The love for music started early in life for Jason Shaw, just about when he turned 6-years-old.
His dedication to the church was established even earlier in life as a child on the lap of his parents, Carmen and Stanley, who were lifetime members of the congregation at Montreal West Church of God of Prophesy.
“I think it all started for me, listening to my dad’s Caribbean Christian music, which included a lot of The Grace Thrillers, Joseph Niles and others.”
His parents noticed Jason’s interest in music and bought him his first little keyboard at a garage sale.
He remembers the first song he was able to play: ‘Trust and Obey.’
Then from Willingdon Elementary onwards he began to hone his skills under music teachers such as Mme Claire Beriault, then Donna Forde, Ernie Nelson and Paul McPherson.
He was a part of the Wagar High School Band on trumpet and alto Saxophone under the direction of Mr. Andrew Peterson.
He also maintained a strict regimen of self-training growing into an accomplished musician by his teenage years.
Eventually, Jason’s two passions came together as he dedicated his musical journey to the service of Montreal’s faith community and for the most part building the music ministry at the Church Of God Of Prophesy.
For the past seven years or so, the naturally gifted keyboardist and vocalist has been serving as the music director at Prophesy, where he has been a mentor to at least two generations of aspiring musicians.
“My motivation has always been to inspire others,” he told the CONTACT at a recent sit-down at his church. “So I get a lot of satisfaction helping to develop and train young musicians.”
Although his obvious talent could have taken him far in the business, for one reason or the other, Jason has never ventured out on the secular circuit.
“There’s very little out there for most musicians and I was never drawn to it,” he says.
Ray Johnston, who mentored Jason very early in his musical training, has always been impressed by the youngster’s talent and his dedication to his church.
Jason was the keyboardist with Johnston’s group ‘New Born Souls.’
Along the way, Jason who attended Wagar High School and was trained at Vanier College was also a member of several choirs including the Ministerial Choir, Montreal Mass, R.O.C.K, Perpetual Praise and Abundant Life.
“Very, very good musician but has always chosen to be in the background. And has always been dedicated to Prophesy,” Johnston says.
“I suspect he has passed up on many great opportunities to lead several top choirs in Montreal.”
Jason, who is an applications specialist with Matrox Electronics System in the West Island, says he is far more interested in teaching and mentoring young musicians and eventually establishing an institution to do so.
Today, music remains an integral part of Jason’s life as he devotes multiple hours a week to his duties at the church and to helping young musicians.
His work at the Montreal West Church Of God Of Prophesy has not gone unnoticed. The congregation has planned an afternoon of Appreciation for Jason’s “dedication and commitment to Jason’s work in God’s Kingdom” on October 27 at 3:00 PM at the Palace Convention Centre, 1717 Corbusier in Laval. Tickets are $60. Info. 514-484-8271.