(Washington, D.C.) – A great year so far for Gospel Saxophonist Todd Ledbetter. Known as the “Jazz Psalmist,” the gifted instrumentalist received his first award a few months ago when he walked away with a Gospel Blue M.I.C. Achievement Award for Instrumental Artist of the Year at the Independent Gospel Artists Alliance held in Chesapeake, VA, last summer. Now the artist has just been recognized with a nomination for one of the highest honors in gospel music, The Stellar Award. Todd was nominated in the category of Instrumental Gospel CD of the Year for his latest effort, Meditations: Hymns In the Key of Jazz. The Stellar Awards will be handed out at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN, on Saturday, January 14, 2012.
The instrumentation of Meditations: Hymns In The Key of Jazz is simple but poignant. The CD’s production seamlessly takes the listener from a Saturday night jazz set to Sunday morning worship with stunning renditions and sweet arrangements of songs such as “Give Me A Clean Heart”, “It Is Well” and “Holy Holy Holy”. “I believe this CD is a musical tonic for the soul,” says Ledbetter. “I also believe that in these complex, challenging times, people need music that will deepen their faith experience.”
With over 20 years of performing experience, Ledbetter’s start began as a youngster raised by a gospel-loving mother and a jazz-adoring father. He studied his craft at the University of Pittsburgh where he was tutored by Dr. Nathan Davis. A true master of the instrument, Ledbetter has worked with the crème of the crop including jazz icons Grover Washington, Jr., James Moody, John Faddis, Eddie Harris, Ronnie Wells and Marcus Johnson and gospel notables Bishop Walter Hawkins, Richard Smallwood, Byron Cage and Bryan Wilson. Todd believes that God has given him a unique vision of music ministry combining the spiritual power and authority of gospel with the rich aesthetics of jazz.