"Prophetic! Live! Exhilarating!" "Brings you right into God's presence!" These are just a few words people have used to describe the music of Steve Kuban.
"The Best of Steve Kuban Volume 2" is a collection of 23 songs selected from five of Kuban's best-selling and most popular albums released between 1995 and 2000 (for a list of the albums, see below).
Steve Kuban is a gifted worship leader with a passion for God’s presence. A musician from age three, Steve was recording and performing music throughout his childhood, and became a true professional musical artist at age thirteen.
Steve studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where his roommate led him from atheism to Christ. He soon devoted all his life and talents to the Lord. He quickly began recording Christian songs while pursuing a successful career as a professional musical entertainer at several venues, serving as the in-house pianist and band director at the prestigious "Centre Club" (Edmonton's elite club for the rich and famous) the Lord called him into full time ministry. At this turning point in his life he composed the song "Pearl of Great Price," the title tracks of this two-volume special-edition album commemorating two decades of Christian albums. From there he became a bible college student, teacher, pastor, College Dean, and full-time traveling musical evangelist.
Steve has recorded 20 worship albums and 6 videos. He leads worship and teaches in over 30 countries, writes songs that bring healing, victory and deliverance to people. He specializes in spontaneous song creation, having written over 100 songs inspired spontaneously as he worships the Lord, many which have gone on to become popular world-wide, such as "The Lord is My Tower."
Steve loves to lead worshipers into God’s presence through a dizzying array of exciting, enthusiastic and anointed music styles ranging from jazz, pop, rock, and easy-listening to latin, calypso, soca, samba, and even middle-eastern and ethnic styles.
God has put a special love in Steve's heart for people of all nations. He has visited over 50 countries, and ministers to Protestant and Catholic groups alike, such as Jesus Is Lord and El Shaddai (where he has led up to one million worshipers at a time into God's presence!). Steve is very well-known to Filipinos, who sing and play his music in their homes and churches and have introduced it into many countries around the world. He has sung numerous concerts throughout India, and visited nations such as Trinidad and Tobago frequently (36 times to Trinidad, singing in over 200 different churches, as well as Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait where on his last tours he sang in over 80 different churches).
To celebrate his 20th anniversary of recording Christian albums, Steve prepared this SPECIAL-EDITION DOUBLE COMPILATION CD as his personal 'thank You" to the Lord, releasing it at the same time he received a platinum sales award in the Philippines.
"THE BEST OF STEVE KUBAN VOLUME 2" is an amazing culmination of a life dedicated to the Lord, passionate in pursuit of both musical and spiritual excellence. This album is also a powerful living demonstration of what it is to be a true "instrument" in God's hands--one who hears HIS supernatural melodies, and "bring heaven's music" down to earth.
"THE BEST OF STEVE KUBAN--PEARL OF GREAT PRICE" is a two-volume series.
VOLUME 1 includes 21 songs selected from Steve's first five Christian albums, which he recorded between 1980 and 1994):
•Worship in Spirit and Truth
•We Will See Him as He Is
•Arise Go Forth and Possess
•100 Huntley Street Praise and Worship Favorites (taken from Steve's many performances on the 100 Huntley Street live television broadcast)
VOLUME ONE begins with a very personal 2-minute introduction by Steve which sets the background and meaning of the album series, followed by 20 popular choruses and hymns done in a large variety of styles.
VOLUME TWO consists of 23 songs from four of Steve's best-selling recent albums,
•The Lord Is My Tower (platinum)
•Come Holy Spirit (gold)
•More of the River (gold)
•Jump For Jesus
plus the bonus track My All In All accompanied by BOB FITTS.
Tying the series together is the beautifully-orchestrated title track, "Pearl of Great Price" (which appears on both volumes), —the first song on Volume 1, and the concluding song on Volume 2.
Steve is a musician, singer, songwriter, prophetic psalmist, minstrel and worship leader, anointed to bring people into God's presence through worship, releasing heavenly melodies and powerful prophetic praise that brings healing, victory and deliverance to people in all nations—truly "transcendent worship music" through which people's lives are touched and changed by the Holy Spirit.
