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Multi-ethnic Diversity in Music
united nations of funk

Church of Rhythm

Check out the Church of Rhythm , an eclectic blend of crazy Christian musicians that play some outrageously great music, while delivering their messages of love and peace. Check out their story below on how this group of people combined diversity, music and Christianity together!

Recently dubbed by a journalist as "the united nations of funk," COR's line-up includes members hailing from Korea, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States. The group's ethnic diversity brings an unspoken message of racial harmony and equality to their audiences.

Originating through the ministries of Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago, COR now has six enthusiastic members dedicated to reaching this generation with a voice of encouragement.

Front man Jason Gregory (lead vocals) began attending Willow Creek while studying Elementary Education at Judson College in nearby Elgin, IL. Despite his career as an elementary school teacher, singing remained Gregory's first love and provided him the opportunity to sing with the high school ministry of Willow Creek which averaged 2,000 students per week. Church of Rhythm

Gregory was not the only member of COR that did not initially plan to pursue a full-time music career. While recently licensed as a pharmacist, Dave Ghazarian (guitar), a Toronto native of Armenian descent, completed his pharmaceutical studies at Ohio State University where he worked with Campus Crusade ministries before joining COR.

Matt Miller (drums) and Jerome Cunningham (bass) were both pursuing desires to work with youth before joining COR. Miller came to the United States from a Korean orphanage where he and his sister lived until they were 6 months old and were adopted by a couple from the Chicago area. In high school, he was active in his youth group and credits his youth pastor and leaders for encouraging him to pursue a career in youth ministry.

Jerome Cunningham studied to be a social worker, worked in a Big Brother program and coached various youth athletic teams prior to joining COR. Playing bass since the age of 13, Cunningham has performed everything from R&B Funk to alternative rock. Following a four year Air Force enlistment, Cunningham and his wife played the Chicago club scene where he auditioned for Star Search, placed in the Chicago Battle of the Bands and opened for the Smashing Pumpkins. Church of Rhythm

Paul Shamoun (vocals & percussion) was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon until his family moved to the Chicago area when he was 10, due to the Middle East War. Sharmoun struggled with adapting to this new country and learning its language and customs but was able to use his music to help with the transition. Through a friend's invitation, Shamoun began attending Willow Creek where he met Max Hsu and Jason Gregory and later was invited to join COR.

Founding member Max Hsu, picked up guitar this year and fills a leadership role in all things creative, including packaging, merchandising, web site and music videos. Hsu spent most of his childhood in Hong Kong, where his parents are missionaries, then later returned to the United States to attend Wheaton College and study communications, music, and film. While attending Willow Creek and working with the singles ministry, Hsu met Gregory and the concept of Church of Rhythm was formed.

COR has a strong message to the body of Christ and speaks movingly about making the church a place to be real. While the music and live show give them a platform to speak, it is their honesty from the stage that they hope will spark many conversations about who God is with a world that struggles with perfectionism, moral relativism and a skewed image of a legalistic Christianity. Church of Rhythm

HSU explains, "To many in the world, we (Christians) have become irrelevant, an ideal to be admired but never attained, or worse, hypocrite preachers. But if we admit to loneliness, brokenness and hurt, perhaps the world will understand that the only difference between us and them is Christ."

Their second c.d. is entitled NOT PERFECT and their first c.d. is CHURCH OF RHYTHM. Support this rare multi-cultural band that is truely that and they even play some PHAT sounding music with a POSITIVE message!?!?! Unbelievable!

Another interview with the members of the group can be found by clicking HERE.

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