Friday, November 28, 2014

New Musical Guest Artist, Jeff Turner, New Thought Young Adult Hip Hop Artist

Greetings! I am sharing the press kit of an incredible young adult new thought hip hop artist that is going places! Your name was mentioned as someone that might be interested in his work for conventions, gatherings and CSL morning guest artist spots. Since I've already been talking to everyone about him, I figured Id get the word out here to start. Here is his press kit with videos and his bio. From personal experience of having lived at the Launching Pad with him in Berkeley, CA, he is truly a talented, humbled, and inspiring young man. You'll want to book him asap. Pass on the word!

With Love,
Rev. Savanna

Jeff Turner is an MC/Singer/Songwriter from the South Bay Area of California. Mixing Classic Hip-Hop Principles with the evolving sound of Hip-Hop, this 26 year old artist is a combination of everything needed to succeed. "Blending truth with human spectacle" He calls his aggressive lyrical chemistry mixed with harmonic, soulful hooks that have rocked crowd after crowd. Playing over 150 shows in the last 3 years with nearly every major artist in multiple regions of the country he has truly become a master of ceremonies. 

A core member of the media company Teambackpack he's become known as the one of the greatest live performers coming up with 3 million views with the company of his one take cyphers and his performance with Krizz Kaliko at 850,000 and rising. He's been featured on and, all while playing shows with artists such as Too Short, YG, Soulja Boy, Baby Bash, Jarron Benton, Rittz, Riff Raff, Bone Thugz and Harmony and many more. His debut EP "A Beautiful Mess" released in May of 2014 led by the powerful single and Music Video "Breathe" and the anticipated project was followed with his first national headlining tour. Turner is seeing major momentum by following his motto of "Don't make fans…make believers," as connecting with his listeners has proven to be the effective edge of this up and coming talent. 

With a rising buzz off and online while keeping his focus on maintaining superb content and the best live performance possible, it's getting harder and harder to ignore this guy.

-2 National Tours

-San Jose Center For Spiritual Living Musical Guest August 2014

-1 Headlining National Tour including stops in Portland, Kansas City, Denver CO and more

-International fan-base that is growing daily

-Bay Area Tour with Locksmith

-Released Debut EP "A Beautiful Mess" to great reviews

-150 live performances in 3 years

-3 Million Youtube Views

-Core Member of Teambackpack one of the biggest movements in independent hip hop.

-Video with Krizz Kaliko with 843,000 views.

-Launched in May 2014 to great reception

-Featured on

-Featured on one of the biggest

publications in hip hop.

-Featured on, Good Music All Day

and many other publications.

Jeff Turner - "Breathe" (Official Music Video)

Jeff Turner - "Gone" (Official Music Video)

View on

CSL San Jose

Monday, August 25, 2014

Shareables: 450+ Mainstream Songs

I just wrote a new research paper called "In Praise of Mainstream Music: an index of familiar songs from sources outside our philosophy".

Built from the input of many music directors and music helpers, this paper discusses the pros and cons around using music in our NT services that doesn't come from NT composers - music from pop sources like Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On", traditional church sources like "His Eye is on the Sparrow", music theatre sources like "Seasons of Love" from Rent, or contemporary mainline Christian rep like "Open the Eyes of My Heart".

Check it out as the newest article on my resources page, which hosts free material to help New Thought music ministries.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shareables: How to Find Artists

This world is FULL of musicians, and no center need ever be without one on Sunday.   Ministers and music planners:  here are great ways to find skilled artists that might work for your community.

1) Use national professionals:
Experienced NT touring pros can be located through these great sites:  Empower Music and ArtsPositive Music AssociationUnity FM, and Spiritual Living Radio Network.  These artists are usually more accustomed to serving NT communities than secular artists or mainstream Christian contemporary artists.

2) Ask your counterparts in other local centers:
Sharing with your regional colleagues can radically speed up and improve your hiring processes.  For example, the PNW region has a Music Ministry tab that provides a list of regional artists, and they often cost less than national touring people.  Also, communication between ministries helps build and maintain reputations, so that artists who serve well can work more.
If your region doesn't have a website where you can share artist lists, consider making one, like this one made through Facebook.  It's easy, creates community, and improves function.

3) Hit the venues:
I love to debut new talent I find by checking out non-church circuits like my local folk scene,  performance festivals, kirtan calendars, and multi-performer cabarets.   Church newbies do require more time and care in the prep processes, but it's worth it.  

4) Ask your current performers:
About every 6 months, I send a note to all my regulars asking for recommendations for new blood.  It works wonderfully, and reminds my current people that they're valued and their opinions matter.  This is especially important when attempting to increase ethnic and cultural diversity, or find younger performers.  Product gets a boost, too:  friends-of-friends are more motivated and better supported to serve well, even the first time.

5) Ask your congregation:
About every 6 months I remind the congregation that their recommendations matter.  The reality is I have to pass on many of the folks people recommend, so I make sure I have grateful and graceful language around the "no".   But when I can book someone who came that way - like this wonderful find - I include the "thank you" to the congregant when I introduce them on Sunday morning.