"The Best of Steve Kuban Volume 2" is a masterful album, chock-full of spiritual and musical treats. It contains a large range of styles ranging from rock, calypso, soca, pop, instrumental and easy-listening, to lush symphonic orchestrations, jazz and bluesy solo piano sections with spontaneous improvisation and much more.
THERE IS A LOT OF MUSIC on this album! Running 82 minutes with 23 songs The download runs 82 minutes, the physical CD 78 minutes due to size limitations.
aside from the variety of styles and its length, what makes this album very special and quite unique is...THE WORSHIP!! All-out, extravagant, spontaneous, prophetic holy-of-holies worship!! ...where God speaks personally and declares HIS purposes prophetically over His Church, over the listener, and to the nations.
SPONTANEOUS SONGS that ENDURE
Steve is very improvisational in his music, and many of the songs on this album (about 14 of the 23) were actually composed and inspired spontaneously. As a testament to God's power several have become 'anthems' in people's lives, bringing healing, victory and deliverance. From Manila to Milan, Japan to Jakarta, Saudi Arabia to South Africa, Catholic, Protestant and everything in between, people have come to treasure Steve's songs and recordings in their lives. Listeners often testify that they continue to play his original CD's (and cassettes which they bought over a decade ago) on a daily basis. (Here's a typical facebook comment: "Hi Steve, it was so nice to get your friend confirmation, your music is still a daily ritual for me." from Sherry Sookoo in Trinidad on Feb 27, 2012).
Some of Steve's most enduring compositions on this album include, "For the Lord Is My Tower", his signature-composition which is a fun-filled action-song that swept the Philippines, Trinidad, India and many other places by storm. It has become a modern-day "Battle Hymn of the Republic" for many contemporary Christian worshipers, and is loved by young and old alike. As one YouTube fan commented, "I don't know anyone in the renewal who hasn't heard this song.... We all grew up with these songs!"
"Hallowed Be Thy Name" is a mighty declaration and revelation of the eight redemptive names of Jehovah, which has brought healing and strength to millions. "Hallowed Be Thy Name, Jehovah God You reign. And You will never change, O Lord, forever You're the same."
"I Will Fight For You" is a prophetic song inspired spontaneously in Kuwait and Dubai, in which God declares His protection and power over us, His Church, in the midst of all storms, battles, and persecutions we may face.
"Jump For Jesus" is a catchy Caribbean-styled Soca-song which people of all ages love to 'jump-up' while singing and praising Jesus, with an authentic contagious Trinidad 'Soca' beat typically heard in Caribbean Carnival parades. It was composed spontaneously by Steve hours right after he attended his first Caribana parade in Toronto.
"More of the River" is a beautiful prayer inspired spontaneously while Steve was crossing a river in Vancouver BC. It's a cry to go deeper into the river of God's presence. "More of the River of God in my life, more of the flow of Your Spirit. More of Your love and Your grace and Your might, more of the power of Your presence. Lord I need more of you, Lord I need more of You."
"Lord I'm Hungry For Your Presence" found it's beginning as a prayer Steve offered to the Lord during a crossroads in his life, as he was crying out to the Lord for purification, that he might be ready for Christ's return, purified and filled with the Holy Spirit like the wise virgins in Matthew 25:13.
Favorite COVER SONGS
"The Best of Steve Kuban Vol 2" includes four popular songs written by others:
•Come Holy Spirit is eight minutes of sweet and powerful worship recorded live at Steve's church in Toronto. As the congregation sings in the spirit, listeners get swept right up in waves of God's glory. (One television producer told Steve to put a warning on this CD, after almost crashing his car on the freeway due to the sudden uncontrollable deluge of tears that burst forth listening to the song while driving to work)
•Welcome Holy Spirit
•The Name of the Lord
•My All In All (sung together with Bob Fitts)
•Blow Upon Me O Wind of God, a song that so profoundly inspired Steve to go deeper in prophetic worship that he recorded it on three different albums.
