New Members Page


The CJA Network Welcomes New Members!

Our network membership of Christians who are jazz artists continues to grow and expand in many innovative and creative ways and for that we are very thankful!

To view all of our members and hear their music visit here!

Summer 2009

Tom Hemby  is a Guitarist, Producer, Songwriter, and Programmer. Tom has lived and worked in Nashville as an active musician for the past 29 years. Starting out in Nashville in 1978 he soon became an active touring musician, backing artists such as “The Imperials” and Amy Grant. His touring career has evolved into a recording career as a studio guitarist/ producer/ songwriter.

Tom’s recording credits include artists: Michael English, Kenny Loggins, former Doobie Brother  Michael McDonald, Amy Grant, Donna Summer, Vince Gill, Peter Cetera, Barry Manilow, Faith Hill, Brian McKinight, Steve Winwood, Glenn Shorrock (Little River Band), Michael W. Smith, BeBe & CeCe Winans, and many, many more. Tom’s songwriting credits include songs recorded by artists: Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Dionne Warwick, Hank Williams Jr., Bruce Carroll, BeBe & CeCe Winans, The Gaither Vocal band, Michael English, and others.

Tom’s solo instrumental CD “Chasing The Wind” is available for purchase! You can hear audio clips here. Tom one a Dove Award for this project in 2004 which won “Instrumental Album Of The Year”!

Review - "Chasing The Wind"
An amazing amalgam of jazz-flavored R&B layered over elements of Americana and shot with tribal beats and world music influences.  . . . Tom Hemby s deft acoustic guitar pierces straight to the soul.- Mike Parker,

Tom's next instrumental project" In The Moment" which is nearing completion, is a electric guitar outing of great jazz fusion and will feature a "who's who" list of famous guest artists and musicians! You can preview audio clips of this new recording project here!

For even more on Tom Hemby visit here!

Phil Upchurch  has been a prominent figure in the blues, soul, R&B and jazz circles for more than 50 years. In addition to his work with the legendary Jimmy Smith, Upchurch has performed and recorded with some of the music industry’s biggest names. His talents have teamed him with musical legends such as Quincy Jones, Bob Dylan, Julio Iglesias, Ray Charles, Ramsey Lewis, Carmen McRae, George Benson, Donny Hathaway, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Carmen McRae, Marlena Shaw, Eddie Harris, Brother Jack McDuff, Joe Williams, Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock, Grover Washington, Jr. and Wynton Kelly, among many others.

A prolific guitarist whose distinctively funky, blues-steeped jazz style has graced well over a thousand recordings across the popular music spectrum, the legendary Phil Upchurch has also recorded 27 albums of his own leadership, as well as movie soundtracks. Jazz enthusiasts love and respect Phil Upchurch for his singular approach to composition. Phil is unusually versatile, moving from classical, jazz, funk or contemporary  just as easy as walking from one room to another.

In 2006, Phil Upchurch married actress/songstress Sonya Maddox and, for the first time in his career, recognized his bride as his writing partner. “The timbre of her voice and her style of language rings perfectly with my intricate combination of chords,” he states. “Sonya completes me."

Phil & Sonya share a Christian Music Marriage Ministry, assisting gifted young musicians in realizing their objective of studying music at a college of their choice through the Jimmy Smith Foundation, which Phil founded, partnered with The Jackie Robinson Foundation. Through their WONDERVISION company they are also producing a book of Phil’s photography, a book and documentary on his life, and a solo CD for Phil.

You can hear audio clips here.

More info on Phil here!   Sonya Maddox (Phil's Wife!) teams up with Phil on this CD!!

Michael Parlett  was born in Bexleyheath, Kent, England. Michael is a soulful and expressive musician and Producer with over 25 years experience in the music industry. Michael plays Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes, Flute, Piccolo and a collection of Indian Flutes as well as the WX7 Yamaha wind synthesizer.

