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Summer Jazz Mass Sunday Evenings

Summer Jazz Mass continues through August!
From June 2 through August 25, we return to a worship schedule that includes weekly evening Jazz Mass in the Michaux House.

Every Sunday at 5:30 p.m. through August 25, our clergy lead Richmond’s finest jazz players along with cantors from our choir and congregants through a specially designed liturgy that is open to the improvisation that is the heart of jazz music.

Readings may be from Scripture, thoughtful theologians, poetry, novels, really anything that reaches for the sacred and calls for our response. We gather around a table set with the kinds of food our Lord and his disciples might have brought for an evening meal. Sharing bread and wine and fellowship, we will invite the presence of the Holy Spirit in our Eucharistic feast.

This is a service that makes its foundation on our traditions and derives its energy from jazz. It is just the way you would want to conclude your Sunday and a perfect place to invite your friends and family to join in. Great music, great liturgy, great spirit and great goodness abound. Please come often.

 Complete list of players (as of June 2, 2019)

DateBand (leader*)PictureFrom the artist
June 2 and August 11Jason Jenkins, bass*Jason Jenkins GroupI have been blessed over my musical journey to play with many wonderful musicians in many wonderful settings. For me, a Jazz Mass is very unique because I get to express myself in the music which I love, play with musician friends who I love, all in the house of the Lord who makes ALL thing possible. – Jason
June 9Roger Carroll, saxophone* Roger CarrollMaking music for me, under any circumstance is a spiritual endeavor. Performing in clubs you are already dealing with a lot of energy so I think like a sculptor who is chipping away at the energy to create a soundscape of that moment in time. Performing in a concert sitting I think like a painter with a blank canvas to create that moment in time. In either circumstance, we the performers are only the messenger. –Roger
June 16 and August 25Anthony Dowd, piano* Anthony DowdThere is a natural calm that comes over me as soon as the first tune starts on any gig. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been associated with “church music”, for most of my life. Singing in the school choir in the ’60’s, playing guitar for the folk mass at St. Bridget’s in the ’70’s, to playing at my parent’s church, St. Paul’s. There is also a calm that comes from spiritual music, so getting to put all these moments in one space gives me a “centeredness” that is unique. – Anthony
June 123 and July 28Taylor Barnett, trumpet* Taylor BarnettThe Jazz Mass at St. James’s is a unique opportunity for the musicians, the congregation, and the clergy to collaborate, for the glory of God, in a creative environment that only jazz music can provide. The service is at times reflective, and at other times jubilant. We wail on the blues; we sing of God’s mercy; and there is space for everyone involved to be fully themselves. –Taylor
June 30 and July 14Victor Haskins, trumpet*Victor HaskinsThe Jazz Mass at St. James is a great experience–for music lovers, worshipers, and artists, all at once. I always look forward to performing in this intimate setting which allows this music–music which is improvised, so as to fit each unique moment perfectly–to be received by a multiplicity of open and sensitive ears. When you have a room which can facilitate an attentive group of humans, we all are able to share in the positive vibes, and cathartic energy that are inevitably produced by the juxtaposition of music and message. – Victor
July 7 and August 4Suzi Fischer, saxophone*Suzi FischerMusic can transform you, and stimulate your feeling of being at one with everything—which most of the time we are, even if we’re not conscious of it. -Jack DeJohnette
I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. – John Coltrane
July 21 and August 18John Winn, saxophone* John WinnWinn
I can say without reservation that the times in my life when I have felt most at one with the people around me have been on the bandstand with jazz players who are all really connecting on the deepest musical, and therefore, deepest spiritual levels. Jazz is a language just like any other. We make up conversation when we speak to others and this is what we musicians do when playing jazz. No two performances are the same just like no two conversations or spiritual experiences are exactly the same. But without question, the most spiritually connected moments of my life have been while playing music, not speaking. To share a connection in that realm, the musicians’ minds have to be coexisting on a very particular plane and sharing a very specific vocabulary. The players are not just playing, but listening, reacting, sharing, avowing, being open to waiting for t e next idea. You must be willing to let go of something good you may just have played on the chance that something better, or at least as interesting, is right around the corner. You must take risks. You must be okay with not always being at your best and not always feeling that strong connectedness. It comes when you least expect it. -John
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