Lutheran Gospel: God's Music Has No Color - The Shared Traditions Project blends familiar Aglo-Protestant hymns with current American American gospel music. This project pays tribute to the marriage of styles that can happen when the Holy Spirit gets involved with multiple people groups at roughly the same time. These hymns—mostly written by white musicians in 19th century England or America—are performed with a multi-ethnic group of musicians in the manner that they are played every Sunday morning in certain churches, but featuring a saxophone player from outside the tradition.
The project originates in Houston, Texas—a melting pot of both church expressions AND musical styles. Take one part German immigrant culture. Add in influences from the communities of color that share the immigrant experience. Top it off with the guidance & direction of the Holy Spirit. This is how the traditions of Lutheran Gospel were born. Churches in Houston live this reality every Sunday.
John-David Struckmann has gathered a core group of top quality musicians in Houston, Texas to perform a live concert and record the Lutheran Gospel album.
The Lutheran Gospel Project will debut on April 6, 2014 at a live concert in Houston. Supporting this project will give the music from that evening a new life…in a studio-produced album, complete with documentary and behind-the-scenes footage on The Making of the Lutheran Gospel Project.
Risks and challenges
One big risk I face is that as soon as I gather these musicians from several churches where they each run the show, I take over as the boss. Now, I do this every day in lots of musical situations, but this will be new to all of us.
A second risk is to continue to manage lots of folks who are contributing to this project. I need to both trust my partners and keep them on task. Seeing every little detail through to completion will be a challenge.
Finally, managing the time during recording sessions to balance between spending too much or too little time on each tune. This is new territory for me.
That being said, I've always loved gospel music. It has touched me in a way I can't quite understand. As Motown appeals to the jazz player in me, gospel pulls the church musician to a different place. Both of these styles are a part of who I am, and I can't wait to share that with you!
Here's what I mean: They hymns are part of me to my core. They are my standards. As a church musician and music educator, my experience of leading hymns has me understand the form. I've had to work hard to learn how to play familiar hymns on the keyboard in the gospel style for when I lead in my churches and schools.
While I've always jumped at the chance to play gospel music on saxophone, I've fallen into several situations here in Houston that has allowed me to play more regularly. I'm the blend of traditional Lutheran hymnody and multi-cultural experience in America in the 1970s & 80s.
My Lutheran brothers & sisters love this stuff, but not many of them have heard it this way! These particular hymns because they started in protestant churches and went one direction there and a different direction in gospel churches. I can't wait to mix the two! Kickstarter will give me the opportunity to do this right.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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