Describing the members of CCM powerhouse Casting Crowns as “heroes of faith” feels like an understatement. The band has produced mega-hits like “Praise You In This Storm,” “East to West,” “Who Am I,” and “Just Be Held,” broken sales records, sold out arenas, won prestigious awards and traveled the world singing songs of redemption. There’s not much within the realm of Christian music the band hasn’t accomplished. The impact of Casting Crowns is incalculable, the fingerprint of their songs forever imprinted onto the hearts of millions of people.
But for Mark Hall, lead singer and primary songwriter, describing the band’s trajectory as any sort of heroic effort is entirely wrong. When discussing the band’s latest project, Only Jesus, Hall takes great pains to shift the focus off of the band, off of himself, and solely onto the one they sing about. Only Jesus personifies the band’s mission to help people understand the nature of God’s love and Jesus’s sacrifice, digging deep into the who and the why, inviting the listener on a heart-journey of foundational faith, immovable trust and ultimately, freedom in Christ. “I want people to see that God is the author and the finisher of our faith,” Hall shares. “He starts the work and He finishes the work. If we could just rest in the fact that He saved us, that He’s got us, we can rest in what He’s doing now and strive for what’s ahead.” It’s a timeless message, and one that’s still changing lives today. For Casting Crowns, there’s one thing they hope people will take away after listening to the new album —only Jesus.
Tenth Avenue North
Tenth Avenue North
Tenth Avenue North (Reunion Records) made their national debut in 2008 with their first RIAA gold certification album Over and Underneath, which spawned the hits “Love is Here,” “By Your Side” and “Hold My Heart.” Tenth Avenue North won the Gospel Music Association Dove Award in 2009 for New Artist of the Year and in 2010 “By Your Side” was named Song of the Year. The band gained further momentum with 2010’s The Light Meets the Dark and The Struggle in 2012, which continued to populate radio and the church with such memorable songs as “Healing Begins,” “You Are More,” “Losing” and “Worn.” In November 2014, the band released their fourth studio project, Cathedrals, with the first radio single “No Man Is An Island.” Their most recent project, Followers, has produced the No. 1 singles “What You Want,” “I Have This Hope” and “Control.” In 2017, Tenth Avenue North debuted their Christmas project Decade The Halls Vol. 1, which was praised by the New York Times, The Mercury News (San Francisco) and more.
Since his 2008 major label debut, Matt Maher has become a staple in the artistic and songwriting community. A nine time- GRAMMY nominee and three time-GMA Dove Award winner, he has garnered multiple radio successes, writing and recording songs such as his Top 5 CCLI song “Lord, I Need You” and the chart-topping radio single “Because He Lives (Amen).” Along with other hits such as “Hold Us Together,” “Christ Is Risen,” “All The People Said Amen,” and “Your Grace Is Enough,” Maher has written / co-written five No. 1 radio singles. Penning numerous songs recorded by Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Third Day, Jeremy Camp, Matt Redman, Hillsong, Casting Crowns, Meredith Andrews, Jesus Culture, Jars of Clay, and Passion, he’s had multiple titles on the CCLI chart’s Top 500 list. With career album sales of more than 550,000 units to date, Maher was awarded his first RIAA Gold certification for his popular single “Lord, I Need You” in 2015. He’s released nine studio albums, his latest titled Echoes, which released fall 2017. His first Christmas album and children’s book, both titled The Advent of Christmas, just released in time to celebrate the 2018 holiday season.
Matt achieved a career highlight in 2013 when he performed for Pope Francis and a crowd of three million people for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. Two years later he performed again for the Pope in downtown Philadelphia as part of the World Meeting of Families, appearing along with The Fray, Aretha Franklin, Juanes, Jim Gaffigan and Mark Wahlberg,
From working the valet parking booth to performing before thousands of fans, the last few years of Jordan Feliz’s life have been unpredictable, to say the least. After moving from the West Coast to Nashville in 2012, Feliz eventually earned a record deal with Centricity Music in 2014. Since the debut of his single “The River” in 2015, Feliz has established himself as one of the Contemporary Christian Music genre’s most dynamic and engaging performers. “The River” went on to spend 10 weeks at #1 on Billboard’s NCA Chart, along with winning the ASCAP Christian Music Song of the Year Award and becoming RIAA certified Gold (500,000 units sold). After his first album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart, Feliz went on to win New Artist of the Year at the 2016 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. His sophomore album hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian Albums chart and produced Top 5 radio hit “Witness.”
In addition to headlining, Feliz has taken part in high profile tours such as Winterjam, for KING & COUNTRY, Michael W. Smith, TobyMac, and Matthew West. In 2017 Feliz was given the prestigious opportunity to record at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, as part of its 1 Mic 1 Take series. With a soulful pop vibe and magnetic presence, Feliz’s unique talents and genuine heart are both quickly evident in the songs he crafts and the ways in which he shares them.
Joe Melendrez has forged a unique path to becoming one of America’s most exciting Catholic performers. At age fifteen, Joe was featured on MTV and developed a love for performing. Later that year, on a Teen A.C.T.S. Retreat, Joe encountered the awesome love of God. It was then that he decided to dedicate his life to sharing the Good News. Joe shares the Gospel in many unique ways, from his development of a faith-based clothing line (God Swagg Apparel), his release of four major Catholic hip-hop albums, to sharing the winnings from a college Chipotle contest (a year of free burritos), as a means to evangelize to different people with each meal!
With a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Dayton, Joe has become a professional retreat leader and religion teacher at Chaminade College Preparatory, a Catholic High School in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to his work in Catholic education, Joe’s electric ministry of music and evangelization has taken him to Europe, Africa, Australia, South America and all across the USA. Joe uses his skills to animate huge crowds of teens, and he continues to share these gifts at major youth rallies, conferences, and national events. Today, Joe Melendrez is a husband and father, as well as a natural MC, a dynamic musical performer, an inspiring speaker, and an expert retreat leader.