Entertainment

God, and all that jazz

Rev. Will Sparks is organizing a three-month jazz music experiment for Northwood United Church called Jazz Vespers in the Valley: Music for the Soul. The first show is this Sunday at 4 p.m.  - Boaz Joseph / The Leader
Rev. Will Sparks is organizing a three-month jazz music experiment for Northwood United Church called Jazz Vespers in the Valley: Music for the Soul. The first show is this Sunday at 4 p.m.
— image credit: Boaz Joseph / The Leader

Rev. Will Sparks can’t help but hum Blue Skies as he prepares to leave Northwood United Church for a meeting.

He’s just laid out his plans for the next several weeks: Jazz music for the soul.

Starting Feb. 12, musicians will entertain worshippers and music aficionados during jazz vespers – vesper being a late afternoon or early evening prayer – at 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Sunday of each month until the end of April.

The six-session “experiment,” as Sparks calls it, is titled Jazz Vespers in the Valley: Music for the Soul.

“We’re here to be a place for people to come to worship and celebrate... to connect with their soul. And I think jazz vespers do that,” he says.

The concept originated in New York City in 1965.

The late Rev. John Garcia Gensel, a minister connected with the jazz scene, started an evening service for musicians who couldn’t make it for Sunday morning services after playing late Saturday night engagements.

“He watched how jazz musicians listen with an open heart and play what the spirit brings them,” explains Sparks. “He thought, this and worship go together.”

The idea spread to other U.S. churches, and has made it as far as Vancouver, where jazz vespers have taken place for years at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church on Burrard and Nelson Streets.

The idea to bring it to the Fleetwood church was suggested by Gerry Hall, a member of the Northwood congregation, who is working feverishly to book the rest of the lineup.

The first act will be jazz vocal improviser and Juno Award nominee Jennifer Scott (www.jenniferscott.ca), who was recently named “pick of the week” by the L.A. Times.

“She is a virtuoso, one of Canada’s finest vocal jazz artists,” says an enthusiastic Sparks. “I’ve very excited about having her here and I hope that the community responds.”

The first jazz vesper takes place Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. at Northwood United Church, 8855 156 St. Admission is by donation.

For more information, call 604-581-8454 or visit www.northwood-united.org

bjoseph@surreyleader.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
Life of a pot-store owner: Guards and cash
 
Arrange childcare, Surrey School District tells parents
 
Ex-wife still needs protection: appeal court
Prince, countess, tour B.C. in September
 
Housing now planned for site once eyed for a recovery home
 
Open our aboriginal fisheries, says Cheam chief in letter to DFO
New mural crystallizes in Burnaby Heights
 
Bus rolls over south of Merritt; 5 critically injured
 
UPDATE: Opponents react to coal transfer facility approval at Fraser Surrey Docks

Community Events, August 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.