African-American Jewish musician Joshua Nelson is the first famous Kosher Gospel artist, performing his music in synagogues across the country. Raised in East Orange, NJ, Nelson grew up in a synagogue that was quick to serve fried chicken and collard greens. His grandmother exposed him to both classical music and gospel as a child. He combined the two sounds and made the Kosher Gospel genre.
Nelson studied Judaism in Israel, preparing children for bar and bat mitzvahs. Seeking more exciting ways to approach the music, he introduced the Kosher Gospel style and recently performed at the Jewish Music Festival in Pittsburgh. The musician has taught Hebrew at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel for 15 years.