The Kennedy Center

Todd Ledbetter Gospel Jazz Quartet



Biography

For over 20 years saxophonist Todd Ledbetter has been performing and ministering, featuring his unique style of gospel jazz. Mr. Ledbetter started playing saxophone at age ten,encouraged by a gospel loving mother and a jazz loving father. After graduating high school, he enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, where he began studying with renowned saxophonist and educator Dr. Nathan Davis. Through this relationship Mr. Ledbetter met artists like Grover Washington, Jr., James Moody, John Faddis, and Eddie Harris. During his collegiate career God gave him a vision of a music ministry combining the spiritual power and authority of gospel with the rich aesthetics of jazz.

After graduating with a degree in communications, he played with various Pittsburgh artists, including former Dizzy Gillespie durmmer Joe Harris, former Horace Silver drummer Roger Humphries, as well as groups under his own name. Mr. Ledbetter then moved to the Washington D.C. area, performing with local artists like Ronnie Wells and Marcus Johnson. His music ministry continued at the Union Temple Baptist Church, where he caught the attention of gospel jazz pioneers Allen and Allen.

Mr. Ledbetter currently serves as a Psalmist with the Metropolitan Baptist Church of Washington D.C. His music is the synthesis of life experience and the influence of artists like John Coltrane, Grover Washington, Jr., Vernard Johnson, and Stanley Turrentine. He sees gospel jazz as music that will reach outside the church walls. He calls the music on his debut CD ‘A musical tonic for the soul’ and explains: “In these complex, challenging times, people need music that will deepen their faith experience."
Todd Ledbetter Gospel Jazz Quartet