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Smooth Pizzazz Radio broadcasting Great Jazz Music all over the world!

Smooth Pizzazz is ranked in the top 20 Jazz stations on Live 365!  Listeners all over the world are enjoying the unique blend of Jazz styles being broadcast!!

Smooth Pizzazz is an Internet Radio Station featuring Christian Jazz Artists playing jazzed up arrangements of Hymns, worship choruses, original material, and stylistically everything in between!! There are inspiring quotes and inspiring music by great Christian Jazz Artists.  Listen to it at work or at home while you work or answer e-mails! Help support the CJA and spread the word as well. Tune in--just follow the link below!

Hear Smooth Pizzazz Radio now

Smooth Pizzazz Radio listeners Joe A. Robinson and Lucile Packard from Palo Alto, CA  share these comments about Smooth Pizzazz Radio!
                              "Brother, your radio station is a real blessing to me!! I stream your Internet radio station, "Smooth Pizzazz" here at work and it allows me to praise him, get centered, stay focused and increase my productivity all at the same time!!!" -- Joe A. Robinson

 "You have also exposed me to some great Christian Jazz that I was not aware of!! I am going to tell others about Smooth Pizzazz radio station as well as direct them to your website. Keep up the good work!!!"--Lucile Packard

More satisfied listeners!

 I just happened upon your internet radio station by searching for Christian jazz on the web.  I have listened to the one hour a week that my local Christian radio station plays Christian jazz and longed for more of the same.  I LOVE your stations selection of  jazz and the combo of inspirational music and jazz is great.  So, I wanted you to know that I appreciate what you are putting out here for the listeners and, myself in particular and I want to encourage you to continue for many, many years to come.  Thank you so much."--Karen Hunt  

I discovered you a few weeks ago via a search for stations that play the YellowJackets, of which there are few. I was raised on Big Band, Bop, Cool, Blues ... jazz, and in recent years I've also come to love Latin and a few other things, one of which is the YellowJackets. I was raised in the church and appreciate the neat arrangements of various "church tunes" that you sprinkle in as well. Thank you for your station! -- Carl McMullen

Thank you for praise jazz! I just stated singing...I never do that when I listen to other stations - John McClure

I have to be honest I haven't been much of a church going person, but my love for music is like a battery and I know the Lord is the battery/ When I ran into your station I said this is it! Keep up the good work and keep the same format, I know religious music is in all genres of music, but like myself love smooth jazz therefore I want to listen to Christian smooth jazz. Take care and God Bless. - Manuel Pena

This month on Smooth Pizzazz Radio we are featuring tracks from...  
Saxophonist Justo Almario's " Love Thy Neighbor" CD.
Saxophonist Darren Rahn's, "Once In A Lifetime" CD
 Rod McGaha's swingin' version of, "This Little Light Of Mine".

Saxophonist Quamon Fowler's "Eternal Moments" and, "D-Town Blues".

Pianist Arlington Jones, "King David's Groove" and, "Sounds Like True Religion" .

Inspirational Quotes


"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Philo






"Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness." -May Sarton






"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies within us while we live." - Norman Cousins





"Let everyone understand that the real love of God does not consist in tear-shedding, nor in that sweetness and tenderness for which we often long, just because they console us, but in serving God by
serving those around us, in justice, fortitude of soul, and humility."
- Teresa Of Avila




"When all is said and done, more is said than done." - Lou Holtz






 "For fast acting relief, try slowing down". - Lily Tomlin






"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something
but to be someone". - Coco Chanel




"If you look carefully you will see that there is one thing and only one thing that causes unhappiness. The name of that thing is attachment. What is an attachment? An emotional state of clinging caused by the belief that without some particular thing or some person you cannot be happy". - Anthony de Mello




Welcome to the Christian Jazz Artists Newsletter!
July/August 2005

A e-newsletter designed to keep you encouraged, informed, and aware of all the helpful resources that are available to you as a Christian jazz musician, or just a jazz lover!
(If this page is not displaying correctly, (please click here)

~ In This Issue  ~ 

Special Christian Big Band Issue!

Christian Big Band Jazz is alive and well!!

Featured Interviews: Denver Bierman. Denver is the leader of a Christian Big Band, "The Denver Mile High Orchestra" comprised of musicians mostly from the "younger generation". They stay busy playing in churches and concerts year round! Denver shares his views on playing Big Band jazz in church ... Read entire interview here!

Angel Melendez Interview: Angel is the leader of the Big Band, " Angel Melendez And The 911 Mambo Orchestra" Their first CD was nominated for a about how Angel was inspired to leave the street gangs and do the Mambo with a Big Band instead here!

