Set My Spirit Free: Jazz Music’s Soul Connection is the title of a combination concert, worship service, story telling and poetry event at Eastern Mennonite School, Sunday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. The 90-minute program will contextualize the uniquely American art form of jazz music and celebrate its place in the worship traditions of the Black church.
Dr. Joanne Gabbin, a member of Allen Chapel, will share poetry written about jazz for the event. The poet, author and educator recently retired from James Madison University, where she founded the Furious Flower Poetry Center, America’s first academic center dedicated to Black poetry. EMU’s Dr. David Berry will provide improvisational piano backing Dr. Gabbin’s reading.
Musicians featured in the professional jazz sextet include:
Lew Taylor, piano
Neil Perrine, bass
Marlon Foster, drums
Marcus Tenney, trumpet
Greg Moody, reeds
Robert Mott, trombone
Musical numbers will include compositions by Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner and Lee Morgan, among others.
The program is free and open to the public in the school’s auditorium at 801 Parkwood Drive, Harrisonburg.
Sponsorship is provided by Eastern Mennonite University's Music Department and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival.