Christian musicians gather for annual Winter Jam show

Delores Flynn
Special to The Detroit News

In a world sometimes filled with too much negativity the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular is striving to bring a little bit of hopefulness to people’s lives.

The Christian concert comes to the Palace of Auburn Hills at 5 p.m. Sunday featuring the theatrical Australian duo for King & Country and singer/songwriter Matthew West as co-headliners. The nearly four-hour music extravaganza will feature 10 bands for $10 at the door. There are no pre-sold tickets for the event.

While the concert is inexpensive there “is nothing cheap about the experience,” said Eddie Carswell, Winter Jam creator and founding member of the contemporary band NewSong who is also playing on the tour.

“It’s Christian music with a Christian message. People should leave there feeling encouraged. It will be the best $10 anyone will have spent in a while. It’s a big production and a really fun night,” he said.

When the inaugural Winter Jam concert kicked off in 1995 for $3, promoters of a 6,500-seat venue in South Carolina had never been able to fill it for a Christian event. But opening night the place was packed and some 2,000 people couldn’t get in, Carswell said.

Last year, the tour played to more than 600,000 people across the country.

“We made it affordable because we want to make sure everyone can come. I feel like God has given us this to do,” Carswell added. “It’s always amazing to see how God uses music to touch someone’s life.”

The 48-city tour will also feature Crowder, RED, Sidewalk Prophets, KB/Tedashii/Trip Lee, Lauren Daigle and evangelist Tony Nolan. Nolan is the author of several books including, “Hurt Healer: Reaching Out to a Broken World.”

A pre-jam party features Stars Go Dim and We Are Messengers.

It’s a bit like a circus, said the four-time Grammy nominated West, who will be singing songs from his latest album “Live Forever.”

“If you get tired of one act, the show will soon move on to someone else. There will be something for everyone,” West said.

“What makes this truly a spectacular night is that we try to bring hope and joy to everyone by putting out a positive message. We are all going through something but we should never lose faith because there is always hope in God. Every day is a chance for a new beginning. Another day to be a better version of yourself,” said West.

This is West’s third time on tour with the Winter Jam and his first year as a headliner.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the show and to use my talents to serve others,” he said.

Delores Flynn is a Royal Oak-based freelance writer.

The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular

5 p.m. Sun.

The Palace of Auburn Hills,

6 Championship, Auburn Hills

Cost: $10 at the door

For information call (248) 377-0100 or visit or