Stewart Gott Interview: Stewart is a part of the "On Fire Big Band" from Australia! Read how God has been using their Christian Big Band to spread the good news in churches and concert halls all over Australia and New Zealand here!

Editorial: "CD Sales And The Christian Jazz Artist"    In a recent article in DownBeat magazine entitled, "Taking Back The Music" Jazz artist Jim Hall shares," this emphasis on making a lot of money (in music) is a bit disgusting. I've been making a living as an artist for 60 years, but music has a much deeper value. It's an art form that gives back to people". Read it all here!

Ralph Carmichael, Dave Boyer, Justo Almario are now members of the CJA Network! Legendary pioneers of Christian Jazz Ralph Carmichael, swingin' jazz singer Dave Boyer, and Saxophonist/Composer Justo Almario (part of the early 1970's Christian Jazz group "Koinonia") are now part of our network and we are honored to have them! (More info below!)
Christian Jazz FM Radio Program airs weekly on seven stations across the country! The host for the 4 hr. program is Ernie Lansford and it's called, "Java, Jazz, and Praise". He is playing many tracks from CJA Network Artists!
Contact Ernie at: 305-433-8219

Christian Jazz Artists Compilation CD!

Here's your chance to get one of the best collections of Christian Jazz you will find anywhere!


  CJA 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 here! 



Welcome New CJA Network Members!

Composer/Arranger Ralph Carmichael is a pioneer for Christian Jazz Music! He is a legendary arranger, composer, and Big Band leader!  He has written or arranged tunes for Ella Fitzgerald , Bing Crosby, Sue Raney, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como, Jack Jones, Debbie Reynolds, Peggy Lee and worked with Stan Kenton. He was also very instrumental in helping to usher in the careers of Andrae Crouch, the Winans, Walter and Tramaine Hawkins, Bryan Duncan and others though his Christian Record label Light Records!

In recent years Carmichael returned to the big band format and recorded a number of CDs containing jazz arrangements of popular gospel tunes with, "The Ralph Carmichael Big Band" on the Brentwood label. He won a Dove Award for “Instrumental Album of the Year” for his 1994 release, "Strike Up the Band". In recent recordings he has returned to the music of the jazz swing era with several recording projects including 1999's The Big Band Gospel Classics and Big Band Christmas.

Currently Ralph continues to create music: "I don't know how many notes I've got left in my pencil, but I know I want them used to glorify God and present His message to the world." Ralph is keeping his pencil extremely busy working on four new Hymn recordings for the London Symphony Orchestra! He is still arranging Big Band charts as well as a limited amount of appearances with his own Big Band (a select group of players from Southern California.) For more information visit here!

Jazz Vocalist Dave Boyer continues to touch the hearts and lives of many with his swingin' Big Band Jazz Gospel concerts! Dave's style of singing is very similar to the style of   Sinatra but Dave's voice and heart are focused on a life-changing encounter with Christ. Dave continues to celebrate his musical gifts and uplift people in churches and concerts everywhere using Big Band Christian Jazz to do so!

Dave has teamed up with Ralph Carmichaeal on several excellent recordings, including the Swing Sessions. He recently sang on a "live" recording with the Riverbend Church Big band on Randy Phillips's Cable TV Program, "The Awakening". For more information on Dave visit here!

Saxophonist/composer Justo Almario  Latin Beat Magazine lists Justo Almario as “one of the top 10 Latin jazz saxophonists of our time.”  As a musician, composer and arranger, Justo has combined elements of his native South American rhythms with American Jazz to create an artistry distinctively his own. Justo draws upon the same love of music and spiritual values that have always filled his playing and composing.

After graduating from Berklee School of Music Justo joined Mongo Santamaria's group touring the entire globe with the legendary leader. Justo also work with Charles Mingus and was a part of the legendary Christian Jazz group, "Koinonia"! ( Abe Labrioel and Alex Acuna were also members of this group!)

He has also worked with Freddie Hubbard, Chaka Khan, Linda Rondstadt, Roy Ayers, George Duke, Dave Grusin, Tito Puente, Machito, Master P, Queen Latifah, and Bebe Winans. He continues to work closely with Abe Labrioel ( Abe has a new solo project and continues to collaborate with Alex Acuna in the Latin Jazz group Tolu. Justo has an excellent new solo recording and you can hear audio samples and find out more about Justo here!

Pianist Adlan Cruz  began playing the piano at the age of three by ear.  His technique was cultivated by two of the most prominent concert pianists in the western hemisphere, Rosita Casanova and Violeta de la Mata. His openness to folkloric music prompted him to identify with his roots, hence incorporating vigorous Puerto Rican, Flamenco, AfroCuban and South American rhythms to his piano technique and compositions. 