Being a gifted teacher (Canada Christian College Music Dean and instructor at Northwest Bible College) Steve teaches the "Seven Ways To Praise The Lord", a fun song by psalmist Jim Gilbert which explains in a delightfully lighthearted fashion the seven Hebrew words for praise. Ever heard of comedy on a worship album? You bet! Listeners learn through this song how to praise the Lord 'the bible way". Sung like a true calypsonian from Trinidad (where he's been 36 times) Steve takes advantage of 'calypsonian licence', the freedom a calypso singer enjoys to sing about things "as they really are" without worry of retribution by civil or ecclesiastical authorities (who may be slightly miffed by the truth of the words). For example:
(track 21) "Congregation gone to sleep
Sermon must have been too deep
Pitiful sight, but at least they're all in one accord.
Sunday services are very
much like any cemetery
Someone out to tell them
Seven ways to praise the Lord!"
THE TITLE SONG: PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (Volume 2 track 23, Volume 1 track 2)
Both Volume 1 and 2 include "Pearl of Great Price" a beautiful fully-orchestrated worship ballad written by Steve in 1983 in response to God's call to enter full-time ministry. At the time it was written Steve was performing nightly with his band at the prestigious "Center Club" in Edmonton, which had opened to great fanfare a year earlier with Steve's music. Nine months into the gig God asked Steve to leave and enter into full-time ministry. Steve obeyed the call. After spending several days praying in a secluded room in church, worshiping the Lord in tears and yielding his all to Him, on Feb 26, 1983 in that tiny room he penned "Pearl of Great Price" as he poured out his life and future into Jesus' hands. That night he drove to the Club, performed his final evening as a secular musician, and never returned. To this day Steve has remained faithful to God's call.
(track 13) "Pearl of Great Price" (based on Matt 13:44-45)
Jesus You're the Pearl of Great Price
You're the Treasure in the field
And I give my all for You
Jesus, all I am and all I do
All my hopes and dreams
I give them all for You
It's worth everything Lord Jesus just for You.
Tracks 8-18: "THE RIVER SECTION" (26 MINUTES OF LIVE PROPHETIC SPONTANEOUS WORSHIP)
One of the biggest highlights of Volume 2 is an amazing 26-minute section of live worship centered around the theme of the "River of God." In this seamless segment eight of the ten songs were composed spontaneously during the actual live recording. It's a veritable stream of anointing and revelation that includes spontaneous songs, prophetic words, visions and musical prayers, with several sections of open worship that seem to carry the listener "right into heaven". As part of the flow, Steve shares his testimony (on track 16) of how God radically changed his life from writing songs against God, to becoming an instrument OF God. Music aficionadi will be thrilled at the numerous piano solos (played in characteristic Berklee jazz and blues style) and technical expertise clearly evident in Steve's inspiring piano solos which abound throughout the entire 26 minute recording.
Tracks 8-18 were recorded live with the "Praise Proclaimers," a Filipino band and singing team from Jesus First Assembly in Toronto, and also features virtuoso Japanese soprano saxophonist Hatsou Yamamoto improvising throughout (eg track 14). (For more information on the band see * below)
Steve's ability to perform live concerts is noteworthy. During "The Best of Steve Kuban Volume 2" you will hear him sing, play, jump and dance, skillfully weaving rock solos, jazz riffs, latin montunos, and poly-rhythmic improvisations into the various songs, while at the same time sensitively lead the audience (and the listener) in heartfelt praise and worship to the Lord!
