One of the more adventurous of the praise-and-worship artists to rise to acclaim in the early years of the new millennium, Israel And New Breed enjoyed widespread popularity in the North American market with their vibrant, genre-hopping music. The group is the brainchild of the highly respected worship leader and musician Israel Houghton (b. 1972, USA). Houghton, who is more frequently referred to as Israel, formed the New Breed Ministries in 1995 with his wife and a large cast of musicians and singers. The group’s live performances were musically diverse affairs, embracing gospel, urban, funk, salsa and Afro-pop, and rose to frequently breathless crescendos.
During the late 90s Houghton released the solo collection Whisper It Loud before launching Israel And New Breed as fully-fledged recording ensemble. The group’s 2001 debut, New Season, was recorded live at the Cornerstone Church in Toledo, Ohio, and did an excellent job of getting down on record the dynamic relationship between performer and audience. The 2002 studio release, Real, lacked some of the snap and crackle of their live performances, but was a credible release in a genre better known for its musical conformity. The subsequent series of live CD and DVD releases captured a number of the group’s stunning concert performances in their entirety.