Network News


    IN This ISSUE:

·         Welcome New Members

             Network Artists News

·         Jazz Food For The Soul!

               Jazz ED      

        Doin' Jazz In Church

        Finding A Groove

        Smooth Pizzazz Radio


       Past Issues/Interviews

        Artists Inquiries





Spring 2009 CJA Network News

The Christian Jazz Artists Network celebrates and promotes the diversity and infinite variety of jazz music! We believe that jazz is a gift from the Creator to be enjoyed and savored! The Creator loves diversity and so do we! Jazz music, with its roots coming from spirituals, church, and the blues, has birthed a myriad of musical styles. Therefore we do not promote one style of jazz only. Neither do we discriminate on this basis either in any way. Instead, we celebrate and promote jazz in it's many forms, encouraging an open heart, open mind, and open attitude of acceptance and appreciation for the creativity and infinite musical ideas of others!

Our network is a community that goes beyond music and unites us for a greater cause...spreading the good news that the Creator God has given us life, Jesus, salvation, and the gift of jazz music to share and overflow to others in the world.

The demographic of our network outreach is very diverse as well: independent jazz artists, jazz artists with label representation, radio stations, record labels, managers,  promoters, producers, engineers, studio owners, freelance musicians, educators, churches, ministries, fans, hobbyists, and much more.

The CJA Network Welcomes New Members!

the CJA NEtwork adds 5 new members!

Our network of Christians who play jazz continues to expand in many innovative and creative ways and for that we are very thankful!

Check Out Our New Members!

  Joe Baione  is a professional jazz vibraphonist, educator, clinician and producer.  When not touring with his sextet, Baione spends his time as President of Delaware Charitable Music, Inc. producing Jazz, Blues & BBQ in the Park, a festival he co-founded with the mission of bringing live Jazz and Blues music to the young people of his community.  For Baione, that passion for young musicians begins in the classroom where he is known for taking struggling beginner band programs to a size and ability never before achieved.  By day, Baione is an energetic and highly creative band teacher and by night he continues that high energy, passion and creativity in his jazz performances.

In the past two years Baione has opened for Michael Bolton, Monty Alexander, and Joey DeFrancesco.  In April he will open for the legendary Dave Brubeck. And Baione's performance resume continues to grow.  Other performance venues include: The Jazz Bakery, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in NYC's Lincoln Center, The Kimmel Center and Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia, and Sydney's Blues and Jazz Restaurant.  Baione has won several awards including "Teacher of the Year" in 2003, "Emerging Jazz Artist" in 2005 by Philadelphia Weekly and "Rising Star of Tomorrow" by Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has a new CD Release "Oh Yeah" and you can hear audio clips here. For more on Joe Baione visit here!

Ed Maina  is a woodwind soloist, clinician, and educator. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Music and Jazz Studies and a Master of Music Degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami. He teaches Band in schools, and is currently the Orchestra Director at Flanagan High School.  In 1992 he earned the coveted "Louis Armstrong Fellowship Award", awarded by the International Association of Jazz Educators for excellence in Jazz Education. To date, his bands have earned twenty-three Florida Bandmasters Association "Superior" Awards.

When not fulfilling his duties as an educator, Mr. Maina  performs concerts and conducts clinics. Some of his performing and recording credits include Linda Eder, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, Jon Secada, Chaka Khan, Pebo Bryson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Charytin (Univision), Ednita Rosario, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Bob James, Chubby and Duffy Jackson, Jaco Pastorius, Louie Bellson, Oscar Peterson, Mel Torme and The Maynard Ferguson Orchestra. You can hear his excellent woodwind skills on the now classic Causeway Jazz Hymns CD's with CJA Network member Todd Billinglsey here. Ed also has an upcoming CD/album..."In the Company of Brothers" due out in 2009. For more on Ed Maina visit here!