Michael has performed and recorded with many top artists around the world including Jeff Lorber, Peabo Bryson, Najee, Eric Marienthal, Marion Meadows, Darlene Zschech, Ron Kenoly, Adlan Cruz, Andre and Sandra Crouch, and just too many others to list here!

Michael shares that "... I have played with some amazing musicians in Church where I received most of my training playing alongside other more established singers and musicians at concerts and functions."

Michael has released his solo recording project "Waiting On You". Joining with Michael on this recording is keyboardist Luke "Duke" Smith, Joy Rose, (lead singer of the band Incognito and currently working with Sting) and other outstanding musicians. Serving up a feast of energetic, funky, and soulful sax, Michael's CD covers unique arrangements of well known up-tempo worship classics "Lord I Lift Your Name On High", "Ancient Of Days", slower tempo moving renditions of the worship songs "As The Deer", "Welcome Into This Place", as well as originals penned by Michael and others from the group. Hear audio clips here!

Michael continues to work as a session musician and producer working from his own studio "Talented Productions" as well as host his own radio show on Solar Radio. He has also been playing with Jeff Lorber and there is a YouTube video with Michael and Jeff playing 'live' on Michael's myspace website.

Barbara Dennerlein   The list of venues where Barbara has wowed audiences is as varied as it is long: the "Blue Note" and the "Sweet Basil" in New York, "Ronnie Scott's Club" and the "Jazz Café" in London and the "Blue Note" in Tokyo; Philadelphia, Berkley, San Jose, San Diego; the Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, and Victoria jazz festivals, as well as appearances all over Europe.

Her CD productions feature hand-picked line-ups of prominent musicians versed in different styles; first rate musicians like Ray Anderson, Antonio Hart, Mitch Watkins, Randy Brecker, Jeff "Tain" Watts, David Murray, Howard Johnson, Frank Lacy, David Sanchez, Roy Hargrove, Bob Berg and Dennis Chambers.

Swing, bebop, blues, soul, latin and funk - for Barbara there are no rigid boundaries, only fluid transitions. Audiences are captivated by her talent, her absolute mastery of the instrument, her taste, and not least, her warm personality.

"Barbara is the only jazz organist I know that can play jazz on a pipe organ in church and really pull it off! You simply have to hear it to believe it! And she really "cooks" on the Hammond B-3 as well..."  - David Arivett (CJA Network)

Barbara is booked at churches all across the US this summer playing jazz in church and other jazz concerts!

Check out Barbara's You Tube Video, JS Bach Improv Toccata & Fugue:

"Spiritual Movement 2" is Barbara Dennerlein's second solo CD featuring jazz on a church organ. It is her indisputably unique artistry to make the powerful pipes, voluminous manuals, and weighty pedals more tractable for the turbulent syncopations of jazz...Hear audio clips here!

To hear more of Barbara's recordings with a band visit her web site:

Richy Stano & Mindwalk  In his career guitarist/composer Richy Stano has performed with Bo Diddley, Jimi Tunnel, Dan Toler, Producer/Songwriter Stan Lynch, Chieli Minucci, Bob Welch, Andy Prieboy, All My Children's Alan Dysert, Sister Hazel's Andrew Copeland, Joe Porcaro, and Steve Bailey. As a composer, Stano's film & TV soundtrack credits and commercial jingle credits include: "Problem Child II," "Lobster Man from Mars," "Mr. Belvedere," "On the Television," AT&T, ESPN, CNN, Nickelodeon, Special Olympics, FOX-TV, ABC-TV, CBS-Sports, and many many others.

Richy also served as Staff Instructor at Hollywood's Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) and the Curriculum Coordinator for the Musicians Institute (MI). While in the Los Angeles area Stano worked with Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, Boney James, Michael Lington, Mike Campbell & Benmont Tench of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, Rick Dees' Rockin' New Years Eve, and the pit band for The Groundlings Improv Comedy Troupe.

