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CAREFREE, Ariz., June 26, 2014 -- The Jazz Psalms Project has released 75 original songs influenced by jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and world music. The Jazz Psalms Project offers a fresh new sound for worship, ideal for alternative or contemporary church services. Published by Music Serving the Word Ministries, the songs are being offered to church musicians and worship teams that want to explore a new way of presenting these ancient scriptures. Each song package includes mp3 demo tracks, full score, lead sheet, and parts for all instruments.
Bible scholars believe that the Psalms originated over 3,000 years ago as a collection of poems that were sung and accompanied by various musical instruments within the context of Hebrew worship. The Jazz Psalms Project stresses the importance of singing (and not just reading) the Psalms in church.
Composer Chuck Marohnic has written and recorded seventy-five original compositions and he is on track to complete all one hundred-fifty new Psalms in the next two to three years. Marohnic's experience as a jazz musician includes playing music all over the world with some of the finest musicians. "Composing this music challenges me to utilize every skill that I have acquired through the years including listening, playing, teaching, writing and arranging," he says.
The origins of The Jazz Psalms Project can be traced to a moment when Marohnic was meditating on one of the Psalms. "A strange thing happened," Marohnic relates. "I actually began to hear the words of the Psalm as music. I proceeded to write down the music I had heard and thus began the project."
Marohnic credits another jazz legend, the multi-instrumentalist, Ira Sullivan, for early inspiration. "Ira gave me so many things, the chance to play with some of the greatest jazz musicians in the world but more importantly, he showed me, through his example, that he was a man of faith," Marohnic remembers. "He always acknowledged that the gift of music was God's gift to him and he wanted to share that with everyone."
Music Serving the Word Ministries is a non-profit organization in Carefree, Arizona, with a mission of "Serving God's Word, and inviting people to Christ through music, media, outreach, technology and teaching."