Chuck Hickman/Jazz Collective   Formed in 2003 The Jazz Collective performs an array of Jazz, Funk and Soul with a fun and relaxed spirit that conveys a love for life and music. The Jazz Collective always seeks to share that same joy and love with their audience. The Jazz Collective band members are: Chuck Hickman- Saxophone. (Chuck is also the Worship Pastor for Soteria Church in Everett, WA.)  Ed Weber – Keyboards, Kathleen Hickman – Vocals,  Brad Boal – Drums,  Marc Miller- Bass, Art Bromage – Guitar, Mike McGee- Guitar.

 The Jazz Collective have been volunteering their time with area schools doing clinics and concerts for the past 5 years. They have now branched out under the banner of the Soteria Church to more fully celebrate their musical gifts and share with the entire city their music through the Everett Music Institute.  They now offer free and reduced rate classes and private lessons to the underprivileged in their community with special focus on Hawthorne Elementary School, North Middle School and Everett High School, all in the Everett School District.  The Jazz Collective have a CD you can hear audio clips here! They are presently in the studio working on a new CD...stay tuned.

Paulette Dozier  is a versatile Jazz Singer with as well as an accomplished Stage Actress in musical theater. She also has a Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Nova Southeastern University, and a Bachelor's in English from Florida International University. While attending Brooklyn College, (where she initiated her studies in Theater) she polished her Broadway skills by studying dance, acting, and vocal performance with various private coaches and teachers such as notable Broadway choreographer Frank Hachett.

Paulette uses all her energy to break new ground as a jazz vocalist; This jazz stylist and scat singer is quite versatile stylistically speaking whether contracted for a role in a theater musical or simply relaxing in a laid back jam session with a musician like guitarist Paco de Lucia.  Besides performances in the US, she has toured in Venezuela and Italy. She has sung on many recording projects, including LPs with Venezuelan composers Vytas Brenner and Jorge Aguilar, whose modern folkloric style and contemporary jazz/rock sound, respectively, were strongly influenced by Paulette’s singing style. She has two of her own CD’s “With You”  and “Over & Over Again” (and you can hear audio clips for both by following the links). More info on Paulette here!

David Von Kampen is an undergraduate composition major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.   He has written and arranged for the Concordia University A Capella Choir, PianoFOURte, Dasklavierlufttrio, and the University of Nebraska Varsity Men's Chorus, Jazz Ensemble I, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, University Saxophone Choir, and various student jazz combos.

In 2003 and 2006, David was the winner of the Vancouver Chamber Choir Young Composers Competition, in the Secondary and College divisions, respectively.  He was commissioned by the Vancouver Chamber Choir later in 2006.  David has seven choral pieces/arrangements published with Concordia Publishing House, and a big band chart published with the RYCUN Music Company. For more info on this outstanding composer including audio clips visit here!

NEtwork Artists News

Drummer/Composer Louie Bellson Passes Away!  

Big band and jazz drummer Louie Bellson, a master musician who performed with such greats as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and his late wife, Pearl Bailey, has died. He was 84.  Bellson died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications of Parkinson’s disease following a broken hip in November, according to his wife, Francine.

Bellson’s career spanned more than six decades, performing on more than 200 albums with jazz greats including Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Oscar Peterson, Woody Herman, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong.

He was designated as a “master of jazz” in 1994 by the National Endowment for the Arts, which said he “ranks among the foremost big-band drummers of the swing and post-swing eras and is best known for his precise technique and the invention of two pedal-operated bass drums.

Bellson wrote more than 1,000 compositions and arrangements in several genres, including jazz, swing, orchestral suites, symphonic works and ballets. As an author, he published more than a dozen books on drums and percussion.

Duke Ellington called Louie the world's greatest drummer and he played with the Duke in the 1950's. Mr. Bellson also logged time with the top-flight orchestras of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Harry James. He later worked briefly with Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald. As a regular on the impresario Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic tours in the 1950s, he appeared in combos with all-stars like the trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie, the alto saxophonist Benny Carter, and the pianists Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson.

Mr. Bellson also led his own bands for decades: small groups as well as ensembles and Big Bands. In 1969 his was the band chosen to back James Brown on "Soul on Top," a crossover jazz album released on the King label. In contrast to many of his jazz contemporaries, Mr. Bellson spoke appreciatively of popular music, including rock 'n' roll, throughout his career.

