More Than Just Applause...

A Conversation with Jordan Critz


Charles White




Jordan Critz isn’t a household name, but I’ll bet you have heard his work before. A true renaissance man in terms of his music, Jordan is comfortable with playing pop or Pachelbel or composing music for Porsche. He really is a jack-of-all-trades: performer, composer, and producer. Although music is a huge part of his life, it isn’t his only passion.


Music was an important part of Jordan’s life even as a child. At the age of 5, he started playing the piano and by age 7, he began experimenting with improvisation and composition.  His father was also a musician, who served as a minister of music for a local church, in addition to his full-time job in corporate America. As a result, Jordan was exposed to quite a bit of gospel music and traditional hymns.


Despite being grounded in gospel music, Jordan’s musical interests remain quite eclectic. He doesn’t like to stick with one genre, but enjoys exploring multiple genres from classical to classic rock. His musical exploration has lead to growth and has made Jordan Critz the man he is today.


“I grew up doing a lot of composing and classical music,” Jordan explains. “Honestly, I don’t like to stick with just one genre. I think it is really important as a musician to grow. We change as people. I’m not the same person now that I was at 18. I have changed so much. You learn and you grow and music does the same thing. It is important to let the music move you.”


Jordan has enjoyed a successful music career. He has had the opportunity to compose music for ads for products such as Mini-Cooper, Porsche and CBS. He composed the music for a documentary that garnered 3 Telly Awards.  In addition, he continues to be a full-time producer, composer and performer.


However, music is not the only thing that has shaped him. His faith and his family have always been and still remain an important part of who he is. His latest self-titled EP is his first foray into the world of contemporary Christian music.


“Faith and family are the most important things…in that order. I grew up with a great family and we’re still super close.”


Jordan’s faith embodies everything he does, whether it is composing for commercials or cranking out rock tunes. For him, music is a precious gift given to us by God that transcends all barriers.


“Music is something that God gave us. Music is the one thing that has no barriers in language. You can reach people and move them in ways that the spoken word might never enter. It is important to know that if you have a gift that it is a God given gift, really hone it and be very careful with it. “


So how does this professional musician measure success? Jordan doesn’t turn to his commercial work or the award-winning documentary he composed music for, or even his latest EP. Instead he looks at success a bit differently than most of us. He looks at success through the lens of his faith.


“I think success is completely backwards in how we view it. I think it is important to know the truth about what success really is. In the eyes of everyone, it is pretty much what you do. It is all wrapped up into how much applause you have gotten. It is something that Christian artists really fall into as well. It is so easy to not feel successful if certain things are not happening.


Success has nothing to do with that. Success has nothing to do with numbers. I view success as [using] what God has gifted you [with] and doing that.”


We all crave praise and adoration. We all want the applause and the adoration of others. Yet we forget that just by using the gifts that God has given us that we are successful in His eyes. Whether our gift is music or math, sports or statistics, being the best we can be, as we use the precious gifts that God has given us, is success. The applause and adoration of others is nice, but are hollow treasures stored in clay pots.