Jazz Nativity: O Little Town of Bethlehem


SKU: JNBethlehem Category:


This product is DOWNLOAD ONLY.  There are no physical copies to be shipped.  The purchaser can download the file and print as many copies as necessary for their local setting.

Jazz Nativity is a creative retelling (re-imagining) of the Christmas narrative through jazz and storytelling. Performed in a concert setting it can easily be adapted for use in worship. Each Jazz Nativity has been performed in church sanctuaries with the pastor as host, a guest storyteller to assist in highlighting the story, actors who portray various roles, and, of course, the band.

All Christmas music is notated in the script and arrangements can be found in our Worship in a New Key jazz hymnbook – volume 2. Additional carols and secular Christmas may be substituted and/or added.

At the core of Jazz Nativity is the gospel message of hope, peace, joy and love fulfilled in the birth of the Christ child. While Jazz Nativity is written to “re-imagine” the Christmas story dramatically and humorously, audiences have expressed their appreciation for experiencing the “old story” in a new way.

We hope you’ll like “O Little Town of Bethlehem” so much that you will also want to perform “The First Noel.” Stay-tuned for next Christmas when we’ll add two additional scripts. Our hope is that these interesting characters and classic jazz carols breath new life into your church’s Christmas season.


A quick glimpse at “O Little Town of Bethlehem” – Script sample section
[As the band plays “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” in the background the storyteller continues setting the stage]

Storyteller: Isaiah prophesied that these people who were walking blindly in self-made darkness would ultimately see the light—a great light would not only shine upon them but give birth to a new hope. Isaiah proclaimed that a child of light was to be born, but not just any child. This child would be Immanuel, which means “God with us.” In this child Isaiah envisioned the arrival of a king, but not just any king. One who would rule with justice and peace . . . a holy presence that would decisively change the course of history.

[A woman walks in wearing ragged clothes, a worn but colorful waistband and a tattered head-scarf. She carries a much-used shopping bag filled with “stuff.” As she enters her eccentricity shines as she prophesies. The music ends abruptly as she speaks.]

Isaiah: Prepare a road for the Lord through the wilderness . . . it’s a bleak wasteland I see!

Clear a highway across the desert for our God . . . time’s a-wasting!

Host: This is a friend of yours?

Storyteller: Yes, indeed, a perfect opportunity to re-imagine the story.

Isaiah: Every valley shall be lifted up, every mountain and hill brought down . . . way, way down!

Rugged places shall be made smooth and mountain ranges become a plain . . . smooth as glass!

The glory, the magnificent glory of the Lord shall be revealed . . . if you have eyes to see.

Thus say I—the prophet Isaiah!

[she bows grandly to the audience]



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