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PDX - Portland Entertainers

Jon Micah Sumrall – Lead Singer of Kutless

By PDX People

Since the late 1990’s one of the top rock bands has been Jon Micah Sumrall’s Kutless. 

What’s unique about Kutless is that they continue to have staying power in a music industry that’s constantly changing and has seen many top bands come and go over the last 20 years.

Although they started out in the post-grunge era with other bands like Skillet, Switchfoot, and P.O.D, the band hasn’t just kept producing hard rock music, they’ve successfully made the transition to inspirational melodies (What Faith Can Do) and have continued to reinvent themselves with each album.

About Jon Micah Sumrall

Born in 1980, Jon grew up right here in Portland Oregon and early on in life became a well-known figure of the community due to his work leading worship music at his local church where his father was the pastor.

Jon partnered with James Mead to form Kutless in 1999 and since then their partnership has continued to pay off while other band members have come and gone over the years.

Sumrall grew up in a Christian home. He says: “My dad was one of the pastors at Applegate Christian Fellowship and my whole family was very involved with the church on a daily basis. It grew to be a very large church of nearly 7,000 people and I found myself even at a very young age in a bit of the spotlight. By the time I was 12 years old, I was involved in leading worship as well as helping with some of the younger Sunday-school groups. I feel like being on stage has been a part of my entire life but little did I know then how these experiences would play into my life.

Staying Power

The success of Kutless can be directly traced to the Internet because the band has continued making new music year after year while their videos and live concerts get millions of views online.

Thanks to the success of his band Jon has been able to travel the world but he’s remained humble and open to sitting down for the occasional interview including this recent interview where he shared information on some of the things that he loves.

[FAMILY] My family has always been there for me and has endured countless days on the road with me just so that we could stay together. Thanks, Shannon and Caleb! I love you both!

[SOCCER] I began playing soccer when I was 5 years old, and it played a major role in my life (including numerous injuries) until only the past few years. I spent countless hours in practice and games and eventually found myself playing soccer in college on a full-ride scholarship. It was there that I eventually met the band and left both my soccer career and college attendance to begin touring full time.

[AUTOMOBILES] I am just a fan of cars…particularly European cars. My favorites would have to include BMW, Land Rover (especially Range Rovers and Defenders) and Ferrari (some of the most beautiful and expensive cars in the world).

[SKIING/SNOWBOARDING] I have been skiing since I was 5 years old, and I started snowboarding around the age of 13. These are my favorite winter activities. I ride at Mt. Hood, the closest mountain to where I live, as often as I can. I love big mountain riding, and it is my dream to someday heli-ski in Alaska.

[GRILLING A STEAK DINNER IN MY BACKYARD AND FINISHING THE MEAL WITH HOMEMADE CHEESECAKE] A summer evening in Oregon is by itself a thing of beauty, but when it is topped off with great food, it is nothing short of perfection! I love steak, and I love cheesecake. My grandmother began making a homemade apricot cheesecake that is my absolute favorite. It sounds weird, but I swear to you that it is the very best. I plan to pass this recipe on, as Caleb has already taken a liking to it. Maybe that’s because he likes anything with sugar in it.

[WAKEBOARDING] This is my favorite summer activity. I live a few minutes from the Willamette River, and it is an epic place to ride. My wife, band, and management all insist that I wear the helmet because of too many concussions and a ruptured eardrum. Who knew water could mess you up so bad?!

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Find Out More About Cool PDX People

To learn more about cool PDX People click here or to learn more about Jon Micah Sumrall and Kutless visit his website at http://www.kutless.com.

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Cheryl Strayed – Author
Joel David Moore – Actor and Director