Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord;
it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre;
make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.
Sing a new song of praise to him;
play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. Psalm 33: 1-3
Jazz as a Path to the Creator
John Coltrane’s commitment to experimentation and exploration, his cross-cultural interests, and his spirituality as much as his musicianship have made him a hero to me and many others. His work inspires the understanding that jazz music, at its core, is spiritual, even to those that don’t realize it. Consider, for a moment, the unifying power of jazz. Every culture embraces jazz and gives it its own spin. Musicians of all colors, races, religions, ages, and backgrounds, play music together and make it as ONE; just as the universe is ONE, and we are all part of that ONE.
Continue reading “The Healing and Unifying Power of Music”
On January 16th, 2017, MLK (Martin Luther King) day, the ten-piece band I play in, “Souliverse” (Souliverse.com), will be celebrating and performing at a mid-day event at the historic Ashland Armory in downtown Ashland, Oregon. If you’re in the area, please join us for this celebration. (Souliverse just released a live DVD/CD from the Mederi Benefit Concert from this past August.)
Continue reading “Living with Passion and Purpose: Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King and John Coltrane”
In 1964, John Coltrane, often referred to as just “Trane,” revealed to the world his concept of spirituality in the form of what would soon be a world-renowned recording, “A Love Supreme.” Coltrane’s unique concept fused music and theology; he looked deep within himself, around himself, and to the heavens and the mystery of faith and religion.
Coltrane was on an unyielding quest for a closer relationship with God, and the manifestation of his quest was music virtually indescribable by the written word. I came across this essay, which speaks to the power of his music: “John Coltrane may be the only musician ever whose recordings would later be assigned the power of divination usually attributed to proto-jazz hymns and old time healers whose primal energy conjured spirits and laid souls bare.” (KARASLAMB, Revivalist Exclusive: Remembering John Coltrane On His 87th Birthday.)
Continue reading “Celebrating John Coltrane”
John Coltrane (1926-1967)—saxophonist, composer, and iconic figure—is to me a saint. He has inspired me in my music and my life, and has meant so much to me that we named our son Coltrane. September 23rd is the anniversary of John Coltrane’s birth. In his honor, I want to share with you what has made him such an influential figure in my life.
Continue reading “Remembering John Coltrane”
One of my favorite musicians is the great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. It’s not only his consummate skill as a musician that inspires me, but the way that he finds and expresses God through his music.
One evening, as Coltrane performed one of his most well known pieces—“A Love Supreme”, he ascended to new heights of superb musicianship. Everything came together in a transformative experience for Coltrane, and he communicated this transcendent experience to the audience through his saxophone. As he left the stage, his drummer heard him softly say, “Luke 2:22-29.” Coltrane recognized that he had touched heaven, and that he was doing what he was meant to do in this earthly existence.
Continue reading “Finding God In Music”