Preacher Milton Vann and modern Jewish singer Josh Nelson are teaming up to create an album.
Vann is a songwriter and gospel vocalist. Originally from Mount Vernon, Vann began his career singing in church at 4 years old. He later joined the Boys Choir of Harlem and has since toured with gospel choirs and Oscar Award-winning vocalist Darlene Love.
Nelson is the music director for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial Convention; he also leads high holiday services at New York’s historic 92nd St. Y and performs professionally on 13 instruments.
“We both are very spiritual human beings,” Nelson said of Vann in an email interview with The Jewish Week. “We share a great love for humankind and a respect for music's universal ability to bring people together.”
Vann launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a live recording for his upcoming album, featuring Nelson and Love.
Nelson and Vann had known each other for several years before the new album.
“We are artists and friends that support each other, musically and otherwise. That's part of being an open, loving human being,” wrote Nelson.
Nelson believes that his musical connection with Vann will ensure the project’s success.
“If [listeners are] inspired, if they feel connected to something bigger than themselves, then Milton and I have accomplished our goal. We're all one people, trying to get to the same place. The paths we take to get there shouldn't be exclusionary or judged based on our labels or backgrounds,” Nelson finished.