Popular Gospel Jazz saxophonist Todd Ledbetter, known as “The Jazz Psalmist”, has been wowing audiences for years with his inspiring and skilled instrumental performances. A 2012 Stellar Award Nominee for Instrumental Gospel CD of the Year for his debut release, "Meditations: Hymns In The Key Of Jazz", Ledbetter is preparing to introduce a brand new single, the smooth track, “How I Love You”, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
Featuring two versions – one instrumental and one with vocals – the new song is just what inspirational jazz lovers have been clamoring for. The new single, and its instrumental counterpart, will be available on Ledbetter’s website, www.ToddLedbetter.com. From March 18th – 31st, fans of the saxophonist will be able to download the single for free.
Penned by Ledbetter himself, his first vocal release, “How I Love You”, showcases the talents of jazz chanteuse Christie Dashiell, a member of Traces of Blue, formerly known as Afro Blue, seen on NBC’s “The Sing Off”. Bringing a softness and purity to the uplifting cut, the songstress intricately weaves her mesmerizing voice around the improvisational tones of Ledbetter’s tenor sax. A mixture of smooth and traditional jazz stylings, the song’s lyrics whisper sweet nothings in the ear of God.
Produced by renowned musician and producer John Stoddart, the upcoming project is the second collaborative effort between saxophonist and producer. “In 2011, John and I met and we sketched out about five different songs,” recalls Ledbetter. “Last fall, we got together again and began laying tracks in the studio.” The first song out of the gate was a rendition of “Go Tell It On The Mountain”, which dropped just in time for Christmas last December.
Ledbetter feels his music is unique and has even coined a phrase to describe it. “I call my music ‘smooth soul praise’,” says the artist. “You’ve got the Jazz element, you’ve got the Gospel element and I think people are going to hear the praise and worship as well. I even added a little bit of neo soul. I love the genre of Gospel Jazz because of its instrumental nature. Without the restriction of lyrics, God can minister a different message to different people at the same time, all through the same song.”
In addition to his Stellar Award Nomination, Todd Ledbetter is a 2011 Gospel Blue M.I.C. Achievement Award Winner and a two-time 2012 DMV Christian Music Award Nominee. He’s been playing the saxophone for over 20 years and has been blessed to work with artists known in the Gospel and Jazz worlds such as James Moody, John Faddis, Eddie Harris, Marcus Johnson, Richard Smallwood, Byron Cage, and the late Jazz icons Ronnie Wells and Grover Washington, Jr. as well as Gospel great, the late Walter Hawkins. Ledbetter studied at the University of Pittsburgh under well-known educator Dr. Nathan Davis.