But what is even more amazing is Steve's ability to compose and construct new songs 'on the fly.' With a full music team at his side, he flows in the Holy Spirit, remaining sensitive to the Lord's leading note by note, line by line, while giving chord signals to the band (so everyone plays the same chords). When one factors in the pressure and demands of doing all of this while making a live recording (with no chance to stop and fix any mistakes), one can well imagine what a high level of spiritual sensitivity and musicianship is required to pull off an album like this. When asked how he does it, Mr. Kuban explains his secret: the only way to carry out such an inspiring mission is a lifetime spent learning and honing one's musical craft combined with a total yieldedness to, and reliance upon, the Holy Spirit. Steve's hearts' cry is summed up in the powerful words of this song:
"Blow Upon Me O Wind of God" (track 13)
Blow Upon Me, O Wind of God
Breathe upon me, O Spirit of the Lord
Make my hands like those of skilled musicians
Blow upon me, O wind of God
Breathe upon me, O Spirit of the Lord
Let me hear the melodies of heaven
'THE BEST OF STEVE KUBAN--PEARL OF GREAT PRICE VOL 2" has become Steve's most sought-after limited-edition CD, and is finally available at CDBaby.com. This is truly a special album that will bring you deeply into God's presence and help you experience heaven on earth. Don't delay! Have a listen and experience God's power released in your life!
Additional background information on tracks 8-18:
These ten selections are taken from the double CD "More of the River" (ST-108). It's interesting to note that Steve actually made two separate live recordings of this album. The first was in November 1997 at Canada Christian College in Toronto while he was Dean of Music. Steve led worship with the backing of several very excellent studio players, and all went very well. He added additional sounds to the recording to make it even better. Then Steve went to Japan, and one afternoon God clearly and supernaturally spoke to him, "Open your Bible, I want to talk to you." As Steve opened the Bible his eyes immediately fell upon Ezekiel 44:1-2:
"Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory."
Steve saw a vision of the earth slowly spinning, and as the sunlight arose in the East, its glory and radiance flowed to the nations. Steve sensed that God wanted to use him to bring His glory to the nations through his music, and that it would come 'through the gate facing East." Hours later prophets with Pastor Ron Sawka, C.I.Asia also spoke, confirming the word, saying that Steve would be returning to Asia often, and God's glory would flow through him, like a mighty river roaring like Niagara Falls to the nations.
As a result of these prophetic words and this scripture from the Lord, Steve returned to Toronto and began preparing to return to Asia. He felt to re-record the entire "More of the River" album from the ground up, however this time rather than use professional musicians he would work with a team of worshipful Filipino musicians from Jesus First Church in Brampton. It was a huge challenge, but everyone rose to the occasion.
After many weeks of practice the second live recording of "More of the River" took place. It was a remarkable success! God stepped in and sent His River flowing from His throne, bringing healing to the nations through these eager and talented Filipino musicians, and birthing EIGHT entirely new spontaneous songs that were not on the first recording! Japanese saxophonist Hatsuo Yamamoto (a college instructor and friend of Steve's) played soprano sax and flute during the recording, adding just the perfect final touch to make the album a complete prophetic expression of God's will as spoken in Japan, "to bring His glory from the East"
As you listen to tracks 8-18, be amazed at the spontaneity of the songs and the prophetic anointing on the music!
FINAL NOTE HOW GOD'S PROPHECY WAS FULFILLED
A few months after God had spoken to Steve in Japan, he went for the first time to the Philippines. A man named Bruce Behnken liked his music and gave a cassette to Anita Teh, a Chinese business lady who worked with Operation Andrew. She loved the music, and together with her brother Johnny Sy they began promoting Steve's music to the Philippine market. As quickly as Steve's albums were introduced to the Philippine market, they began breaking sales records. With Anita's help Steve began singing dozens of sold-out concerts throughout the Philippines, and even singing for Catholic crowds up to a million people at a time. His three albums "The Lord is My Tower", Come Holy Spirit" and "More of the River" each achieved Gold status, and then "The Tower" went platinum. Filipinos throughout the land loved Steve's songs and albums, taking and sending them overseas into dozens of nations around the world. One day as Steve was in Anita's office and noticed her business card, he was amazed to read "Anita Teh, East Gate Foundation." Almost overnight God's prophetic word in Japan was fulfilled, that He would speak through Steve and his music, with a voice like the roar of rushing waters, and bring His glory from the east to fill the lands of earth with His radiant glory.
"Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory." (Ezekiel 44:1-2)
May you enjoy this album, "The Best of Steve Kuban, Volume 2", and may you hear HIS voice singing to you through the music. God bless you!