AN EVENING OF PANCAKES AND JAZZ
On Tuesday, March 4th, St. Luke’s Men will have their traditional Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the choir will be performing Bob Chilcott’s "A Little Jazz Mass." This is a regular Eucharist with the service music set in a jazz format. As far as we know this service has never been held in Coeur d’Alene.
Jazz as we know it today began in the 1700’s as slave work songs in the form of call and response where while working, a leader would call out a line and the rest of the workers would respond, not unlike the antiphonal music we have in liturgical church music today. Spirituals expressed the slaves’ strong religious beliefs as well as their desire for freedom. Elements of both work songs and spirituals are part of the foundation of jazz.
As African Americans began migrating north they brought with them the sounds of jazz and blues. For the first time radios and record players were available to the average household and jazz went from being played only in New Orleans to become a staple of the American airways, dance halls and Homes.
A number of jazz musicians have composed sacred music for use in churches throughout the world. The great Duke Ellington, born in 1899 and died in 1974, composed and performed three sacred concerts, one for the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and a jazz mass for St. Augustine Church in New Orleans, the oldest African American church in America. He said "Every man prays in his own way" and our own Pearl Harwood has said "God is never closer to me than when I am playing jazz."
So plan on spending Shrove Tuesday, March 4th, at the Pancake Supper followed by a beautiful Eucharist service, and "A Little Jazz Mass."
Carolyn Alberts & Phyllis Albee