Not a concert but worship via improvisation through holy inspiration. "Jazz is the musical incense that collects and carries the prayers of a people." Blue Muse can help your church plan a traditional, vespers, or community jazz service.
What is a Jazz Vespers service?
A jazz vespers service merges a sacred service with the historical spirituality of jazz.
We couldn't have said it any better:
“Seven Joys of Jazz"
Rev. Bill Carter, Presbyterian minister/jazz musician:
Jazz bounces to a contagious rhythm. You get swept up in the liberating power of swing. It’s hard to define this, but you can always feel it. Even if the music is quiet, especially if the music is lively, there is a life-giving power to the rhythm.
Jazz harmonies are rich. They curl your tongue and straighten your spine. They resonate in honest people. Through a judicious use of dissonance and resolution, jazz chords offer hospitable space for the Spirit’s work within us and among us. The right chord can sink you into reflection or nudge your heart to new insight.
Jazz offers soulful prayer. Maybe the tune gives voice to our pain or maybe it releases us in joy. Whatever else it does, jazz brings all of us before all of God. No human hurt or passion needs to be hidden. All is offered up to heaven as honest prayer. Just as in ancient Israel, the musicians become our priests.
Jazz calls us to the inevitability of praise. When all is said and done, everything is going to turn out well. It’s just like the book of Psalms. If you walk through the Psalms, you find a voice for all of human experience, but by the time you get to the very last page, everything ends up praising God. In the last Psalm, Psalm 150, thirteen times in six verses, there is the verb “hallel,” as in “Hallelujah!” That is our end. That is our destination. You hear it in jazz.
Jazz is a communal art form. The poet writes in isolation. The painter brushes alone. The sculptor shapes when no one else is around. But jazz is made in public. It forges a new community. It brings together companions who engage in dialogue. That’s what a solo is: a continuing dialogue on a tune. The musicians listen carefully to one another. They blend their individual voices in community.
With jazz, the Holy Spirit becomes an event. That’s how the theologian Karl Barth describes the spiritual life. Something happens in us: some truth is confirmed, some brokenness is mended. The only way we can describe it is that the creativity of God starts doing something creative in us. We are healed, we are released. Somehow in the moment, in the passion and excitement of the moment, God is here. Right here.
In jazz, there is the ever-present possibility of something new. An old tune is played in a fresh way. A new melody is improvised over top of the existing memory. The music surges forward, leading us into a fresh future. It offers us possibilities where we only knew of dead-ends. Call this, if you will, the resurrection power. New life breaks forth from the imagination of God. Creative musicians offer this newness for the people who can groove with them.
Contact Us for more info on hosting a community jazz vespers service at your church!