June 17, 1991 |
The Posmontier Brothers group played yesterday as Jazz Vespers marked its fifth anniversary of continuous monthly services at Old Pine Street Church at 4th and Pine streets. The combination of jazz and worship has drawn warm responses from both musicians who appreciate a focused audience and worshipers who enjoy an alternative setting for praise. The program came to Philadelphia in response to Old Pine's search for a community outreach program.
September 26, 1997 |
In jazz-fusion's early days, purists scoffed that it was noise, not jazz. But when Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul combined the styles of rock, R&B and jazz, they created a music that was more accessible than straight-ahead jazz, but retained jazz's crucial component, improvisation. Young people and radio stations liked it. And for many, jazz-fusion became the entree to the jazz of Diz, Miles and 'Trane. What British saxophonist Courtney Pine has done in "Underground" is very similar.
October 27, 1994
As recently as a generation ago, most kids who had the inclination and ability could depend on a shot at vocal or instrumental music training in the public schools. True, it wasn't for everybody, but it wasn't just for budding concert pianists either. And although most folks put aside their tubas, flutes and choir robes after graduation, the benefits of early exposure to music never fade. Long months of practice for a concert teach discipline and self-motivation. The process also boosts self-esteem - and can enhance academic performance.
December 23, 2005 |
Here's a rare thing: a family show that everybody in the family might actually enjoy and not have to be a good sport about. Here's another rare thing: a holiday show without the cute and cloying. No dancing elves, no singing animals, no moral lesson, just (just?) energy, talent, testosterone, and lots and lots of noise: bashing, crashing, clapping, tapping, snapping, drumming, thrumming, clanging and banging. Nobody says a word. It's all percussion. It's terrific. There are eight performers in this show at the Merriam Theater - six guys, two girls.
November 22, 1996 |
There will indeed be a joyful noise at Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church on Sunday afternoon. It will be the world premiere of "A Joyful Noise," a suite of sacred music composed by Trudy Pitts, well-known in this area for her skill on the piano and organ, but less known as a composer, arranger and educator. Pitts' new work - being presented by the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts - is steeped in the African American classical music tradition. The influences include spiritual, gospel, blues and, of course, jazz.
November 26, 1996 |
Jazz hasn't always been welcome in black churches. But Trudy Pitts' sacred jazz suite, A Joyful Noise, bridged that gap in a performance Sunday that honored both traditions. There was plenty to nitpick in the 75-minute performance in Society Hill's historic Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church. At times during the work - commissioned by a grant from the Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Fund - Pitts' electric piano sounded schmaltzy.
December 5, 1999 |
Come New Year's Eve - this most heralded New Year's Eve - an Episcopal church in Burlington County will sound its steeple bell 2,000 times. Down the road, Zen priests will conduct a seven-hour prayer session. Southern Baptists will join hands and encircle the Convention Center in prayer. Baptist, evangelical and Pentecostal Christians will flock to neighborhood churches for sermons and soul-searching, a year-end tradition known as Watch Night. A Roman Catholic convent in Chestnut Hill will begin a 72-hour peace vigil with a nonstop program of films, songs, drumming, dances and shared worship.
January 22, 1994 |
As divine inspirations go, Marie Green's had its problems. The electronic organ at the Reformed Church of Willow Grove, where Green sings in the choir, was shot. A new instrument was desperately needed. But Green did not want another electronic organ. She envisioned singing hymns and anthems amid the grand, dramatic sound of a pipe organ. Although the church could not afford a pipe organ, Green kept dreaming. And, six years later, the church has one. But it did not get it through some mysterious benefactor.
November 12, 1989 |
For most people, success would be enough. But though success is coming their way, the Rev. Ernest Davis Jr. and the members of the Wilmington-Chester Mass Choir have a different goal in mind. They are intent on salvation. Member Craig Butler exhorted the choir to reaffirm its goal in a backstage warm-up room just minutes before a performance Nov. 4 at Chester High School. "I think that this is the time we need to worship the Lord. Tonight, I know somebody out there will be saved," Butler told the choir members, as they prepared to go on stage.