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With a penchant for thought-provoking lyrics, innovative instrumentation and pleading vocals regularly wrapped around an entrancing, worshipful undercurrent, Jon Guerra is steadily being recognized as one of today’s most gifted, intellectual and groundbreaking singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalists. But just because he’s meeting the world at large with Little Songs (Essential Records) doesn’t mean the Chicagoan (raised in Wheaton, a salt-of-the-earth Midwestern small town) is a newcomer to his craft.
While diligently studying Bob Dylan, Rich Mullins, Sufjan Stevens and Rufus Wainwright, along with influential poets Emily Dickinson and George Herbert, plus novelist Marilynne Robinson, Guerra essentially spent his entire artistic journey switching between local band and solo life. He’s been courted by mainstream labels, opened for the likes of .fun, and even served as a jingle writer for massive companies like Comcast, Chase Bank and Allstate Insurance. By 2013, the artist of many associations also became a member of Vertical Church Band, the worship band from Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, where he continues to serve when not on tour.
“My general goal is the ministry of art, if that’s possible,” Guerra lets out with a little laugh. “For a long time, art and ministry have been at odds, but I don’t think that needs to be the case. I think artists can love their neighbor as they love themselves, while keeping their finger on the pulse of what makes a good song and what makes good art. Hopefully I can say beautiful things, sing beautifully and then let the beauty do its work.”