Josh Garrels with The Sing Team: The Light Came Down Christmas Tour

December 15, 2017 - 8:00pm

On Friday, December 15, the Community Center for the Performing Arts proudly welcomes Josh Garrels’ The Light Came Down Christmas Tour to the WOW Hall with special guests The Sing Team.

Portland, Oregon-based folk artist Josh Garrels crafts songs exploring themes of compassion, hope, longing and liberation. The founder of independent label Small Voice Records, Garrels has released seven albums, including his 2015 release Home and the critically acclaimed, fan-financed 2011 release Love & War & the Sea In Between.

Garrels has spent more than a decade crafting music that cuts clean through. Resting in the space between accessibility and honesty, Garrels’ songs wrestle with and celebrate the mystery of faith with authenticity and heart while cultivating a genre-blending mix of folk and hip-hop.

“Many of the songs in Garrels’ catalogue evoke natural, visceral imagery, both from the Midwest where he was raised and attended college, and now from his home in Portland, Oregon. From the start of his career, Garrels has chosen to self-record, mix, produce and distribute records without industry management or label representation, beginning with the lo-fi bedroom recordings Stonetree (2002), Underquiet (2003) and Over Oceans (2006).

The making of Love & War & the Sea In Between was completely funded through the support of listeners and offered as a free download for one year, garnering 125,000 downloads in the first year after its release. Named the #1 Album of 2011 by Christianity Today, the magazine described the recording as, “prophetic, incisive, achingly human, and longingly spiritual.”

Love & War & the Sea In Between was influenced by the landscape of the Pacific Northwest, which Garrels calls, “mysterious and ominous.”  A stark contrast to the four seasons he experienced during his youth, Garrels says, “The evergreens, mist, rain, rocky coast, and stretches of uninhabited woods feel wild and untamed.  I think the terrain also influences the area’s culture and spirituality. Living here has deeply affected me and my work.”

Garrels has composed musical scores for several television shows and films. In 2011, he filmed the full-length, fan-financed 60-minute musical documentary The Sea In Between on Mayne Island, B.C.

Partnering with a number of not-for-profit organizations, Garrels has worked to raise awareness for HOPE International, a microfinance initiative working in developing countries; Invisible Children, confronting the LRA in Northern Uganda; and Light Gives Heat, empowering Africans through encouraging economic sustainability and creative endeavors.

On his 2016 holiday album, The Light Came Down Garrels marries both for a wide sonic expanse for both original and classic Christmas songs.  “Gloria” is Light’s spirited centerpiece, while classics like “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night” are given new life through Garrels’ thoughtful, beautiful arrangements.

“Every few years, a Christmas album comes along that forms a perfect connection between the heart of the Christmas story and a tapestry of unique artistic expression,” reports  “The Light Came Down is just that kind of album.  Garrels, the folk troubadour (although he's so much more than that musically) from Portland, Oregon, weaves the Christmas narrative through a bevy of medieval songs and sounds, giving the story a new light, and breathing fresh air into what qualifies as ‘Christmas Music’.

“Josh Garrels is no longer Christian music's best kept secret.  As of the writing of this review, this album is number four on the overall iTunes album chart, showing that Garrels is making headway in the music world without the help of a record company or industry apparatus of any kind.  And The Light Came Down is a deserving album of this wide audience, and one of the most creative, epic and beautiful Christmas albums you will hear in many years.” notes: “If there’s one word to describe Josh Garrels albums, ‘meaningful’ would have to be it…  On this outing, his most explicitly Christian, Garrels eschews ‘chestnuts roasting’ style holiday sentiment.  In its place, we get gorgeous renditions of well-known carols (‘Silent Night’), selections from the gospel repertoire (‘The Virgin Mary Had One Son’) and modern hymnody (the eschatological ‘O Day of Peace’), ambient instrumentals, an obscure British feasting song (‘The Boar’s Head’), and several Garrels originals, all performed in his difficult-to-pigeonhole baroque/folk/soul style and aching tenor.”




The Sing Team is just what you would expect from their name - a merry troupe of family and friends who are always ready to party to the glory of God.  Yet with inspiration ranging from Motown to The Muppets, it’s unlike anything you’ve heard before.

A band that formed out of a community group, The Sing Team now leads worship regularly at Mars Hill Ballard.  The ensemble is led by Deacon Brian Eichelberger, one of the main songwriters at Mars Hill Church.  The Sing Team's tunes are filled with straightforward, joyful lyrics that celebrate God’s grace and the group’s reliance on Jesus.

Marked by a swarm of group vocals, soulful string melodies, and infectious bass riffs, Oh! Great Is Our God! is The Sing Team’s second EP.  The title track, ‘Oh! Great is Our God!’, opens the album with a compelling invitation to worship the glorious God.  From there, the songs continue to reveal a complete dependence on Jesus, including ‘Satisfied in You’, a reminder to preach the gospel to yourself in despairing circumstances based on Psalm 42.           

Tickets are $26 in advance, $39 VIP.  Doors open at 7:00 pm and showtime is 8:00.

Josh Garrels VIP Early Entry experience includes: early entry into the venue one hour before standard ticket holders and a group Q&A with Josh Garrels & band.




Door Time: 
December 15, 2017 - 7:00pm
$26 Advance, $39 VIP Early Entry