6) Grow your own:
My congregant development program takes up more prep time, but fits our mission well.   We use about 4 volunteer performers every Sunday, plus our pros, and occasionally produce "all-congregant" Sundays.  I also invite the pro band members to bring students as "interns", and this emphasizes the value of learning/teaching and inclusivity.

Got more ideas about how centers can find artists that will fit their needs?
Let's hear them!

Monday, June 23, 2014

In Action: Ty Andrews

Extremely sweet and extremely stylish, Ty Andrews brings contemporary savvy and rhythm to his music, without ever losing the heart.  Flavors of hip hop and today's pop run throughout his music, along with the solid gospel and R&B background you'd expect from a proud PK (preacher's kid).

Ty is an active media consultant, on staff at Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta, while also leading the choir there. When he's not performing, he assists husband Rev. David Ault at SLCA and with Khmer Child Foundation, the school in Cambodia which Rev. Ault founded in 2009.  

More info at

Friday, May 9, 2014


Unity of Albany's music page has a handy dandy listing of hundreds of songs appropriate for New Thought services, all linked to mp3's and samples.  

Need ideas?   Try this page.

Need sheet music for these?  Try Musicnotes, which has transposable digital downloads, or of course Empower Music & Arts, if it's a very New Thought-specific songwriter.  

And here's a Unity NW region music ministry resource page.  We're finding and sharing more and more resource material, so if you've got a good one in your files, please email and let us know!  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NW Region -- Leadership Empowerment Training Event

Seattle Unity is now hosting the regional Unity leadership meeting, and this time, it's expanded it to include an all-New Thought music ministry leadership track.  While the board, youth, admin and other leaders are having their meetings downstairs, Erin McGaughan is leading a full roster of music ministry leaders from all over the Pacific Northwest region's CSL's and Unities as they present a range of topics:

-  help with singalongs
-  Q&A panels with expert leaders from churches small and large
-  experiential sessions on charismatic worship
-  a mini-TED session with talks from local sages
-  a concert with mystic rock phenom Rafe Pearlman,
-  an improv session designed to demonstrate the main concepts of the Board track presenters.   This conference is titled "The Jazz of Leadership" and this demo turns that metaphor into real music.

Food, swag bags, and great networking guaranteed.  Presenters include Becca Palm, Laura Berman, Rafe Pearlman, Erin McGaughan, Eric O'del, Beverly Daugherty, Matt Corey, Tricia Sikes, Edree Allen-Agbro and more.  

Here's the full schedule.  Here's Facebook page with more details.  

Register today!  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Special Event - New Thought Music Festival in Riverside

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Community Center for Spiritual Living
In Riverside California

Now in its fourth year, the festival promises another great event with powerful performances of positive music from major New Thought artists Eddie Watkins Jr., Harold Payne, Gary Lynn Floyd, and Denise Rosier, plus a few surprises - hosted by Al Yankee.

This year includes a workshop from Eddie Watkins Jr. called "I Sing My Prayers".

Find out all about it here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Shareables - Songs from Denise Rosier

This award-winning LA-based singer/songwriter is making wonderful waves on the national Posi music scene, and no wonder.  Her music is perfectly suited to New Thought services and a treat for any listener, as well as anyone jumping in to sing them.  Denise embodies a spirit of service, not only as an active touring artist to CSL's all over the country (check her calendar) but also as a staff writer for Songs of Love, a foundation supporting terminally ill children. 

But here's the kicker:  she's giving away a sampler set of songs right here.  Have a listen and find yourself singing along gladly.   Spirit is in this Place is a great welcoming tune; Everything is Sacred is an anthemic energy-builder;  We Are and God Within Me are both solid prayer tunes - all super singable and aligned with NT principles.    And here are the charts, so you can use them in your community! 

Thank you, Denise -- 
         This is what "Shareables" is all about!  

Learn more about Denise here, where you can donate to support her work, buy albums, tracks and more.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

In Action: Nathen Aswell

This Canadian delight tops the "musician's musician" list as a favorite person to have in your band.  Nathen's a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with mountains of experience in sacred and secular gigs of all kinds, and well as decades of walking the NT talk.

Though he's based in Vancouver Nathen travels extensively doing services, concerts, and conferences all over the hemisphere, this week at the Posi Fest in Orlando, then back to BC for kirtan with the Sufi Order of Vancouver, and then back to Orlando for the CSL Leadership Conference.

Nathen has a long term commitment to SEVA which restores sight and prevents blindness in the developing world, and sends fond shout-outs to three great spiritual centers:  CSL White Rock, CSL Eugene, and CSL in Columbia MD (wow, I didn't even know they had one there!)

Find out more at

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Shareables - 5 Crucial Techniques for Songleading in New Thought Services

From your NT Artist page admin Erin McGaughan:   
I wrote this paper on songleading, with input from some of the best songleaders I know, including Karen Drucker, David Roth,  Daniel Nahmod, Thom Lich, Christopher Fritzsche, Thaddeus Spae, Becky Thatcher, Richard Mekdeci, Penelope Williams, Sydney Lehman, Amy Steinberg, Rev. Daley Worley, and the late Rev. Sky St. John.

Read and pass this on to songleaders, service planners, ministers and music directors. 

I'd love any feedback you have on the topic, too.   More freebie papers on music ministry, voice and other topics are available at