Art Sherrod Jr is “…a man who loves music, a man who loves art, respects the spirit world and thinks with his heart.” 1 He is equal parts heart and soul and it seems as if God gave him an extra dose of expression through music.
The creative part of Art was shaped by rich experiences, the people with the greatest influence in his formative years and exposure of culture, religion, and the arts. These people, places and things have fostered an innate curiosity, and have nurtured and strong desire for expression. This is a perfect narrative of Art Sherrod, Jr.’s life and is a precise summary of his life and how his love for music and faith have been molded.
Art is a work in progress, so he is the first to tell you that his taste in music varies greatly, but the influence of growing up in Texas created an appreciation for everything from Country & Western, to Rock N’ Roll, Rap, Hip-Hop, to Gospel and of course Jazz! But it all began in church sitting alongside his amazing mother who sang and played the B-3 organ and father who sang in the male chorus. Even to this day, their love for singing continues to be very personal. The rest is history! It’s as if Art knew from the age of 5, his muse would be the saxophone and his avocation would be creating music that inspires, heals, praises speaks to the soul and makes us smile.
During Art’s four-year tenure as a midshipman attending the US Naval Academy, few people knew he was a musician. But shortly after his time at the academy, Art felt a strong desire to be creative again and step away from the more analytical side of life. So he started playing the saxophone again. Influenced by the likes of David Sanborn, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Kim Waters and other notables, he gained a great appreciation and respect for strong melodies, grooves, tone and soulful expressiveness. In 2005, Art released his freshman project entitled “All 4 Love” which featured an incredible arrangement of the Hall and Oates mega hit, Sara Smile.
In 2009 Art was signed to Pacific Coast Jazz record label and soon after released his second project, “Seasons”. This project featured a laundry list of industry superstars like Will Downing, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Albright, Frank McComb, Tracy Hamlin, Marcus Johnson, U-Nam, Alex Al and others.
The success of the two projects were satisfying to Art on so many levels; however, he desired greatly to give something back that truly defined the totality of what defines him – his love for the Lord, his family and music. With that being said, he endeavored to record his first gospel project. Art was fortunate enough to have not only a supportive label, but a cadre of uber talented and equally connected musicians that he could lean on to assist in creating his dream Gospel Jazz project, “Intervention”, which features the soulful sound of Incognito’s lead vocalist, Maysa Leak, on a very funky arrangement of Edwin Hawkins’ Oh Happy Day. This project has 13 spiritually enriched tracks that highlight Art’s roots in Gospel, Jazz, R&B and Funk. By no means is “Intervention” your ordinary gospel jazz project, as it features some nontraditional songs like Frankie Beverly’s I Wanna Thank You and Sam Cooke’s A Change Gonna Come, in addition to some traditional gospel songs like It Is Well, He Looked Beyond My Faults, My Soul Has Been Anchored and a funky horn section infused arrangement of Walter Hawkins’ Going Up Yonder. The contemporary side of Art is revealed as he interprets Vashawn Mitchell’s Nobody Greater and William McDowell’s I Give Myself Away, Chris Tomlin’s How Great is Our God featuring guitarist Alan Scott, How Excellent featuring world renowned bass guitarist, David Dyson, and Donnie McClurken’s mega hit Stand. “Intervention” will keep you immersed from the first to the last song. With one listen, it is clear to see that Art Sherrod Jr’s passion is to connect to the heart of diverse audiences with an Intervention of love. He is a living testimony of living from the heart.
1 Arie, India “I am Ready for Love”, Acoustic Soul Motown 2001
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