jazz Music and christian life
Whether it's a "blues service" focused on the Psalms of lament or a joyful New Orleans-style rendition of "We Are Walking In The Light of God", jazz music transforms the experience of worship.
My approach to jazz in worship...
is customized for the setting in which it takes place.
is integrated with the scripture and theme for the day.
emerges from dialogue with the pastors and worship leaders.
values congregational singing by using jazz arrangements of familiar hymns and easy-to-learn jazz liturgy settings.
features instrumental pieces (prelude, offering, and postlude) written by jazz icons such as Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane.
facilitates worship using musicians from the congregation or an ensemble of professional jazz artists.
If you are interested in my hymn arrangements or a consultation regarding jazz in worship please contact me.
Follow this link to an article in Living Lutheran magazine about my work.
The following are selected from my collection of 30+ hymn arrangements for congregation, piano, bass, drum set, trumpet, and tenor saxophone. These works and others are available on request:
The Doxology (Old 100th)
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Be Thou My Vision
All Glory Laud and Honor
My Lord What A Morning
Morning Has Broken
What Wondrous Love Is This
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
He’s God The Whole World
Be Thou My Vision
Lord of all Hopefulness
Guide My Feet
I Want Jesus To Walk With Me
Jesus Is A Rock
My Song Is Love Unknown
That Easter Day With Joy Was Bright
God Whose Almighty Word
For The Beauty of the Earth
"Come Sunday" by Duke Ellington
Zach Bunton, violin; Jon Ailabouni, flugelhorn; Helen Ailabouni, piano; Karl Rosenberg, bass; Peter Mack, drum set
Jazz Worship in the American Context
Jazz music exists because of the lives and work of black Americans (e.g. Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and John Coltrane). These individuals crafted innovative music in the midst of a society that dehumanized and terrorized black people. Over the course of the 20th century, jazz emerged as a powerful expression of human dignity, sophistication, and soulfulness in the face of oppression. In short, jazz is a rebuke of hate. Bringing jazz into the worship setting connects the life of the Church, through Jesus' resurrection and message of liberation and justice, with the lives of the oppressed, past and present.
PAST JAZZ WORSHIP FACILITATION
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Decorah, IA (2019)
Grace Lutheran Church, La Grange, IL (2018-2019)
Luther College, Decorah, IA (2010-2019)
Decorah Unitarian Universalist, Decorah, IA (2019)
New Life Lutheran Church, Dripping Springs, TX (2018)
Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington, IL (2010-2017)
Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills, CO (2016)
Trinity Lutheran Church, Peoria, IL (2015)
St. John's Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, WI (2013)