behind such greats as, Rosemary Clooney,
Mercer Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, Diane Schurr,
Della Reese, Billy Taylor, Joe Williams, and other
seasoned performers. After obtaining his Bachelor of
Music degree from Southeastern Louisiana University
in 1996, Luster returned home and began to perform
internationally with St. Gabriel's Celestial Brass
Angelo celebrates the release of his first solo
album entitled, "Face 2 Face". The album is an
intimate reflection of his spirituality and desire
to lead listeners into the presence of God. In
addition to the album, Luster performs in a host of
venues with his quartet which exemplifies the
diverse sounds of his upbringing, the UC Berkeley's
Young Inspirational Gospel Choir and conducts
instrumental music workshops nationwide. For more
information on Angelo Luster visit
sure that you visit the CJA Network page and listen to the great music from
these new members! We now have 60 Christian Jazz artists
the CJA Network page here!
New & Notable!
has just finished his new CD release! It includes
almost all original tunes penned by Darren. We will
keep you posted on when the CD actually hits the
and her quartet recently performed at the Restaurant
Kikuya Jazz Club in Huntington Beach.
and Ezekial 3:18 has
a new CD release as well as upcoming
concert appearances...more info here! www.garymeggs.com
a new piano book, "IMPROVISING
MADE EASY FOR THE MODERN CHURCH MUSICIAN" . It is a book that teaches
a practical approach to improvisation specially designed for church
musicians. Check it all out
recently performed on
"Good Morning Arizona" and keeps busy playing at the Sunburst resort
in Scottsdale, Arizona.
continues to play dates with the Ron Eshcete Trio at the Steamers Cafe
in Fullerton CA. He also will be performing as a jazz duo with Kristin
Korb May 21 in Claremont, CA. For more info on this date visit:
has a brand new recording of jazzed up Hymns and
Gospel songs. Entitled, "Contemporary Sounds Of
Gospel Favorites", it features Chuck's wonderful
touch, great voicings, and tasty jazz flavored
For more info on the new CD visit
will be playing in Venezuela - April 29, 2005
with Archie Pena (drums) and Javier Carrion (bass)
both of whom played on Randy's "LIVE IN SAN MIGUEL"
Randy will also be giving a guitar clinic there.
As you can see Christian
Jazz Artists are very busy celebrating their gifts!
We are jazzed about
We are jazzed about God!
Celebrate today and savor
imagine: a joyful Jesus! Haven't we had enough of grim
comments and suggestions are always welcome!
you no longer wish to receive our mailings, please
a New Song to the Lord!
printed collection of jazz arrangements of
congregational music from over a dozen prominent jazz
composers and arrangers! Check it out
Jazz Worship Page is the place to get the very best
charts for your church band or Orchestra anywhere on
the Internet! Fresh new material to preview as well
as "jazzed up" Hymn arrangements are
Band ~ Ensembles ~ Praise Band
Network member Mark
has a great new smooth-jazz flavored
"The Power Of Your Love" that you will
really love! Four of the songs on the CD have complete orchestrations available
(from Word Music) for those who wish to integrate more jazz into your worship services! There is also piano/instrumental books for all the songs on the CD.
To hear audio excerpts or to order visit
JAZZ HYMNAL BY CHUCK
provoking, yet highly singable jazz material for use
in the Sanctuary!
Of David Jazz Worship Songs & Charts
Todd Billingsley has many excellent jazz flavored
arrangements for the worship band at
all the great articles and interviews from
past newsletters for you to read!
in learning more about Jazz theory, technique, or
improvisation? Want to learn how to develop your ear
and transcribe music? Visit the Jazz Ed page for a
one stop collection including material from some of
the top musicians in Jazz! Books, Charts,
CD's, DVD's, Videos, Midi files and more here!
"Jazz Yer Blues" Lessons are available David Arivett here!
Marohnic has a new instruction book,
"Improvising Made Easy For The Modern Church
Musician". More info
Resources for Organ & Sax!
you have a church organ and want to blend in some
jazz to a more traditional worship service check
out these excellent
"In the heart of this
(jazz) music there is the unexplainable 'something'
that can be felt but cannot be described".--James
musician interprets music his or her own way. However,
the form and basic thought behind the music should
always be noticeable and present. Unique interpretation,
present in many notions of art, is mot emphasized in
jazz. This implies that jazz is the music of the
performer...-- Ilija Pejovski
Musician is an instant composer"--Jamey Aebersold
"Improvisation is the courage to move from one note to
the next"--Bobby McFerrin
should enrich the soul; it should teach spirituality by
showing a person a portion of himself that he would not
discover otherwise"-- Bill Evans
too am glad that the Creator gave us jazz. Harmony,
depth, passion, creativity, spontaneity, virtuosity,
experimental harmonic structures. I dig it!"--Bill
gives us an unlimited canvas on which we can express
our love, feelings and thoughts about an awesome
God.... jazz is an art form that expresses joy and
pain. Salvation through struggle and trials are a part
of the message that we get from the Word. People must
be educated and exposed to jazz. If the music of Bach
and Handel as well as the Gaithers can express a wide
range of passion in the church, so can jazz."--Lance
thought about Christians being afraid of jazz. A
recent informal survey of church musicians, asking
what's the one thing you could learn to improve your
ability to play a church service, revealed that 99%
answered, "improvise like a jazz player". Some pious
Christians might not like jazz but the musicians sure
do. 10 years ago when I first started playing piano
for a traditional church service, I got the, "you make
the music sound like we're in a piano bar"! I quickly
asked, "how do you know what piano bar music sounds
like?" That was last I heard about that!!!" --Chuck