Los Angeles, CA — Chart-topping contemporary smooth jazz artist and producer Jackiem Joyner releases his highly anticipated Gospel music debut CHURCH BOY in stores today, October 23, 2012 on the Artistry Music/Mack Avenue record label.
“My new album CHURCH BOY stems from my time as a young and eager boy who wanted to play a part in music ministry” states Joyner, who grew up in a household dominated by Gospel music. Church Boy reflects the Virginia-born saxophonist’s deep roots in ministry. “My music career is a testament to how God will bless you and how he will bring you out of something…you will come out much stronger.”
The album is a transparent and honest testament of Joyner’s faith. After graduating from high school, Joyner moved from upstate New York back to Virginia, and found himself with no money, no job and homeless. For almost six months, Joyner lived from shelter to shelter, sometimes staying with a friend. His Pastor helped him get on track by helping him find a job and an apartment. Thinking his difficulties were over, Joyner was shocked to find himself once again homeless in just a few short months. It was the same situation, shelter to shelter, eventually hitting rock bottom and living in his car.
“I found myself praying a lot because these were very difficult times,” recalls Joyner. “No one knew I slept in my car for a month. I learned that if I didn’t experience those hard times, I believe my character would have been different. I don’t think I would have become the strong Christian that I am now. I don’t believe there is anything too hard for God, and I don’t believe there will be anything that will shake my faith again.”
CHURCH BOY reaches back to Joyner’s roots and reignites his faith bringing together his beloved jazz and his foundational gospel music. This is reflected in the varying styles, from the whimsical sound evident on the Kirk Franklin cover of “I Smile” (joined by jazz great Kirk Whalum), to the theatrical on the universally popular hymn “Jesus Loves Me.” Joyner also throws in some rock-and-roll and pop with nods to Toby Mac on the moving “City On Our Knees,” the up-tempo favorite “You Are Good” by Israel Houghton, and the compelling “Bless The Lord (Son Of Man),” a Tye Tribbett classic with Jonathan Butler on lead acoustic guitar.
One of my favorite songs that meant so much to me during a tough time in my life,” states Joyner, “is the Percy Bady-penned, “Still I Rise,” beautifully recorded originally by the incomparable Yolanda Adams. It was important for me to record that song. The anointing came and took over the instrument as I was playing and I could feel the presence of God.”