Richy's group "Mindwalk" are a five piece group representing a "talent pool of diversity" rarely seen in the industry. From nationally recognized albums, movie scores, jingles, award winning big band compositions to recording engineering and sound design, Mindwalk and it's members deliver musicianship at the highest levels and back it up with instrumental virtuosity. Mindwalk's original music is artfully sprinkled with Fusion, Bebop, Funk, Latin, Hip-Hop, and Smooth Jazz.

Mindwalk's live performances include opening concerts for such prominent Artists as Spyro Gyra, The Yellowjackets, Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters, Bill Frisell, Jon Secada, Acoustic Alchemy, The Rippingtons, Richard Elliott, Joan Osbourne, BB King, Steve Morse Band, Less Than Jake, Maceo Parker, Eric Darius, Larry Coryell, Pieces Of A Dream, Greg Karukas, Daryle Singeltary, Les Dudek, Pat Travers, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and many others.

"The five piece Mindwalk amalgam of experienced musicians play an eclectic, unclassifiable style of music best described by the band’s name - "Mindwalk." It’s a journey through the uninhibited vistas of the mind’s expanded musical consciousness, like a trip into the eye of a star, emerging on the other side... In this realm of the free spirited mind walkers, time and space are distorted by music with no boundaries or limited intervals" - Rick Grant, Editor, First Coast Entertainer Magazine

You can hear audio clips here!

Sam Levine   Nashville studio musicians know Sam Levine as one of the busiest woodwind players in town. In one day he might play saxophone for a country artist, flute or penny whistle for a gospel artist and clarinet in a traditional jazz band. His playing has given color and expression to a wide variety of artists' tracks, including Amy Grant, the Neville Brothers, Vince Gill and Michael McDonald. He is known for his reliable ensemble skills and his melodic, expressive solos.

Sam is the leader of several different bands in the greater Nashville area and has served as music contractor for performers as diverse as Henry Mancini, Bill Gaither and Danny Gans. Bands include CITY LIGHTS, PHATJAZ, and BOURBON ST.

Sam has more than 10 artist CD's in the smooth jazz and contemporary Christian genres. He has been nominated three times for a Dove Award and played on at least two Grammy Award winning recordings. He is currently an artist with Village Square Music.

While music and the music business dominate Sam's schedule, his family remains the foundation of his life. He is married to Lee, Principal Clarinet of the Nashville Symphony, and they have two teenage children. They are members of Westminster Presbyterian in Nashville, a relationship that Sam says is a result of his life-long spiritual development that began with his parents unique blend of Jewish and Christian traditions.

Hear audio clips from "Smooth Praise" here!

Anne Walsh Was born into a musical family (her father Frank was a baritone/tenor who sang the lead in many productions for local light opera companies). Early on, Anne’s parents knew they had a singer on their hands. Anne humorously recalls “At age seven, I wanted to be Shirley Jones”.

After high school, Anne went on to attend Anna Maria College where she studied voice and music therapy. She also attended Orange Coast College, where she soon was invited to sing with the OCC Big Band.

Anne furthered her education pursuing a Master’s degree in music at Cal State Long Beach. There, she received voice training in the ‘bel canto’ art of singing with vocal teacher Marvelee Cariaga and sang and studied opera. Being well versed in operatic singing as well as jazz gives Anne a unique background and perspective to her vocals.

What really opened up new vistas for Anne was an audition at Carmello’s in Southern California. There she landed the gig and this was her introduction to Brazilian Jazz and the world of Jobim, Dori Caymmi, Basia, and Flora Purim. “The experience of singing Brazilian music gave my voice a freedom I had never known before.”

