Many are quite familiar with James “Jazzy” Jordan, the prolific music executive who was at the helm of Verity Gospel Music Group (now RCA Inspiration) as Executive Vice President/General Manager. After spending 17 years at the label, Jordan retired from Verity in 2012. The man who amassed more than 2 billion dollars in sales cumulatively during his career moved into a new chapter of his life.Author James “Jazzy” Jordan
Thus far, 2017 has been a banner year for Jordan. He is the recipient of President Barack Obama‘s Lifetime Achievement Award. Jordan is a speaker, certified John Maxwell coach and trainer and plant-based expert who released his book, “Health is Wealth” in January. The book went on to become a best-seller, capturing the No.1 spot in multiple countries.
PositivelyGospel.com caught up with James “Jazzy” Jordan for an extensive interview, Jordan shared the genesis of his book, the important of a healthy plant-based lifestyle, what lies ahead for him, and what role music plays in his new chapter.
What led you to write this book?
“God did. That’s the long and short answer. I was writing a book called “Dream Chaser.” It was about my life and the artists I’ve worked with over the years. I thought that was important and God said ‘well, nobody cares about you, but here’s something that you can talk about that will help people.’ It’s not that my book wouldn’t necessarily help people, but it was too one-directional; it was just about the music business. I could write about something that I’m also passionate about, that people really, in my estimation really needed to hear, and that is about health. I believe people are being let down because they don’t have the information that we need, or a lot of us don’t, when you consider that 77% of churchgoers are overweight. You never hear anything about that or nobody’s talked about that and it needs to be brought out. And what’s the problem with being overweight? The problem is you can develop high blood pressure, in a lot of cases, then end up with diabetes. From diabetes, it just goes on and on, down a long rabbit-hole.”
Why did you title the book Health is Wealth?
“No matter how much you have financially, you have nothing without your health. Your health is your wealth. It’s a play on words because if you don’t have your health, you don’t have wealth, in my opinion. Even if you don’t have money and you have your health, you have wealth.”
What are you trying to achieve with this book?
“I am trying to wake people up. I’m trying to get people to ask questions and answer questions. I don’t have all the answers, but I want to take the answers I do have and share those answers with as many people as I can. That’s why I’m traveling around the country doing television shows and speaking engagements to let people know their health is important, if not to them, it’s important to me.”
How did you start writing the book, what was your process?
“That process just happened so quickly. I struggled for years trying to put together the book that I wanted to write, “Dream Chaser.” It was hard; this book was easy because it’s also what I live. I’ve been living this for 27 years so I know it firsthand. This seems to be more pertinent and more important. There’s a lot of studies based around a lot of the information that I talk about. The statistics I quote in the book are real and it gets worse every year. We’ve been lied to so much, not just in this country, but everywhere on this planet. Dairy is considered one of the food groups you must have. That’s just so far from the truth. Look at cow’s milk where everything starts from, in the dairy industry, and cow’s milk is for calves, not for human beings.”
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
“The self-imposed deadlines because I wanted it to come out in January. The people I was working with on my book convinced me that if I put this out in January with this subject matter, it would be a best seller. And it is, in seven different countries; it went No. 1. Not that I was looking for accolades, but of course, accolades come with that. I ‘ve learned over the years to respect when great things happen to you. You have to acknowledge them; you have to embrace them, you must enjoy them and love them.”
What has this book taught you?James “Jazzy” Jordan preps for cooking demonstration on the set of WTVR
“I call it the tree of life and the tree of life which is based on what happens to someone’s body when its breaking down. The first thing that happens is intoxication. You’re getting all these poisons into your body where the food that you’re consuming; the air that you’re breathing and, in some cases, the water that you’re drinking, is intoxicating your body. Then with intoxication, you have malnutrition because when you don’t take in the right fluids or you don’t have the nutrition in your food you end up in a state of malnutrition, even though you look healthy. The body becomes deactivated because you are tired. You don’t want to move because your food is not working for you.
