So, how can jazz touch the heart and soul of your congregation outside of worship? There are many ways to offer sacred jazz concerts. Whether it’s in the ecumenical spirit or sharing as an inter-faith event, jazz offers a unique opportunity to explore any number of issues that impact communities of faith. If you’re in St. Louis next month come and experience a sacred jazz concert featuring other artists affirming the need to honor the environment, spiritually and physically.
Tim and I offer the following press release and accompanying flyer as examples for publicizing similar sacred jazz concerts at your house of worship.
Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 pm — Earth Walk: A Concert for Mother Earth
Jazz, storytelling, art and dance come together in a creative celebration affirming humanity’s global partnership as caretakers of the earth. The Oîkos Ensemble under the direction of Rev. Cliff Aerie will be joined by painter Michael Anderson and the Leverage Dance Theater. Jazz, dance and painting will combine with Aerie’s earth stories to celebrate the wonders of creation and the challenges of climate change facing the global community.
As Oîkos performs original compositions and jazz standards, acclaimed artist Michael Anderson will spontaneously paint his creative response on canvas. The Leverage Dance Theater under the direction of Director, Diana Barrios will interpret story and music through their unique performance style.
The Oîkos Ensemble (www.oikos-ensemble.com) is a national jazz ministry under the direction of its founder and saxophonist, the Rev. Cliff Aerie. Oîkos features some of St. Louis’ most talented jazz musicians—Carolbeth True (piano), Dave Troncoso (bass), Kevin Gianino (drums), Tim Osiek (trumpet) and featuring vocalists Kim Fuller and Arianna Aerie. Oîkos has performed at more than 300 faith-based communities across the country. Grammy Award winner Paul Winter has said, “I salute Cliff Aerie and the Oîkos Ensemble for their inspired music and mission. They are serving the world with their song.”
Michael Anderson’s (www.michaelandersonstudio.com) lengthy career as a designer, illustrator and artist continues to lead him in new artistic directions. His body of work includes murals, paintings and digital art. The inspiration for most of his works is simply the way the light falls upon the earth. Michael is a member of the Missouri Plein Air Painters Association, the St. Louis Artist’s Guild, and Art St. Louis.
Leverage Dance Theater (www.leveragedancetheater.org) under the direction of Diana Barrios, is a modern dance company that has been producing and presenting work in St. Louis for seventeen years. Leverage specializes in using dance and creative movement in non-traditional environments to engage new audiences and invite participants into the artistic process.
A wine and cheese reception will follow with interactive resources provided by the Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center and the Green Team, First Congregational Church’s ecological outreach ministry. The concert is free and open to all. A free-will offering will be received to benefit the work of the Green Team. “Earth Walk” is part of the congregation’s concert series celebrating the church’s 150 Years of service to the community and the world.