After receiving her master’s degree, Anne soon started singing with a local jazz quintet, where she met her future husband pianist Tom Zink. Presently, she sings at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach, CA and other various clubs in the Southern California area,

Recently Anne collaborated with her husband Tom Zink on a new recording project. It is a Brazilian jazz release “Pretty World”, and it includes many outstanding musicians:

Vocals: Anne Walsh
Piano/Keys/Arrangements: Tom Zink
Bass: Brian Bromberg, Carlitos Del Puerto, Jerry Watts
Drums: Chris Wabich
Percussion: Tiki Pasallis, Rogerio Jardim, Joe DeRenzo:
Sax: Gary Meek:
Guitar: Oscar Castro Neves, Gannin Arnold

"With her debut jazz CD ‘Pretty World’ Anne Walsh has sublimely captured the concept of this planet of ours as a beautiful place to be. Her voice is as clear as a bell and as she joyously interprets a range of songs that span the decades the entire collection is blessed with a luscious string section and picture perfect production from husband Thomas Zink. In fact Walsh navigates this wonderful amalgam of buoyant Brazilian jazz grooves and poignant heart tugging ballads with total aplomb..."  -  Denis Pool, Smooth Jazz Therapy

To hear audio clips visit here!

For more information on Anne Walsh visit:

Thomas Zink is a pianist, composer, producer, and engineer who has written/produced soundtracks for “Doug”, “101 Dalmatians” television cartoon series, commercials, and feature TV movie “Treasure Of Dos Santos” (a complete orchestral score). Tom owns and operates the Ming Dynasty Studio where he has also recorded many outstanding artists including Michael McDonald, Richard Elliot, Brian Bromberg, Dave Koz, Peter Nero, Fernando Ortega, Ronnie Laws and many others.

 Tom has also recorded several hundred projects for the Yamaha Disclavier, and Yamaha used his studio as its main facility for recording audio disks for their PianoSoft Plus Audio Disclavier series including projects with Joey DeFrancesco, Christopher Cross, Michael McDonald, John Novello, Carol Welsman, and Judy Roberts.

Tom is also a member of the jazz trio the "3&Band", an acoustic jazz trio in the style of ECM featuring piano, guitar, drums and bass with additional percussion and orchestral elements. The other two members of the band include notable outstanding drummer Chris Wabich and guitar whiz Gannin Arnold.

"Beautiful, mellow, and warm, this CD has a spiritual energy that will be sure to resonate and touch you deep within! The musicianship and writing are absolutely impeccable" - David Arivett (CJA Network)

To hear the 3&Band new release "American Folk Song" visit here!

Kemba Cofield is an internationally known jazz vocalist, recording artist, writer, and composer. She has entertained diverse audiences nationwide including performances at some of the finest venues such as the 2008 Atlanta Jazz Festival, the National Black Arts Festival, Lincoln Center Philadelphia Museum, Atlanta’s High Museum and New York’s Historic Lenox Lounge. Kemba has shared the stage with the Zapp Band, Midnight Star, Bernard Linnette, Don Braden, The Aaron Goldberg Trio, Takana Miyamoto, Freddie Cole, Rene Marie, and other jazz greats.

Kemba shares that "I don't just consider myself a vocalist but a storyteller. If I'm talking about love, I convey that emotion to the audience."

In 2003, Kemba met trombonist Wycliffe Gordon who invited her to sing with his ensemble as well as to appear on his album, "In The Cross". Her relationships with Linnette and Gordon have exposed her to new audiences, taught her the true meaning of hard work, and provided her with an entrée to the jazz scene.

On her CD release "Shades of Kemba" she sings traditional straight ahead standards while blending in and retaining her gospel roots. The "New Orleans" jazz sound also shines through as Wycliffe Gordon leads an ensemble in "When The Saints Go Marching In" and the  "I Want Jesus to Walk With Me."
A stellar group of jazz musicians contributed their musical expertise to the recording including Wycliffe Gordon, Victor Goines, Marcus Printup, Reginald Veal, Doron Johnson and Alvin Atkinson.

“Kemba Cofield has been on the jazz scene for years and delights her audience with a masterful blend of straight ahead jazz with the influence of her gospel roots.” –

To hear audio clips visit here!

