My Passion For Jazz

Of course, worship music is my first passion but jazz is my second musical love. I’ve listened to it for years but never performed it “live” until last year when my friend, David McKay, encouraged me to pursue my interest.

My first official jazz gig was in Atlanta. I was so nervous, however, once I got past the jitters, I had the best time crooning through the tunes.

The next gig was a wedding reception where I had to learn 3 new songs for the bride….one of which is L.O.V.E. by Natalie Cole. That song is special to me because it reminds me of how much I  L.O.V.E.  Carl. It was a blast!  (I’m always careful to sing songs that don’t compromise my beliefs as a Christian)

All that to say, I am realizing that it is never too late to pursue one’s passions…..NEVER.

Christmas almost here and if you love jazz as much as I do, you will enjoy my jazz Christmas CD The Greatest Gift.


  1. Jeff Edman says


    Awesome that you’re follwowing your dreams and singing some jazz tunes from time to time. I’m also a jazz lover and play it whenever I get the opportunity. Who says that Christians have to surrender all fields of secular music to the world, right? We are the salt of the Earth, so go for it….

    I so appreciate you and Carl and your ministry of encouragement. Your comments made me smile. It’s awesome to know that you can Love the Lord and still apppreciate the beauty of art forms like Jazz. I realize that we need to be careful and “guard our hearts.” However, the Lord is the giver of ALL good things, so we can worship Him as we appreciate the beauty He’s blessed us with through so many great artists and musicians (even if they come from other musical traditions). I think it’s wonderful that we can do that, and not compromise our standards.

    Just like you, I believe that worship music is the greatest expression of musical giftedness and it will always be my “First Love.”. However, the Lord loves us and beautiful music, whether it be Jazz, Classical, Popular tunes, or whatever can and should be a healthy part of our lives as we are lead by the Holy Spirit to be discerning and experience the Love of the Lord in His gifts to us.

    I know that Carl loves Jazz as well. Hopefully you guys get to perform together from time to time. Ever wonder why no one has come forth with much “Jazz” based worship music? I’m thinking it would be refreshing from time to time. I love the CCM we all listen to most of the time. However, it would be good from time to time to expand our horizons (musically) don’t you think?

    God Bless & Have a Great Day …

  2. Warren Smith says

    Leann, thanks for your encouagement! I took up playing the drumset a few years ago in my mid forties having absolutely zero background in music. I didnt know a quarter note from a highhat. It’s been dificult, but i enjoy it so much. Occasionally I will question whether or not i should be pursuing something so comprehensive so late in life but it truly has become a passion. Carl’s DVD’s are a huge help. Thanks for everything you both. do.

    • Hi Warren…I am proud of you!! LIke I mentioned in my blog….it’s never too late to pursue our passions. Many times those desires are woven into our DNA at birth from the Lord…..that’s why it takes a lifetime to unfold them. I laugh sometimes because I have so many passions, I say, if I just had another “me”, I could get to all of them.” LOL! Actually, we will have all the time of eternity, without hinderances, when we get to heaven. We’ll get to be excellent at whatever we put our hand to. We were created to create….that’s why it makes us so happy when we do.
      Keep following your dreams and passions. God will direct your path,
      Many blessings to you.

  3. Marcus Montgomery says

    I am glad to hear this because I am A drummer and I would like to expand my drum Ministry as well to Jazz and other genres that Do Not require to play against what the Bible says. I have been trying to locate people where I can play different artists. I live in Chicago but I am single and I am willing to travel. If there is A workshop for musicians to connect with Music Directors and Singers, please send all information you can. You have just encouraged me Hugely. Thank You.

    • Hi Marcus…..keep working on your skill level and be available…which it sounds like you are doing. God will open the doors to fulfill your desires. Carl and I may be starting a worship school which would be a great place to connect with lots of people. I will keep you posted,
      Many blessings to you….keep pursuing your passion for God and music.

      • Michael Richard says

        Hi Leann (and Marcus and Warren)

        It’s a huge encouragement words I read from all of you especially every replies from Leann to Marcus and Warren.
        I’m pursuing my love for drumming which I played since I was a little and seriously took lessons in my 20th. And now I’m 43, still young and on fire playing drums in my church in Indonesia and teaching drums in a fast growing secular music school.

        I thought I’m the only one who is too late to pursue my passion. But reading all of your comments raise my faith, hope in doing what I’m doing

        • Hi Michael…… long as we have breath, He can still use us! It may look different that we had imagined but it will ALWAYS be GOOD because it is His Spirit in us.
          Keep drumming!!

    • Your honesty is like a baceon

  4. Hi Leann,

    I am a Christian musician and always follow your website… and I (just) know that your love is about four things: You love God, you love Carl, you love cooking and you love Jazz 🙂

    So what kind of jazz style do you like? And what jazz group do you listen mostly?

    Anyway, I totally agree with the statement you wrote above: “I’m always careful to choose songs that don’t compromise my beliefs as a Christian.” It was also what I always consider in learning and playing jazz.

    Tx Leann, keep loving them, and God is the number one whom we must love with all our being. May God bless you and Carl!!


    • Hi Semmy,
      Thank you for your kind post! Yes, I love lots of things in life too. 🙂 As far as jazz….I like smooth jazz…songs with catchy melodies and ones that are relaxing. Actually, I like to cook listening to Pandora Radio. My favorite is the Chris Botti station. We went to see Chris in concert with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra recently and cried through most of the evening because it was so beautiful. What a moment in time!!
      Anyway, keep pressing into Him and enjoy all of His gifts…, sound, food and most importantly, friendship with Him.
      Blessings to you.

    • It’s a pleasure to find such rationality in an anwesr. Welcome to the debate.

  5. Hi Leann,

    I recently attended a Word Of Life conference in Schroon Lake, N.Y. and had the pleasure of seeing you perform for the first time. I was truly blessed and inspired, as I have been a singer for many years but haven’t been using my gift. The holy spirit has been REMINDING me that the Lord gave me this gift and I should be praising him with it. In watching you praising Him so beautifully I feel I was shown my disobedience in not praising Him with my voice. A friend mentioned that you have CD sound tracks with and without vocals that are available to purchase. How can I obtain sound tracks to your music? By the way, I bought 3 of your CD’s at the conference so please don’t think I don’t want to hear your beautiful voice, it’s just that I need the music backup to sing in church. You are a precious sister in Christ and my God continue to bless you ( and Carl also, nice feel on the drums Carl!!!!)
    Sue Maise

    • Hi Sue….I was hoping to get the tracks loaded on my website store but it is taking more time and expertise. I sell my tracks for non-commercial and non-recording purposes only for $5.95 per track without lead vocals. If you let me know which tracks you would like to purchase, I will send the MP3’s to you. I take payment on Paypal at Just send me an email at to let me know the tracks you want and as soon as I see your payment, I’ll send them to you.
      Again, I apologize for the delay in responding to your note.
      I too had a GREAT time at the Word of LIfe conference.
      Thanks for your kind post.
      Have a very Merry Christmas!

Speak Your Mind