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Our testimony can be one of the most powerful tools we have. The word itself can be defined as 'something that serves as evidence' or 'a public declaration regarding an experience.' Over the last few years JOANN ROSARIO has been silent – not because she hasn't a testimony but rather she was literally & physically silenced.
Noticing trouble with her voice in late 2002, Rosario was diagnosed in January 2003 with nodules on her vocal chords and had lost function of both her speaking and singing voice. For someone who has been singing all her life this was now more than a challenge – it was a test to the strength of her faith in the God she serves. And though she continues to be on the road to recovery, this body of work, "Now More Than Ever... Worship" sincerely serves as evidence of the greatness of God and is a public declaration of her trial and importantly her triumph. Today, truly with a joyful noise Rosario sings His praises on an album that is all about worship and her complete adoration toward God.
"Let this album be a testimony of God's healing power today ... He took me through this time as a walk of faith. I learned that my worship is not just in song. I had to rest on God and wait for Him to call on me to do His will" explained Rosario.
As an anointed singer & songwriter, Rosario was officially introduced to the world on her 2002 Verity Records/F.Hammond Music debut release, "More, More, More." The world was only able to get a glimpse of the impressive and powerful music minister that lies within Joann Rosario. Under the continued covering and influence of her father, the Apostle Nahum Rosario, Joann continues to serve as National Music Director of Maranatha World Revival Ministries, a worldwide ministry with over 300 churches across the globe as well as serving as worship leader at her home church in Chicago.
Listeners are offered a hint of Rosario as worship leader on the project's bonus track "Cuando Reposo En Ti." A highlight to be sure, the live track was one of the last recordings Joann was able to finish before she lost her voice completely.
"It was one of the best recordings I've done to date ... there was an amazing presence of God that was incredible that night ... there was a combustion of anointing and worship with the live crowd that is impossible to replicate in a studio," Rosario said. "I think it's one of those songs that really represents me as a minister ... to show who I am as a person, as a worshipper ... at my church on Sunday mornings."
With a rejuvenated voice and renewed spirit, Rosario is ready for her return to the music world and has poured every ounce of her being into the latest project. Having written a large portion of the album, "Now More Than ever...Worship" is a heartfelt and sincere open letter to God, rife with palpable emotions. She shares her most intimate and private moments, as if we as listeners have been invited into her personal prayer time with God.
"This experience has really taught me lessons about how to prepare for life's next set of challenges and the album portrays the gratitude of my heart ... I am able to have joy and to worship in the midst of all sorts of circumstances," Rosario explained. "Worship is not an issue of tempo or grand lyrics, but an attitude of the heart. Like a sincere prayer set to music." This exact sentiment runs throughout the album and provides the overall theme for the project.
Her exceptional artistry attracted Gospel music's luminaries as collaborators on this project. Contributions from noted producers such as Fred Hammond, Alex Ward, Michael-Anthony Taylor and Donald Lawrence appear on "Now More Than ever...Worship."
The album opens with the Latin themed "Never The Same," which finds Rosario reuniting with longtime mentor Fred Hammond. This decidedly upbeat and urban influenced song prominently features flamenco inspired rhythms, demonstrating the diversity of this collection of worship music.
"Worship is about relationship with God and is not dependent on a beat or certain tempo of a song ... it's all about the feeling you get from a song ... the emotion that pulls you in. Worship comes in many different ways ... you can look up at a tree and begin to appreciate God and find yourself in His presence," explained Rosario.
The energetic "Thanks Be Unto God" & infectious "Open My Eyes Lord" prominently feature bouncy, head-nodding beats while simultaneously delivering a message of unwavering gratitude and devotion to God and all He provides.
Rosario tenders worship selections of all variations on "Now More Than Ever...Worship." Beat driven offerings are tempered with the requisite Worship standard – lush, sweeping, moving ballads. One such song is the lead single, "I Hear You Say." Producer Alex Ward, orchestrates the perfect combination of strings & guitar riffs to delicately wrap around Rosario's emotive delivery of the profound lyrics to this song.
She wrote the lyrics to the song without knowledge of the trials that producer, Ralph "Buttaz" Kearns was experiencing when he originally wrote the music. He had been praying for God to aid him in fighting his battles. The lyrics she crafted mirrored the frustrating times the producer was faced with. "The lyrics God gave me answered Ralph's musical prayer. Music is more spiritual than we realize," Rosario said.
Other noteworthy ballads include "God" a simple song about the absolute autonomy of God written by one of Gospel's most prolific songwriters, Donald Lawrence. And the emotional "With All My Heart," a recording which in itself discloses a testimony. "When I first tried to record this song it was the worst studio session of my life ... it was the first time I sensed trouble with my voice and I just got through the song," said Rosario. "It is a huge victory for me to re-record this song when the devil kept saying I would never sing again!"
Listeners are taken on a spiritual journey unlike any other with the release of "Now More Than Ever...Worship." Rosario unabashedly lays bare her testimony with hopes that only God receives the glory and the victory, and that the resounding message of devotion and sincere worship of God is declared.
"Now More Than ever...Worship," the highly anticipated second release from Joann Rosario will be in stores everywhere July 12, 2005.