He played on Ron Kenloy's Latin Worship CD, "Solo Para Ti" displaying his talents for applying authentic montunos and Latin jazz piano styles to contemporary worship songs.  Ron Kenoly proclaims that, "Adlan is one of the brightest and most talented musicians of our time. I have worked with many of the best artists and concert performers on today's Christian Music Scene. Adlan is not overshadowed by any of them and is without question the most gifted pianist that I have worked with."

Adlan's latest release, "The Pianoforte Collection" contains 2 CD's encompassing the many styles and musical flavors that Adlan can write and play. For more information visit here!

Trumpeter/vocalist Rod McGaha is a gifted Jazz trumpeter as well as composer, vocalist, lyricist, and producer. Rod was born and raised in Chicago, where his Jazz-loving father would play Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong records
constantly, perking Rod's interest in music.

McGaha caught a break when fellow trumpeter Clark Terry (DukeEllington/Count Basie) caught a performance by Rod and took him under his wing. McGaha went on to land numerous gigs and toured the world as a sideman for Kenny Rodgers, BeBe and CeCe Winans, The O’Jays, Take 6, Lou Rawls, and the legendary Max Roach who called Rod “an important new and original voice”.

Rod has two solo CD's and is currently on tour with Kirk Whalum's band. More info on Rod can be found here!

Saxophonist Quamon Fowler started his musical journey on the tenor saxophone at the age of twelve and has been composing music since he was fifteen.  He earned first chair for tenor saxophone in the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble in 1998. After graduating from High School, Quamon attended Weatherford College where he was under the direction of jazz guitarist Tom Burchill.

A year later, Quamon felt he needed to deepen his music studies. He decided to attend Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Here, he studied with world-renowned clarinetist Alvin Batiste.  As he continued to study his sax technique and writing continued to develop.  Quamon's compositions have won numerous awards.

Quamon describes his music as, "liberating instrumental music with a Christian focus. The stylistic approach consists of a mixture of straight-ahead, fusion, and bebop jazz combined with gospel, groove, and Texas Soul". Quamon has a new CD and you can hear audio samples and find out more about Quamon here!

Jazz Pianist Arlington Jones is a very gifted pianist and composer. Arlington began studying and playing the piano nearly twenty years ago. 

 In 1995, Arlington received a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.  In 1997, he completed a Master of Music in Music Performance at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos.  He trained under the direction of Dr. James Polk, former musical director for the legendary Ray Charles.  In 1998, he studied with Bernard Wright, acclaimed composer and keyboardist for various artists in the music industry including Roberta Flack.

          Arlington started playing professionally during his early years at Texas Tech.   Some of his mentors include Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner, Joe Sample, and Duke Ellington.  Over the years, he has been granted the privilege to play with Kirk Whalum, DeDe Warwick, Clark Terry, Roy Hargrove, David "Fathead" Newman, Frank Foster, and more.

 Arlington has composed and arranged well over 200 songs to date. With all the great challenges facing musicians today, one of Arlington's goals is to help other musicians and people everywhere understand that music is intended to be life-changing, uplifting, and comforting to the soul.  Arlington has two new CD's out and you can preview them here!

The Jazz Group Giocoso, (GEE-OH-COE-SO) means jokingly or humorously, and is an Italian musical term denoting the emotion with which a piece is to be played (like: andante, allegro, etc.). That is the name of this Christian Jazz group! It is Giocos's conviction that it's all right to smile, have fun, and really enjoy playing music! Along with enjoying their music is the underlying conviction that we should try to find joy in each day and all the blessings that it contains!

Dave Gruber is the keyboardist/composer for the group. He is a grad of the Dick Grove School of Music in Studio City, Ca. Each member of the group has had a life changing encounter with Jesus Christ, and believes that He is the giver of all that is good including music. Keyboardist Dave Gruber shares, "Through our music, we seek to express the life and joy that God has given us...the music may be joyous, funky, pensive, relaxing, or intense but our desire is to express a diversity of emotions through our music." For more info visit here!

The Riverbend Church Big Band directed by Carlton Dillard are an excellent sounding big band out of Austin, Texas! They recently recorded a Big Band CD on a "live" television special You can still catch the group in action on the "Awakening" program with Randy Phillips and guest vocalist Dave Boyer! Look for another great Big Band recording from them soon! For more information visit here!

Make 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 network members!!

Visit the CJA Network page here!

Christian Jazz Network Artists In Action!

Trumpeter Scott Brookins continues to do missionary work over in the Ukraine and other eastern European countries. Scott ministers in refugee camps, orphanages, schools and churches. He also ministers in Christian Coffee Houses, and secular Jazz Clubs to reach unbelievers with his unique style of Christian music. For more info visit here!

