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Newsong Frontman Russ Lee Talks Winter Jam

More About

Lead singer of the Christian group Newsong

Five solo albums, latest, Swallow the Ocean (HHM Records, 2012)

Numerous songs in Top Ten of Contemporary Christian Music

Ordained minister

Featured at various men’s conferences (Crystal Cathedral, Saddleback)

With NewSong:17+ previous albums

Over 20 #1 Christian radio singles including the GRAMMY® nominated  “The Christmas Shoes”

Founders/hosts of Winter Jam Tour Spectacular – now in its 21st year

Wife- Mary, three children.

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In a special one-night theater event, fans will get  an up-close and personal look into one of the world’s largest tours, the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular-This is Winter Jam will premiere On Tuesday, April 19th at 7:00 p.m. local time. Fathom Events and WORD Entertainment  will host the big screen experience that will show on 500 screens nationwide. This is Winter Jam captures the life transforming ministry of Winter Jam as you’ve never seen it before. The film will feature live performances from Skillet, Jeremy Camp, Francesca Battistelli, for King & Country, NewSong and many more. The film also gives fans backstage access and never-before seen interviews from Winter Jam artists past and present.      

“We want people to see what goes into Winter Jam,” said Russ. “For a lot of people who come to Winter Jam, it would be a dream for them to go backstage with the performers.” Since everyone can’t go back stage, the movie lets audiences what happens behind the scenes. Fans can follow when the production crew rolls in early in the morning, and learn what the ministry heart of Winter Jam is. They can the special church service for the tour, called Jam Service, the bible studies, as well as the camradierie and family atmosphere that takes place.

The film reveals the heart of every tour: a passion to see lives changed forever by the Gospel of Jesus. Russ says “Winter Jam has also been evangelistic, so the focus of Winter Jam has always been Jesus, lifting Him up and getting Him known. I hope viewers can bring lost friends and family to a non-threatening environment. A movie is a comfortable place for everyone.” At the end of the movie, Tony Nolan, the tour pastor, will share the gospel.

The Winter Jam tour introduces new audiences to Christian music while providing a dynamic platform for the Gospel message. The tour has featured such artists as MercyMe, Steven Curtis Chapman, tobyMac, Jeremy Camp, Newsboys and Skillet, among many others. “Being involved with Winter Jam is just God’s design for us, and it’s among the reasons we can still be around,” shares Carswell.

Winter Jam began in 1995. NewSong had done a concert in Greenville, South Carolina and already played the larger churches in the area when they asked the promoter about doing a concert at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium.  The promoter said he had never filled the 8,000-seat venue with a Christian event, and that a January date wouldn't give him enough lead time to sell tickets in advance. NewSong told him they didn't want to sell tickets, instead they would take donations at the door. "The night of the concert, when they finally closed the doors, they had to turn 2,000 people away. The place was jam-packed – it was an unbelievable night." To this day, NewSong’s ticketless concerts (a $10.00 donation per person at the door is requested) give thousands the opportunity not only to hear incredible music but, of course, to also hear the Gospel message. Part of this tour’s partnership is Winter Jam’s support of Holt International, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide by challenging the causes of poverty and injustice. NewSong endorses Holt at each concert. In addition to founding the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, NewSong organizes another series of annual events which specifically target youth. The band hosts four Xtreme Conferences each year with thousands of youth in attendance.

"Faithful" is a song that Russ wrote with Christian worship duo All Sons and Daughters. Russ says, “It reminds us that every breath we take, every second we live, every blink of our eyes, every time we swallow, laugh, or feel emotion is a gift form God and display of his faithfulness.” He says he wants people to be reminded that regardless of what happens to them, God is faithful.

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