"Jason Upton" (born December 15, 1973) is an independent Christian worship leader who has a large underground following. He has been compared to Keith Green by many people and was popularized by his appearances at services in Lou Engle's movement The Call. Some feel that he is unorthodox in his approach and critical of mainstream Christianity at times. He is somewhat critical of highly structured church services and varying degrees of professionalism in the church.
== Early life and history ==
Jason Upton was born on December 15, 1973 and was adopted on March 13, 1974. Central to his Christian testimony are his Native American roots, which has prophetic implications of healing, namely to specific issues pertaining to American history and the current state of the church. He was originally told that his birth father was a Dakota, which is one of the tribes of the Sioux nation. He has more recently come to know that his birth father was Cherokee.
He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jason began singing in churches at the age of 15. During this time he won awards and successfully traveled around singing in churches all over the country. After getting married to his wife Rachel, in 1995, the two had an encounter with God that would change their lives. This encounter made them question why they just sang in churches and left them with a desire to impact people for Christ.
During their time at Regent University, finishing their Masters of Divinity programs, they set up a worship room in their home where they regularly gathered with other worshipers to pray and intercede. It was during these times that they realized that theoretically, God was giving them during worship were not simply songs but keys that would open and shut doors in the spirit. Since that time Jason has been asked to worship all over the country and the world.
On January 9, 2001, Jason and Rachel had their first child, Samuel James. On December 18, 2002 they had their second child, a baby girl whom they named Emma. On June 21, 2007 they had their third child, another baby girl, her name is Lucy Rae Upton.
== Events and tours ==
Jason Upton regularly tours the country, leading worship in churches small and large most weekends out of the year, usually at unticketed events. Although encouraged to by his friend Pastor Jentezen Franklin, he has rarely appeared on television. He has appeared at least twice on the "700 Club". He is not regularly played on mainstream Christian radio. His humility has made him extremely popular with those whom he leads in worship. He frequently takes time during worship services to expound on Christian teachings in addition to playing the piano and serving as the lead vocal during worship. Some of these teachings have been made available on CD under the title, "Jason Upton Speaks…"
== Career ==
Jason released his first CD, "Key of David", in 2000. It was recorded live in Virginia Beach that year and was produced by Jason's independent label Key of David Ministries. On this album, Jason recorded prophetic worship sessions with over half of his tracks being spontaneously inspired by the Holy Spirit on the spot. There was no post-production, so the album has an edgy quality. Later that year, he appeared at The Call D.C.
On August 14, 2001, Jason released his second album "Faith", which was also recorded live. Post-production was done, and the album has a high-quality smooth sound. It was his first on a recording label and was released on 40 Records. The title track "Faith" was a spontaneous track, an unplanned song which Jason referred to in the liner notes of the album as a 'Spirit Song'. While it differed from "Key of David", the album was well received. It is considered by many to be his best work ever.
In 2002, he released two independent CDs that had been recorded in the studio, and were his first of this nature. "Jacob's Dream" contained songs that were more introspective and meditative in nature than his previous works. "Dying Star" was a larger project and concentrated more on destruction of personal pride and complete submission to God's plan of true Christianity and not what the mainstream church envisions. That same year, he collaborated with other Christian artists on a Keith Green tribute entitled "Your Love Broke Through: The Worship Songs of Keith Green". He re-recorded "You Are The One" for this project, further exposing him to mainstream audiences. He also led worship at The Call New York that year.
In 2003, Jason launched another independent CD "Remember", which was recorded live and was a compilation of two nights of worship. On the first track, he rebukes a tornado which was tearing through Oklahoma City and was headed directly towards the building that he was worshipping in. The weather service in that area documented that the tornado broke apart at the time that Jason was singing that song. On the last track, on a song called Fly, 3 angels voice's can be heard, and a person in the audience saw the angels that evening during worship. The sound was cleaned up a little before the tracks were released. Also that year, Jason led worship at The Call Kansas City and appeared at the One Thing Conference for the International House of Prayer. This further popularized him among radical Christian youth who were longing for a deeper experience with God.
2004 passed with Jason continuing to tour, and it was early December before he released his sixth CD "Trusting the Angels", a studio album which was also independently produced. This CD was different from his previous albums in that no track seemed to be spontaneous.
In April 2005, Jason released his second album on a recording label which was produced by Gotee Records. "Great River Road" was a studio album and a collection of Jason Upton songs, containing five songs from his previous CDs and only four new compositions. It also included a bonus track "You Are The One", which had been recorded for the earlier Keith Green tribute. This album further included a CD-ROM feature of Jason explaining his inspirations for and reasonings behind the songs on the CD.
Jason's fourth live album, sixth independent album, and eighth overall album, "Open Up The Earth" was released in late October 2005. It contains two CDs of mostly spontaneous worship, and a bonus DVD. It contained no post-production and is raw, unedited worship. This was Key of David Ministries' largest project to date and has been well received by many of his supporters.
== Present ==
In 2007, Jason released two new CDs:
"“Between earth and sky”" was released in April, 2007. At two different events - one at Life Center International in Harrisburg, PA and the other at Morningstar Christian Fellowship in Fort Mill, SC - several of the recorded moments were beckoning to be shared with a larger audience. The compilation of these moments – both audio and video – was released in April as one project entitled “Between Earth and Sky”.
"“Beautiful People”" was released on May 29, 2007. This recording is a listening experience on different levels: it is an extraordinary representation of Jason’s broad interests and influences as a musician and more importantly, his remarkable ability to tell the redemptive story of God through his intimate relationship with Jesus.
"“1200 FT Below Sea Level”" is Jason's newest CD and it features various recordings from across America, expressing the heart of God for His people trough songs, instrumental spontaneity and spoken word.
Category:Performers of Christian music
Referenced from Wikipedia: Jason Upton