Koinonia was a Christian band birthed from the fusion in jazz music, which occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, contributing to a new, more electrified and diverse genre called jazz-funk.

Though less known in the United States, Koinonia established themselves as a huge sensation in Scandinavia and Western Europe, performing to sell-out crowds from 1982 to 1991 in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and France. Their Latin-infused rhythms and upbeat melodies gave them a distinct and cultured sound. Taken from a Greek word used in the Bible to mean “intimate fellowship”, Koinonia was notably one of the first Christian, though primarily instrumental, jazz bands. The original founding members of the band in 1980 were: bassist Abraham Laboriel Sr, Weather Report veteran Alex Acuña on drums and percussion, wind player John Phillips, noted session-guitarist Dean Parks, and three members of Andraé Crouch’s band, drummer/percussionist Bill Maxwell, guitarist Hadley Hockensmith, and Harlan Rogers on keyboards. In 1981 the saxophone/clarinet and flute virtuoso Justo Almario replaced John Phillips. Dean Parks also left at that time, because he preferred not to travel. Chester Thompson joined one tour in Europe in 1987, replacing Alex Acuña, but Thompson was never an official member of the band. In 1988, Lou Pardini joined the band on keyboards and vocals. Koinonia disbanded in 1991. (More)

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