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Kirk Whalum Grover Washington, Jr. Stanley Turrentine

Genres You Will Love
Moods: Featuring Saxophone Spiritual: Instrumental Gospel Jazz: Soul-Jazz Jazz: Contemporary Jazz

By Location
United States - Maryland United States - Washington DC

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Todd Ledbetter

For over 20 years saxophonist Todd Ledbetter has been performing and ministering, featuring his unique style of gospel jazz. Todd started playing saxophone at age 10, encouraged by a gospel loving mother and a jazz loving father. After graduating high school, Todd enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, where he began studying with renowned saxophonist and educator Dr. Nathan Davis. Through this relationship Todd met and worked with artists like Grover Washington, Jr., James Moody, John Faddis and Eddie Harris. Todd was also the recipient of Pitt’s prestigious Mellon Jazz Scholarship. During his collegiate career God gave Todd a vision of a music ministry combining the spiritual power and authority of gospel with the rich aesthetics of jazz.

After graduating with a degree in Communications, Todd played with various artists, including former Dizzy Gillespie drummer Joe Harris, former Horace Silver drummer Roger Humphries, gospel legend Bishop Walter Hawkins and groups under his own name. Todd then moved to the Washington DC area, performing with local artists like Ronnie Wells and Marcus Johnson. Todd's music ministry continued at the Union Temple Baptist Church, where he caught the attention of gospel jazz pioneers Allen and Allen.

Todd currently serves as a Psalmist with the Metropolitan Baptist Church of Washington DC, where he works with Artist-in-Residence Richard Smallwood. Todd has also worked with artists like Byron Cage and Bryan Wilson. His music is the synthesis of faith, life experience and the influence of artists like John Coltrane, Vernard Johnson and Kirk Whalum. He sees gospel jazz as music that will reach outside the church walls. Todd was also the convener of the first Gospel Jazz Conference, which seeks to create a network of artists and industry resources dedicated to advancing the cause of Christ through gospel jazz.

Todd recently re-released his debut CD, Meditations: Hymns in the Key of Jazz. Todd is the recipient of the Gospel Blue MIC Achivement Award as Instrumental Artist of the Year. Todd is also on the ballot for the Stellar Gospel Music Awards in the Instrumental CD of the Year category. He calls Meditations 'A musical tonic for the soul', and believes that, "In these complex, challenging times, people need music that will deepen their faith experience."