Can you believe it? It’s almost Christmas! Well, not exactly, but in church planning circles two months is a brief window to accomplish program planning. So, it’s past time to put the details in place for the 7th Annual Jazz Nativity, this year titled Jazz Noel: A Child is Born. Actually, the preliminary planning has been in place for months. Now it’s time to get specific. I’ve written the first draft of the script and my good friends Tim Osiek and Ray Landis will meet with me tomorrow to finalize the details for choral arrangements.
What’s different this year? We’ll have three choirs performing with Oîkos, a grand opportunity to write new arrangements of some of our favorite carols. Our guest artist will be Phil Shoulberg, one of the finest photographers I know. He and I will be meeting soon to create an interactive image palette for the production. The band once again features one of the great vocalists in St. Louis, Kim Fuller and our outstanding rhythm section, pianist Caolbeth True, bassist Glen Smith and drummer David True with Tim on trumpet and your truly on sax. The only difference this year is the absence of our other fine vocalist, Arianna Aerie who is spending a year in Oxford, Great Britain with her husband and daughter.
I hope you’ll join us on Sunday afternoon, December 17 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Webster Groves, MO for another re-imagining of the Christmas birth narrative. As always, the performance is free and we’ll take an offering for a local mission project.
Is you’re considering planning your own jazz nativity, we have some great resources for you—four scripts of previous programs plus our volume of Christmas Carol jazz arrangements. The scripts ($12 each) can be purchased now for just 2 for $20. Use the coupon code JAZZNAV2 when checking out. Or purchase all 4 for $30 (use JAZZNAV4). The collection of 12 carols (C, Bb, Eb and bass clef arrangements) is still only $20. Order Here.
Let us know about your jazz nativity performance. How was it received? Was it performed in a concert setting or in worship? Will you perform another version next year?
Best wishes for a jazzy Christmas.