Joakim Arenius is the former director of Joybells, Europe's oldest gospel choir, who wanted to combine his passion for exploring new musical territories with his desire to spread good news through music. As a result he founded Praise Unit in 2004 -a group of gifted singers and musicians from various backgrounds and different parts of Sweden.
Before Praise Unit Joakim was involved in many kinds of music, but the love for gospel music was always the main inspirational source. He was trombone player in the church brass band, tried a few years in a heavy metal band, then played the classical guitar until he became rapper and guitar player in a funk band. During a visit to Los Angeles in 1993, his life changed as he acknowledged God's calling to work with gospel music. He founded a teenage gospel choir, before he went on to direct Joybells in 1996.
During 2000-2001 he worked as a music minister in
York City and founded Salem Outreach Singers. Since 2003 he has been
working with Creative Kirche from
Germany who manages his work as workshop leader and choir coach in the
german speaking countries. Besides northern Europe and the USA Joakim is
networking with artists, composers and choirs all over the world.
What makes him stand out as a choir director is how he uses his own music to teach choirs to go beyond their usual sound and traditions. The songs he write for Praise Unit works as well with the heavy beats of any dancefloor, or together with a symphony orchestra. Read more and listen to samples on www.joakimarenius.com. Email email@example.com.
Sample of Joakim Arenius history:
- Director of Joybells between 1996-2004.
- Worked with, and/or shared the stage with Kirk Franklin,
Kurt Carr, Andrae Crouch, Edwin Hawkins, Walt Whitman, Rickey Grundy,
Hezekiah Walker, the Thompson Community singers and many others.
- Mass choir director at Gospel Kirchentag in Bochum 2004, Dusseldorf 2006
and Hannover 2008, directing a choir of more than 4000 singers.
- Directing and recording his song "All the time" with the young adult choir
at Gospel Music Workshop of America in Nashville, TN, USA, 2008.
- Nominated for "Nerikes Allehandas kulturpris" in 2009, an award that goes
to an artist for his or her cultural achievements.
- Choir director and instructor at Campamente Toral, the biggest gospel
music camp in Spain.
- Producer of four CD's with Joybells, where he arranged and produced music
for featured guests Jerry Williams, Björn Skifs, Robert Wells, Nanne
Grönvall, LaGaylia Frazier, Jessica Andersson, Magnus Bäcklund, Anna
Sahlene, Anders Ekborg, Anne-Lie Rydé and many others.
- Founder and director of Salem Outreach Singers from New York, NY, USA.
- Director of German Gospel Choir and composer of "Time to celebrate"
title track of the GGC CD.
- Instructor at many festivals, like Stockholm gospelchoir festival, Aarhus
gospel festival, Gospeltime Dusseldorf, Soul Children festival in Oslo,
Swinging Hannover, PoGo and others.
- Initiator and composer for the upcoming teenage musical performed by Oslo
- Several US tours with Praise Unit, Joybells and different german groups.
- Author of five musicals performed by students from Karolinska school of
performing arts, Örebro, Sweden.
- Composer of the songs from "My favorite Joybells songs" and "My favorite
gospel songs", two compilations released and published by Creative Kirche.
- Arranged 13 songs for gospel choir and orchestra that were performed by
Praise Unit and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Joakim