How it all started...
The Upper Room Gospel Jazz Band started in the Second Baptist Church of Ogden, Utah. While faithfully supporting the various different choirs at Second Baptist whenever needed, the musicians quickly received more and more notice for their accompaniment, especially for their "jazzy" interpretations of well-known gospel songs and hymns.
During a special program held at Second Baptist, one church member commented on the musicians' elevated, corner position in the church - calling the musicians, "The Upper Room" of Second Baptist Church. Since then, the fitting name has served as an identifier as well as a spiritual reminder of the group's origin.
Curtis Price, Taurus James and John White are a small representation of the band's complete membership within the Second Baptist Church. Taurus and John bring funk-flavored grooves to the table and help keep listeners' toes tapping and heads nodding while Curtis and his masterful, melodic lead guitar evoke emotion from listeners of diverse backgrounds. This trio is known as The Upper Room core both inside and outside of the church.
Kenneth and Angelica McGhee joined Curtis, Taurus and John in the group's first 'solo' performances away from Second Baptist. Kenneth (a.k.a. 'One Man Band') brought awesome flavor and impressive skills in sax, trumpet, keyboards and guitar (often in the same song). Angelica provided the sweetness of the flute and often provided keyboard support for her father. The First Annual Colorado Springs Jazz Festival was the band's first big gig in which The Upper Room was the only gospel group invited.
When the group returned from Colorado, a CD recording project was waiting for them. Ken and Angelica returned to their support roles at Second Baptist Church, opting out of the CD project, but not before Ken introduced Marco Munoz to the group.
One of the hottest saxophone players around, Marco fit right in The Upper Room with his outstanding sax playing. Shortly after Marco, Deron Hutchinson entered The Upper Room bringing savory keyboard talent to contribute to The Upper Room Experience.
To experience the music of The Upper Room is to witness firsthand the personal testimony of each member in a musical presentation. The energy and emotion each member pours into every song played is shared with the audience, creating dynamic and memorable experiences with each performance.
'The Upper Room is far more than [some] men together making music...The Upper Room is an experience…men brought together by God, 'Committed to God's Love' (Jesus) and sharing their individual and collective joy of knowing God, through music…testifying to the goodness of the Almighty God…That's The Upper Room.' – Taurus James (2001)
The Upper Room Today...
Taurus continues to create write songs, produce his "Moody Instrumental Music" and teach up-and-coming music artists via his video tutorials on Youtube.