Saxophonist Lance Bryant recently recorded a "live" Christian Jazz project  (including many original songs and arrangements) at St. Peters Church ( The Jazz Church! ) in New York City. Joining him was Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Davis, and Yoron Israel. The CD is scheduled for early fall release.

Saxophonist Darren Rahn has just finished his new CD release, "Once In A Lifetime". It includes almost all original tunes penned by Darren. Special guests include Jeff Lorber, Dave Koz, and Wayman Tisdale! For more info visit here!

Pianist/composer David Arivett recently held a Christian Jazz concert in Rogers, AR. The event, "Jazz, Jeans, and Jesus" featured a wide variety of jazz both instrumental and vocal. Besides a hot horn and rhythm section, the Fresh Fire Vocal ensemble and CJA Network member Larry Cangelosi provided great sax work. Look for charts for many of the songs used for this concert here!

Keyboardist David Diggs is producing a new CD for Pat Boone of Irish songs for his upcoming Irish tour.  The Jonathan Butler CD just came out from Dave Koz’s Rendezvous label and David played piano and arranged string arrangements for the recording.

Guitarist Randy Bernsen  is playing guitar ( again! ) for the second Jaco Pastorius Big Band CD.


 "Jazz In Church" Page
We have a web page with links to relevant articles about Jazz in Church located here!
New Christian Jazz Music Email Discussion Group!
We have 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!
 To subscribe to this group visit: 
Smooth Pizzazz Radio Want to hear the very best collection of Christian Jazz?? You are only a few clicks away!! It is free and it broadcasts 24/7 all over the world! All the best jazz is featured on our station!


As you can see Christian Jazz Artists are very busy celebrating their gifts!

We are jazzed about life...
We are jazzed about God!
Celebrate today and savor the music!
"Just imagine: a joyful Jesus! Haven't we had enough of grim religion?"
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome! Click here
If you no longer wish to receive our mailings, please click here

Our 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 available!

Big Band ~ Ensembles ~ Praise Band

Ron Cobb Music has complete Big Band Christian Jazz Charts by Ralph Carmichael, Chris McDonald, Jeff Anderson, Aaron Weitkekamp, Camp Kirkland, and others! Many out of print and impossible to find! And these charts are definitely jazzed! More info here!

Songs Of  David Jazz Worship Songs & Charts

Preview them here!

CJA Network member Mark McClure has a great new smooth-jazz flavored worship recording, "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 here!


Thought provoking, yet highly singable jazz material for use in the Sanctuary!

Preview them here!


Keyboardist/arranger Todd Billingsley has many excellent jazz flavored arrangements for the worship band at

Swing a New Song to the Lord!

Excellent printed collection of jazz arrangements  of congregational music from over a dozen prominent jazz composers and arrangers! Check it out here!

Free CJA Downloads!

We have all the great articles and  interviews from past newsletters for you to read!

Interested 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" Keyboard Lessons are available by David Arivett here!

DownBeat Magazine has an excellent series of articles on the history of jazz entitled, "Jazz 101" available online here!

Chuck Marohnic has a new instruction book, "Improvising Made Easy For The Modern Church Musician". More info here!

Improvising Made Easy for the modern church musician

Jazz Resources for Organ & Sax!

 If you have a church organ and want to blend in some jazz to a more traditional worship service check out these excellent resources available here!


Christian Big Band JaZz

Recommended listening!

             Ralph Carmichael

  "Strike Up The Band"

"Ralph Carmichael And Friends"

"Big Band Gospel-Senior Select"

"Big Band Gospel Classics"

"Big Band Christmas"

"Big Band Swing Classics"

Dave Boyer

"The Swing Sessions with Dave Boyer"

"He Chose Me"

"Through It All"

Camp Kirkland

  "The Glory Land Band Series"

Brentwood Jazz Orchestra

"Rock Of Ages"

Denver And The Mile High Orchestra


"Good To Go"

"Timeless Christmas"

OnFire Big Band

"Unfinished Business"

"OnFire Big Band Live"

The Jericho Horns  (arranged by Jeff Anderson and Aaron Weitekamp)

Randy Phillips & tThe Awakening (Riverbend Church) Big Band" "Live" televised recording

Angel Melendez and the 911 Mambo Orchestra

Secular Big Band Recordings

Jaco Pastorius Big Band

"Word Of Mouth Revisited"

Big Phat Band

" XXL"

 "Swingin' For The Fences"

Big Band Favorites of Sammy Nestico

Pat Metheny Big Band

Bill Waltrous Big Band





"A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle". - Benjamin Franklin



"Now, for all its failings and its perversions over the last 2,000
years—and as much as every exponent of this faith has attempted to dodge this idea—it is unarguably the central tenet of Christianity:  that everybody is equal in God's eyes". - Bono