Juanita Faas
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Juanita Faas


Band Classical Jazz


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"Cross Rhythms UK Holy Hands"

Reviewed by Matt Crossman
Combining concert level piano skills with a heart for worship and gift for poignant arrangement, Canadian Juanita Faas presents a series of fresh, instrumental interpretations of some classic hymns and praise choruses in this collection. The genre is a odd one - many purveyors of Christian instrumental music struggle to navigate the line between schmaltzy lift music and moving instrumental pieces inspiring meditation and lifting the "eyes of the heart". On the evidence of this release it's hard to say which side Juanita falls more consistently. Juanita's "How Great Thou Art" wouldn't be out of place in a hotel lobby while at the other end of things the Latin influenced moody version of "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow" is passionately expressed, original and has depth. All of the hallmarks of the true student of music shine through in Juanita's performance, from chord changes, tinkerings with rhythm and a mastery of keys. Her arrangement of "I Love You, Lord" certainly grabs the attention and breathes new live into a well worn classic, with subtle changes in chord structure which add a new emphasis to the melody. Recommended for any worship leader looking for a few new ideas about what's possible musically in worship music
- Matt Crossman

"Cross Rhythms UK Attitudes"

Reviewed by Tim Holden
Juanita Faas is a talented Canadian jazz pianist and 'Attitudes' is her second release. A predominantly instrumental album, it explores a myriad of jazz, and other, styles, from the "conga line" rhythmic arrangement of the opening "Wonderful Words Of Life", through some 12 bar blues in "Standing In The Need Of Prayer" to the blend of smooth piano and almost operatic vocals of the closing track, "The Lord's Prayer". Everything is filled with a real life and soul that comes from Juanita's expression of her character and faith through her music and is helped by the production being top notch for most parts. The experimentation is really let loose in the interesting combination of rap and jazz in "Attitudes 1" and "2". Here Juanita lets rapper Diversebeats loose to rap based on the book of Proverbs with an almost acid jazz backing which works surprisingly well. A great album if you find jazz touches your soul and you like a bit of experimentation and variation with it!
- Tim Holden

"Medicine Hat Native releases second CD"

Local pianist Juanita Faas has just released her second CD, on the heals of a national summer tour. Continuing the direction of their first album, Juanita and her trio explore the crossover territory between jazz and gospel music, while adding many of their own unique turns and twists.

This late 2004 release features a mixture of original material and arrangements of gospel tunes. Other members of the trio, who collaborate on some of the arrangements as well, are Gavin Sorochan on drums and Scott Munroe on bass.

The album opens with a “conga line” rhythm that gives a very different look at the traditional, Wonderful Words of Life. Along the way, the trio morphs through a straight ahead swing, a slow bluesy feel and a medium swing, ending with the conga line again.

Blessed are We is a Faas original with an expansive sound that was inspired by the beatitudes. Juanita finds herself under the hood of the piano to do some string picking (while producer Craig Learmont has some fun with spiraling the sound between left and right channels), and again, the tune morphs through several more feels. Some nice big drum work here from Gavin and cool processed bass sounds from Scott.

In the Garden features Juanita’s gentle, pure singing voice, and Lord I Lift Your Name On High finds us back on the Latin side.

Holy Hands is a re-make of the title track from Juanita’s 2002 release, and When We All Get To Heaven struts a funk beat, with some hip organ. Juanita doesn’t sit long in any groove however, and we are soon into an up-tempo boogie that goes up another notch with the tune Goodbye World Goodbye over a country 2-step?

Standing in the Need of Prayer shows that it is really a 12 bar blues that just can’t resist romping into a “take it home – boys” kick chorus. What Child is This gets a lilting 6/8 treatment.

The most unusual track on the CD is a short cut called Attitudes 1 that features rapper Diversebeats rapping his take on the book of Proverbs. Juanita met Diversebeats in Toronto, introduced him to the book of Proverbs and turned him loose to come up with his own lyrics. Good on ya, Juanita!

Meditation(Thy Will Be Done) is another Faas original with some contemplative pads, gentle piano fills and very nice fretless bass lines. This is a strong cut, and could be the centrepiece of a whole album conducive to the meditative side of spiritual music.

The CD ends with Juanita’s arrangement of the well-known The Lord’s Prayer. Medicine Hat vocalist Randy Feere sings the traditional melody, with some impressive adaptations to fit Juanita’s arrangement. Soprano sax lines are added throughout by a local saxophonist, whose name I won’t mention!

Craig “the wiz” Learmont co-produces with Juanita and did the entire recording at his studio in Three Hills Alberta. I suspect he also plays the various horn, organ and pad additions to the various tracks.

- Lyle Rebbeck

"Juanita Faas debut CD"

Medicine Hat Native Juanita Faas has just released her debut CD, and completed a series of release concerts throughout Alberta. This is an interesting recording, melding jazz and Latin, with gospel.

Juanita has a strong classical background, and has been pianist at Hillcrest Church for many years. She has been teaching and accompanying, as well as performing, throughout Medicine Hat, and began her exploration of jazz piano three or four years ago.

Her trio is rounded out by Dave Graber on bass, and Gavin Sorochan on drums. They work well together, and seem to share a common conception.

One of the tunes, the title cut, is a Faas original. The others are all the group's arrangements of familiar gospel songs. Some of these renditions, like How Great Thou Art, are very gospel sounding, with straight forward harmonies and extended arpeggiated sections.