More information on Kemba Cofield here!

Jetro Da Silva was born in Meier, Rio de Janeiro, in February 28th, 1967. DaSilva began his musical training at 12 years old. With only one month of piano lessons, Jetro was already playing for his church congregation (Sao Joao de Meriti Baptist Church). When Jetro turned 14, he started attending   Escola Nacional de Musica, the most respected classical school in Rio de Janeiro. Jetro auditioned and was awarded a full scholarship.

At only 16, Jetro was the sole supporter of his family, playing both with world-renowned musicians and for his Pentecostal church, Nova Vida da Tijuca in Rio da Janeiro. After touring with several Brazilian artists Jetro moved to Boston to extend his music education at Berklee College of Music, majoring in Music Production and Engineering.

Because of his talent and experience in Brazil as a producer, performer, arranger and songwriter, it didn't take Jetro very long for the music community in Boston and LA to embrace him. Jetro now holds a position of Professor at the ensemble department at the prestigious BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC in Boston, Ma. Jetro lives in East Greenwich, RI with his wife Rhonda da Silva.

Jetro’s experience, training as keyboardist/producer/arranger has increased his opportunity to work with people such as: Whitney Houston, Jamie Fox, Patti Labelle, Pastor Andrae Crouch, Earth Wind and Fire, Chaka Khan, The Pointer Sisters, Gladys Knight, Brandy, Sheila E., Namie Amuro, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Kem, Celine Dion, Patti Austin, Emilio Santiago, Monica, Mary and Mary and many others.

On Jetro's CD release "Live" the dominant sound is smooth jazz mixed with Brazilian, R&B,funk, and a touch of classical. The compositions range from well chosen covers, Miles Davis' "All Blues", Milton Nascimento's "Nothing Will Be As It Was", Caetano Veloso's "Voce E Minha", and a classical piece, "Conciertode Aranjuarez", by Rodrigo, to Da Silva originals.

To hear audio clips visit here!

More info on Jetro here:

 Michael Prigodich is a jazz pianist, composer and arranger.  Other instruments Mike can play include clarinet, trumpet, electric bass, classical guitar, and drums/percussion.  He began composing and learning to play jazz and rock on the piano after hearing Chuck Mangione, Dave Grusin, and Van Halen on the radio while in his early teens!  

Mike studied jazz in the late 1980's and early 1990's at Wheaton College in the Chicago, IL area with Howard Whitaker and Larry Panella (who later toured the world with the Phil Collins Big Band) Mike also took classes at the Wheaton Conservatory of Music, studying music theory, music history, and sight-singing, as well as piano lessons with John Zimmerman, a jazz combo class with Audrey Morrison, and a music technology class with Tony Payne. He also developed his musical versatility by playing in a jazz ensemble, a black gospel choir, composing original material and transcribing and arranging material by other artists including Kansas and Toto covers.  He also performed rock, pop, country, gospel, and jazz with many great musicians while continuing to hone his transcribing and arranging skills.  

After college, Mike stayed in the Chicago, IL area and played keyboards for several years during the mid-1990's with the Michael Newmark Orchestra, and continued his jazz piano studies with Bradley Williams (Woody Herman), Dennis Plies and Clay Giberson.

Within recent years, after moving to the Portland Oregon area he began playing electric bass at West Hills Covenant Church, along with occasional piano and keyboards.  Mike has also been hired to transcribe music for others to perform, including transcribing the hit song "Carry On Wayward Son" for the band at Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois for a guest appearance by guitarist Kerry Livgren from the Classical Rock group Kansas.

Mike has many interesting jazz, funk, and progressive rock arrangements of church music, as well as a growing catalog of original jazz and rock compositions.  He has recently formed a jazz quartet "Someday Syndrome" and is now playing jazz gigs with the group with plans for a new CD release soon.

To hear audio clips visit:

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