All three jazz services covered in last week"s installment drew folks ranging from teen-agers to senior citizens. They cut across all demographic lines. After each service, I asked some of those from different generations how they felt about the blending of jazz and worship.
The Jazz Kitchen has the breezy
contemporary jazz of guitarist Charlie Smith"s Project on Friday.
Mrs. Jo Brand, a Fairview member for 28 years, said, "It makes me feel wonderful as I go into our Easter season. It"s very special."
Fourteen-year-old Amanda Otoupal has a different view of the Ash Wednesday Jazz service: "I just like hearing the jazz and the sermons Ö it makes the religion more interesting because it interacts with the music."
At Northminster"s "Jazz, Jeans and Jesus" program, lifetime member Debbie Stewart Everett offered her opinion. "I get a different response. It seems to flow naturally together. Jazz music seems to go quite well with the liturgy and elevate the spirit."
Eighteen-year-old Hadley Moore is a cellist and member of Fairview Presbyterian Church. "In the community, we are known as an older church," she observed, "and music is such an expressive way to incorporate a newer vibe into our church. While jazz may be geared toward a younger generation, it can also reach our older members too."
At the Second at Six jazz service at Second Presbyterian Church, all of the Scherer family voiced their opinions about liturgical jazz. Amy Scherer, the mother, said, "I think what it does for me is it gives me a very relaxed, peaceful start to my week."
Tim Scherer, the father, added, "I like the whole atmosphere. It"s easier to listen to the message that comes across."
Son Adam Scherer found it appealing: "I do think it helps the younger generation because it just appeals to us more and makes singing along more fun."
One church that took an innovative step eight years ago in presenting jazz is the Meridian Street United Methodist Church at 55th and Meridian streets.
It annually features an all-music, all-jazz church service without a sermon or any spoken words on the Sunday after Christmas. They also hold an annual Jazz Vesper service in May. The music at both of these innovative religious services is performed by the Jack Gilfoy Jazz Quintet, which usually features either Mary Moss or Everett Greene as the vocalist.
Religion and jazz have had a long history together. This fusion of spirituals and swing seems to have an ecumenical appeal among all classes of churchgoers and is a spiritual movement that is still a work in progress.
Celebrate this week with spring now on the scene with jazz blooming all around town.
The Chatterbox welcomes the new season with the fresh weekend sounds of alto saxophonist Jason Curry"s Quartet Friday, March 21. The distinctive music of saxophonist Keni Washington & Omniverse radiates on Saturday, March 22. Sets for both nights go from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Ruth"s Chris Steak House"s "Sizzling Steaks & Jazz" welcomes the swinging vocal style of Mary Moss with the Ken Fary Trio Sunday, March 23 from 7 to 10 p.m.
The Elbow Room has Tom Sullivan on guitar and Duncan Putman on bass for tasty jazz offerings during the Sunday Jazz Brunch, playing 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Circle City Bar & Grill in the Marriot has the smooth jazz sax of Greg Bacon Friday, March 21; the contemporary vocal and keyboard stylings of Lisa Baldwin can be heard Saturday, March 22. Performances both nights are from 7:30 to 11 p.m.
The Jazz Kitchen has the breezy contemporary jazz of guitarist Charlie Smith"s Project Friday, March 21, for two shows at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The blazing trumpet journeys of Chicago-based Pharez Whitted"s Quintet bring this native son back home Saturday, March 22, for shows at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Sullivan"s Steakhouse showcases the straight-ahead jazz of Claude Sifferlen, piano, Joe Deal, bass, and Ron Brinson, drums, Friday, March 21, and Saturday, March 22, playing 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
New Fountain Lounge has Brenda Williams as guest vocalist with the Jason Curry Quartet Wednesday, March 26 performing 8 p.m. to midnight.
Sangiovese Restaurant showcases the vocal sounds of Brenda Williams with David Meek on keyboards and Frank Smith on bass Wednesday, March 19. A special night of two of Indy"s best voices happens Thursday, March 20, when Brenda Williams teams up again with her theatrical friend Shannon Forsell for a night of what should be some memorable duets, performing 7 to 10 p.m.
Heron at Geist saxophonist Tommy Wills Trio plays on Wednesday and Thursday 7 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 8 to 11 p.m. with "Jazz to Dance To."
Lulu"s in the Fashion Mall Commons features singer Mary Moss, with Carl Hines on piano and Mingo Jones on bass Thursday, March 20 playing 7 to 10 p.m.
The new upscale Gregory"s at 460 W. 86th St. is now open for elegant dining and features the classy lady with a song, Mary Moss, performing on Saturdays from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Peterson"s has vocalist/keyboardist Lisa Baldwin performing on Thursdays from 7 to 10 p.m.
Chuck Workman is the producer/ host of the Sunday Morning Jazz Show at 107.9 WTPI.