With deactivation, you become oxidated and we all know what oxidation looks like. If you bite into an apple, you leave the apple, you will see it turn brown, that’s oxidation. That’s exactly what’s happening to our bodies on the inside. The other root of this tree is ignorance. What I’ve learned from the journey that I’m on with this book is how high the ignorance really is because when you ask somebody a simple question like, ‘what does the liver do in your body?’ I find too many people don’t have any clue what a liver does in the human body and those same people will turn around and go order chicken gizzards or some form of organism. So, I’ve learned the level of ignorance, and that’s not a put-down. Most people know more about their cars than their body. You know what kind of gasoline goes in your body. You know about your tires and to rotate your tires. You have all sorts of information lodged in your head about your car and less information about your body.”
James “Jazzy” Jordan is currently winding up his seven-city book tour (dubbed, “The Health Train”) that started in Frederick, MD and ends June 17 at the 2nd Annual Veggie Connection Event in Riverside, CA.Jordan sharing his knowledge on stage. Photo Credit: ChristianDelRosario
What’s next on the horizon for James “Jazzy” Jordan? Is there another book in the works or is there a next project?
“There’s always a next project. I’m heading up a supplement company called Nutura and we have a supplement called Jovial that will give you all of the vital nutrition you need because it’s comprised of mainly superfoods. It has over 24 superfoods. The main superfood in it is spirulina, which is so healthy for the body. One of the reasons I got involved with this company is because the bottom line for me is that no matter what you’re eating or what you’re diet, although I believe a plant-based diet is the best for you, you should be healthy. I’m going to follow this book up with a “Health is Wealth Complete Cookbook.” I want you to have great vegan food. I don’t want you to have mediocre food. I want you to have an experience when you have vegan food. That’s why I’m doing television appearances. When people see it and when the hosts tastes vegan food and honestly says, ‘that’s great and I’d love to have more.’ That’s important to me because it has to taste great.”
Jordan has been immersed in music ever since he was child sweeping up at his brother’s record store in New Haven, Conn. In 2013, he was named an American Icon” by Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for his service to the music industry. James “Jazzy” Jordan serves as ex-Officio of the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation which hosts the annual Evolution of Gospel concert each September at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in honor of Gospel Music Heritage Month.James “Jazzy” Jordan poses with Lifetime Achievement Award
Does music still play a significant role in your life?
“Music will always be a part of my life, it’s part of my DNA. I want to help as many artists as I can to understand this music process. For example, I’m moderating a panel at the Urban Network Music Conference on June 8. The reason I’m doing it, and I was so thankful they asked me, is because I want to talk about branding, I want to talk about marketing, but for this generation, not back in the day. I want to talk about it now because there’s one common thread that will always be the same and that is the quality of music. If you have quality and music together, that is how the music gets out. The music will get out; the music will do well; and most importantly music will survive. It will be around forever! It will just be monetized in a different way, but it’s been around forever. That much I know.”
“I’m also working with a young gospel trio, three sisters, JuZang. These women are sold out for God. They’re working with Big Shiz and his label; he’s producing them. I’m very excited about them and those kinds of possibilities. The sky is the limit for them with their talent. It’s a fresh face and something that gospel is so desperately in need of, as far as I’m concerned.”
What else would you like to share with the readers and where can they find your book?
“I’m doing an amazing thing right now. I’m giving my book away for free. I would love for your readers to go to my website healthiswealthfreebook.com. There is a small shipping and handling charge. If they indicate they went to the site because of reading your article, I will make it an autographed book and ship it to them.”
For more information on James “Jazzy” Jordan, visit www.jamesjazzyjordan.com. Watch Jordan’s appearance on CBS Baltimore when it airs, Wednesday, June 28.
© 2017 Sarah L. Hearn, PositivelyGospel.com All rights reserved.
Sarah Hearn is Editor-in-Chief of PositivelyGospel.com, founded in 2011. The site was recently named among Feedspot’s Top Gospel and Christian Music Websites. Sarah is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gospel Music Association.