A Jazz Liturgy is written to provide congregations of all Christian denominations a musical setting in the “mainstream” style of jazz for the standard liturgical texts. Over the past 70 years the word “jazz” has referred to a wide variety of musical styles such as Ragtime, Dixieland, or traditional, Boogie Woogie, Swing, Bebop, Hard Bop, Cool, Fusion, etc. This jazz liturgy has been deliberately composed and arranged to celebrate the music known as “mainstream” or “classic” jazz, as performed by jazz greats such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and Jazz Messengers, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and the scores of other jazz musicians who have contributed to this glorious musical tradition.
The liturgy that is used for this special service was written by Dan Keberle in 2002 for St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Spokane, Washington. Each movement of the liturgy is based on a well-known popular standard jazz tune.
Because of this, the liturgy is also timeless in style, just as the jazz tunes on which each movement is based still sound fresh and appealing to this day.
Dan Keberle, a life-long Lutheran, has been on the music faculty at Whitworth University since 1988 where he is Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Music. He has extensive experience as both a jazz and classical performer and teacher of the trumpet.