Merlon Devine ‘Stirred’ – LISTEN

“Stirred” is the third single from Devine’s eighth album, “Soul Jazz,” which dropped last year. Emoting passion, inspiration and grace, Devine plays saxes and flute on the track. Godina adds keyboards, guitar and programming to the ebullient harmonies. The midtempo groove is anchored by bassist Kevin “Mr. Kevin Jerome” Stancil and drummer Lester Estelle, Jr.

It’s natural for Devine to turn to his faith when it comes to composing music. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas to parents who pastored a church, the household was always filled with music, primarily gospel. While Devine’s nine siblings could all sing, he found his voice via saxophone. Church informed his spirituality, but discovering contemporary jazz informed his music. From Jesus and the Apostles to Groover Washington, Jr., NajeeGeorge HowardKirk Whalum and other saxophone greats, Devine found a creative path for his artistic expression to incorporate both pillars in his life.   

“My love for contemporary jazz grew as I grew as a player. Listening to these saxophonists, mixed with the soulful and heartfelt riffs I was hearing at church, shaped me into what I am today. When I started writing songs, it was contemporary jazz. It evolved into a wonderful opportunity for me to provide churches with instrumental music in the style of contemporary jazz during sacred worship gatherings. I consider myself a contemporary jazz ambassador to the church,” said Devine who lives with his family just outside of Washington, DC.

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