Others though show a contemporary jazz influenced side, with modal harmonies, like Awesome God, or time shifting grooves like Be Thou My Vision.

Two arrangements stand out for their interest and imaginativeness. The first track is a medley of Latin Praise Doxology, I Love to Praise Him, and Praise Him. The tune evolves from a piano pedal tone and shimmering harmonies into a montuno based Latin groove and then to an uptempo swing. The transitions are well executed and the flow seems effortless and natural. We even get a snippet of Night in Tunisia harmonies that take the tune back to the Latin groove, and eventually return to the opening pedal.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho is another tune that gets an Afro Cuban treatment. In fact, this trio sounds best on its Latin grooves. Again an up-tempo swing section emerges, but this time it quickly fades into beautiful expansive modal section with some very fine bass soloing from Dave, and a hip drum solo section from Gavin. The Latin groove returns to take the head out.

I especially like Dave's fretless bass sound on this album. He has found a way to play that is supportive and soloistic at the same time.

I would like to hear this trio playing straight jazz and Latin repertoire, because I think they have the chops to come up with some interesting material.

However, this album may serve to introduce jazz flavourings to the gospel music crowd. It is exploring territory that few others are, in a unique and refreshing way. This is a new trio on its first outing, and one that should continue to work and grow together
- Lyle Rebbeck


Holy Hands—indie 2002, over 1000 CD’s sold
Attitudes—indie 2004, over 1000 CD’s sold
Angels Believe In Santa Clause/Angels Spirit At Christmas, double CD, AngelAID Productions 2007
AngelKIDS at Christmas, AngelAID Productions, 2007
Healing Waters, AngelAID Productions, 2009

My music can be heard/purchased at several websites, www.indieheaven.com/artists/juanitafaas



I was born and raised in Medicine Hat AB Canada. Piano lessons started at age five. Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s I was a church pianist, music teacher, member in several bands (Christian and secular), ballet, vocal and choral accompanist. My three main genre’s of music would be; Contempoary, jazz and new classical, which I usually mix (along with several other styles) together in my arrangements and compositions. I started recording professionally in 2001 and started touring Canada in 2002 and then the USA in 2005. I have performed in many Christian and secular events (see performance highlights). Composing and arranging my own music has become my main focus. I still do some cover tunes, with my own arrangements. My music is aired on radio, internet radio and TV. In 2005 I connected with AngelAID. A non profit Christian charity in Jacksonville FL servicing terminally and critically ill children and their families. Dr. Carl Shipley (former member of the Strawberry Alarm Clock), cofounder, president and COO, hired me on as the volunteer music director in 2007. I continue to compose, arrange and tour. Websites and related web information, search, Juanita Faas on any search engine. I play most venues and my repertoire is very eclectic, secular or Christian. My music has been played in North America, Japan, Europe, Denmark, and many internet radio stations. In 2006 my music ministry was endorsed by Christian Music Presenters out of Nashville TN. Future plans include 2 CD projects within 2 years. I will be composing many new songs for these two releases.
I introduced an exciting new brand of music to the Christian community, which they fully embraced. Thirty years as a church pianist, 20 years accompaning ballet and voice and 5 years performing jazz.
Mixing these musical experiences sets me apart as my music cannot be put into any usual category. Performing has been a life long passion. In the last 5 years I have been able to devote my life to my music and am free to continue for as long as I am able.

I play my own arrangements and compositions. My music has been influenced by Oscar Peterson, Chic Corea, Anthony Berger, Diana Krall and Philip Glass. My live performances never fail to fully involve the audience. My music draws the listener in, allowing their spirits to go where the music leads them.


Attitudes, nominated for two SHAI Gospel Music Awards, 2005
Attitudes, nominated for two CGMA covenant Music Awards, 2005.
Attitudes, nominated for two Los Angeles Music Awards, 2006.
Attitudes, winner, two Toronto Exclusive Magazine Awards, 2007.
Music Ministry Endorsement from Christian Music Presenters, Nashville TN 2006.
2008 Winner, The Great America Song Contest, Honor Award

Performance Highlights

GMA Covenant Awards Calgary 2009
Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre, Medicine Hat AB, October 2008
Canadian Gospel Music Awards, Calgary AB, October 2008
Jacksonville Irish Festival, April 2008
AngelAID Christmas Extravaganza, Jacksonville FL, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005.
Anchor Ministries Regional Conference, Guelph Ont. 2007
SHAI Gospel Music Awards, Edmonton AB, Jan 2007
Sweet Daddy’s Christian Coffee House, Phoenix AZ, April 2006
Pageant Of Peace, The White House, Washington DC, Dec. 2006
A Christmas Jazz Celebration, (vocal accompanist) Carnegie Hall NY NY Dec.2006
Southern Baptist Convention Exhibit Hall, Greensborough NC 2006
100 Huntley St TV program, Crossroads Ministries Ont. 2005
Wine Blues and All That Jazz Festival, Woodstock Ont. July 2005
Medicine Hat Jazz Festival, June, 2004
The Miracle Channel Lifeline Christmas program, Lethbridge AB Dec. 2004
GMA Music In The Rockies Estes Pk CO, 2004, daily showcase performance
Wav File, The Miracle Channel, Lethbridge AB 2004
Foodbank Roadshow Tour, Ont. 2003
Alberta Music Showcase, Edmonton AB 2003