Mr. Bellson remained active until his recent injury. In 2006,on his own label, "Percussion Power", he released "The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson & the Jazz Ballet," which included a big band, strings and a choir. His final recording, “Louie & Clark Expedition 2” with trumpeter Clark Terry, was released last year.

All who knew Louie spoke of how sweet and kind he was and that he was an outstanding Christian man as well. “To me, Louis is just one of the nicest guys I have every known. His playing is absolutely on top – on top of everything! He is just so nice! He’s a sweetheart. Louie Bellson is a beautiful artist.” -- Count Basie

Mr. Bellson had been a member of the CJA Network for several years...he will be greatly missed! Contact information is provided below.

The Family of Louie Bellson
c/o Remo, Inc.
28101 Industry Drive
Valencia, CA 91355

CJA Members Celebrate Their Musical Gifts!

Doin' Jazz In Church!

Pastor Chuck Hickman from the Soteria Church in Everett, Washington shares...

We have what we call a “Jazz Decimum Service” about once a month as a replacement for our regular Sunday service.  For this service our group the "Jazz Collective" play original and appropriately chosen covers of Jazz tunes for the service.  These are generally all instrumental services with an occasional vocal piece.  The emphasis is on God’s continued leading in our lives through all the changes that life has to offer.  Improvisation is described to our congregation as what Psalms calls “Selah” an instrumental interlude provided in scripture.  It is our personal interaction with our creator.  A response to the Salvation afforded us through Christ.  A very personal thanks.

We also perform at least 2 to 3 Jazz pieces every week for Prelude, Communion and exit music.  Our lead pastor, Mike Rydman, encourages more jazz as opposed to less.  He is usually asking for more pre and post music so our congregation can come early and pray as well as stay afterwards and enjoy the energy of the moment when the guys are letting loose.  It is easily the most encouraging jazz environment I have ever experienced in a church anywhere.  I am so very grateful to be a part of Soteria Church in Everett. 

It is truly an amazing congregation whose creativity does not stop with a worship service.  We also provide backpacks of food for elementary and middle school students each weekend to take home to their families.  The principal of North Middle School, (where we meet on Sundays), asked us to help with the discipline problems that occur on Fridays and Mondays due to the lack of food in the homes of most of these children.  Our church responded with great fervor and now provides up to 40 backpacks of food for these students each week.  God is doing great things with the hearts of these people. For more info on Chuck and the Soteria Church visit here!

Deanna Witkowski - has an upcoming interview on NPR!

April 12 interview on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday

Tune in on April 12 (Easter Sunday) to hear host Liane Hansen interviewing Jazz PIanist/Composer Deanna Witkowski on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday. They discuss Deanna's new CD, From This Place, and play a bit of the recording.

To find out where and when you can hear the program in your area, visit this link. If you miss the segment, never fear: the interview will be permanently archived at this NPR link as well as at

(By the way, back in 2003, Deanna's quartet was featured on Weekend Edition Sunday. That interview is still available here).

Scott WilsonTrumpeter/Arranger Scott Wilson has a new video of his trumpet and evi wind controller taken from concerts with Benny Green (Oct 08) and Conrad Herwig (Sep 08). 

Here is the link:

Open Hands-

The new band, comprised of Abraham Laboriel, Greg Mathieson, Justo Almario, and Bill Maxwell have just released their new instrumental jazz recording!

The Open Hands CD was recorded completely 'live' to a two track digital recorder. This means that in addition to the fact that there were no overdubs by the band during the recording, this also was new music that the band had never rehearsed or performed before. Most of the songs are actually first takes!

The group combines native South American rhythms, American jazz, along with rhythm and blues to create a unique and sophisticated sound.  Hear audio clips here!

