Jesse Smith & the Holy Ghost has been confirmed as a late addition to this year’s Cornerstone Festival lineup.

Jesse Smith & the Holy Ghost will perform on the Underground Stage (4:50 pm)on Saturday, July 7, the final day of the six-day music festival.

Since 1984, Cornerstone has been the leader in Christian music festivals, drawing fans from across the country to its site in the farmlands of Bushnell, Ill., to celebrate music and faith. Economic strains and a changing market have led the show’s presenters to the decision that 2012 would be the festival’s final year, making Smith’s appearance with his new band bittersweet.

I went to Cornerstone for the first time in 1993 with my youth group, and ended up playing there ­­for the next 13 years with my band Zao,” he said. “Cornerstone is really one of the first times I truly fell in love with music – the smell, the people, the vibe. It gave me an opportunity to feel connected to a movement and want to be the guy on stage. Cornerstone was where I got to meet a lot of my heroes that would eventually become peers.”

Smith was a founding member of the metalcore band Zao, who transcended the Christian market to achieve mainstream success. After more than a decade, he chose to leave the band to focus on his life, walking away from music completely for several years. With a fresh perspective and new lease on life, Smith has returned with the solo project Jesse Smith & the Holy Ghost.

Smith’s return is timed perfectly, allowing him to say goodbye to event that played such an important role in his life.

The memories I have from the fest are a huge part of my teen and young adult life,” said Smith. “I hope that everyone who has been involved making the fest happen year after year know how much of a blessing they have been to myself and countless other artists and labels. I will never forget the good memories of the fest and how many life-long relationships I gained thru the festival itself and the community of Jesus People USA.”

Media opportunities will be available on-site. All are invited to stop by the press tent to meet Smith and hear samples from the upcoming debut release on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

TWITTER- @Jesse_SmithHoly

For music samples, visit


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