Matt Lemmler | Ode to Joy (Joyful, Joyful)

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Ode to Joy (Joyful, Joyful)

by Matt Lemmler

Matt Lemmler's Inspirational and New Orleans Jazz take of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" featuring Rick Margitza, Steve Masakowski, Sasha Masakowski, Martin Masakowski and Miles Lemmler Matt Lemmler’s version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” I was blessed to have been asked by my dear friend, Jennifer Davis and her partner, Paul Edwards, to orchestrate, arrange and perform this new piece and others for her funeral. I had travelled and toured the United States for four years with Jenn and her family in the early 90's with Phantom of the Opera and remained in touch for many years after that tour. During our evacuation from Katrina and failure of our federal levees, Jenn and Paul Edwards helped my family with housing, love and fellowship for many months after Katrina's aftermath. Years later, having to witness Jenn's illness was an extremely painful and beautiful experience to go through, but afterwards, her death and her belief in God's love, music and her love of her family inspired
Genre: Jazz: New Orleans Jazz
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1. Ode to Joy (Joyful, Joyful)
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Matt Lemmler is considered to be one of the most original musicians (piano, vocal, arranger, composer, educator, producer) to recently emerge from the birthplace of jazz. Raised just blocks away from the home of legendary New Orleans pianist/vocalist Fats Domino, Matt remembers a childhood in the Lower 9th Ward where music constantly filled the house.

Matt Lemmler’s version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
I was blessed to have been asked by my dear friend, Jennifer Davis and her partner, Paul Edwards, to orchestrate, arrange and perform this new piece and others for her funeral. I had travelled and toured the United States for four years with Jenn and her family in the early 90's with Phantom of the Opera and remained in touch for many years after that tour. During our evacuation from Katrina and failure of our federal levees, Jenn and Paul Edwards helped my family with housing, love and fellowship for many months after Katrina's aftermath.
Years later, having to witness Jenn's illness was an extremely painful and beautiful experience to go through, but afterwards, her death and her belief in God's love, music and her love of her family inspired my heart to understand and feel God's presence by seeing someone so filled with peace and nobility in their time of illness and death. Being asked to program and write the music for her funeral brought me to understand my passion of music as a blessing. It led me to create two cd’s entitled Ubuntu and follow this path towards music as a way to heal, both my soul/spirit and to allow music to heal others in need of spiritual uplifting. This passage in life and witnessing Jennifer's strength in her Faith and in her illness, was a gift and lesson in my life’s journey. Her funeral was a celebration of life as her partner, Paul Edwards, expressed in his testimony of love.It was my first experience to sing and worship, while grieving a loss of a loved one, and still having my family by my side, even after divorce. God's love is amazing to witness.

Matt Lemmler's "Ode to Joy"
Jazzing the Ninth Symphony
Jason Berry -New Orleans Magazine


In the right hands, jazz music has an almost limitless capacity to rework standards or pop songs with the polish of embellishment, thus creating a piece that stands on its own feet, approaching the new
Jason Berry -New Orleans Magazine

Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from the Ninth Symphony would seem a most unlikely candidate for a jazz arrangement, at least that was my take until I came upon Matt Lemmler’s version
Jason Berry -New Orleans Magazine

Matt's mission statement on Healing Power of Music and an Ode to Joy
“Melt the clouds of sin and sadness.
Drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness.
Fill us with the light of day!”

Lemmler approaches Beethoven’s lyrics of soaring mysticism by elongating the lines, unfurling the song in something of the manner of a downhome spiritual in no special hurry
Jason Berry-New Orleans Magazine

“Music, especially, is a very collaborative effort,” Lemmler said recently. “Allowing artists to express themselves and not be limited is, in itself, a spiritual experience. All these energies come together to create something that is more powerful than just one person’s concept.”
Matt Lemmler


“I am still tearing up when I tell friends and family about our sunny, spirited afternoon in the 9th ward, our musical crescendo alchemy with Matt Lemmler, the dancing at Mulatte's, the sweet connection with the kids in La Place, the inspirational, motivational messages from Dan Caro, the exuberant celebration on the Creole Queen..... you know there is so much more! In each experience, there was a theme of personal responsibility and power PLUS the potential for exponentially greater outcomes with the unity of the collective spirit - "ubuntu"!!
Parent/chaperone from Ridgeview Charter School/Atlanta, GA

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