Rique Pantoja -  Keyboardist/Producer Rique Pantoja recently performed at Spazio's in Sherman Oaks, CA  for an evening of original Brazilian Jazz with Justo Almario – sax & flute, John Peña – bass, Walter Rodriguez – drums, and Mitchel Long - guitar. Rique stays busy teaching Contemporary Piano, MIDI Production, Songwriting and Ensembles at Biola University, L.A. Music Performance -LAMP, and World Mission University in California. More info here:

Alex Acuna - is very busy playing in a new jazz fusion trio "Acuna/Hoff/Mathisen" and has many engagements in Europe and in the USA with the group. To hear audio clips visit:

For more news/info on all of our (100) Network Artists visit here!

All the charts and resources you need to play more inspirational jazz in church, concerts, and studio! Big Band, and various ensemble arrangements by Ralph Carmicheal, Chris McDonald, Chuck Marohnic, John Carlson, David Arivett, Jeff Anderson, Denver & the Mile High Orchestra, and many others can be found on the Christian Jazz Charts page located here!

Jazz ED PAge

The Jazz Ed page adds new products/categories

Did you know that there is software available specifically designed for producing jazz music? Check out all the products here:

Bluthner Digital Model One Grand Piano  Pianist/composer David Arivett recently recorded several demos for using the Bluthner Digital Model One Grand Piano. David used to own a 7 ft. Bluthner acoustic Grand and was totally blown away by the realistic piano sound of the digital piano. Bluthner has a long history of manufacturing top quality grands (built in the same neck of the woods as Steinway, Bechstein, and Borsendorfer.)

You can hear David's demos as well as George Duke, Russell Ferrante, Don Grusin and others playing jazz, blues, and funk demos here:

All the Jazz Educational resources you need to take your musical talent to the next level are just a click away!  

Jazz Food for the Soul!

"Tain't no sin to step out of your skin and dance around in your bones!"

The definition of swing located on the Theolonius Monk Institute Of Jazz puts it this way:

"To swing is when a an individual player or ensemble performs in such a rhythmically coordinated way as to command a visceral response from the listener( to cause the feet to tap and heads to nod); an irresistible gravitational buoyancy that defies mere verbal definition".

Jazz legend Miles Davis defined swing as "A mysterious, unexplainable quality in jazz which makes one feel that 'stuff' all up in your body".

Finally, Duke Ellington wrote the famous song, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"!  

Composing A Jazz-Shaped Faith...Finding the Groove

By Robert Gelinas

Picture the possibilities if American churches operated like jazz combos instead of slick corporations. Drawing parallels between the body of Christ and the qualities inherent to jazz, Robert Gelinas points us beyond the ordinary to the often overlooked freedom, beauty, grace, unity, creativity, and power that are our birthright as believers. Using brilliant metaphors from the world of jazz, Robert Gelinas reveals breathtaking possibilities for the body of Christ. What might a “jazz-shaped faith” look like—and how could it help us fulfill the message of the gospel in a way no method, movement, or structured program ever could? How can understanding the beauty of jazz help you better understand Jesus, his vision for those who follow him, and his heartbeat for a world that is badly out of sync?“

A jazz-shaped faith … balances freedom with boundaries, the individual with the group, and traditions with the pursuit of what might be. I have discovered in jazz a way of thinking, living, communicating—a way of being … a groove.”

If you want to discover a freer, more genuine expression of Christianity, "Finding the Groove" will be music to your ears, your heart, and your mind. If you’ve longed to follow Jesus Christ outside the slick corporate structures that some American churches erect this book is for you.

But this book isn’t just about music. It is about a passionate, biblical, fully integrated way of looking at life and salvation that will free you to find your own unique groove in the kingdom of God.

To purchase this book visit here!

Articles exploring the connection between jazz music, creativity, spirituality, and God

We have located online many great articles that have been written about jazz and the spiritual connection including using jazz in church for evangelism, worship, and personal enjoyment. A list of recommended reading is also available...

 Smooth Pizzazz...Jazz with Pizzazz!


Just a few clicks away is an internet radio station containing nearly 500 tracks from top jazz artists. Broadcasting all over the world 24/7 Smooth Pizzazz has the most complete collection of jazzed up hymns, sacred jazz, and spirituals you will find anywhere! Its free so what are you waiting for?

 More info here!


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