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The vision was simple:


Benjamin Mertz, founder/director

Use the transformative power of ​black spiritual music to create community, lift people up, and raise money and awareness around social justice issues at home and abroad.

With this vision in mind, director Benjamin Mertz began a community sing at St. Stephen's Episcopal church in Sebastopol, CA.  He is a Christian music minister, and in this eclectic town an unexpected collection of people came to join in: Jewish, Sufi, Buddhist, agnostic, and more.  Church people and seekers and everything in between.

Joyful Noise! Gospel Singers was born.

JN!GS incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2012.  Our benefit concerts have raised money for Haitian children, Puerto Rican storm victims, California fire victims, homeless veterans, food programs, and more.

  • We are unapologetically interfaith.

  • We love our LGBTQ+ neighbors without reservation.

  • We unequivocally reject racism in all forms.

  • We denounce anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim sentiment.

  • We absolutely reject sexism and patriarchy.

  • We believe that Black Lives Matter.

  • Human beings are neither illegal nor aliens.

  • We honor Native/indigenous lives and land.

  • Our choir practices nonviolence.

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