|Jonathan Whitney's ensemble performs at SsAM Jazz Vespers.|
The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew & Matthew (better known as SsAM) – which has long been known for a variety of fabulous musical programs – held a Jazz Vespers on Sunday, April 17. Named in memory of the late Rev. Rod Welles (former associate minister at SsAM and a major jazz lover), the evening had the traditional Vespers elements wrapped around wonderful music and interactive art. Musician Jonathan Whitney, percussionist and Artist-in-Residence at SsAM, used folk artist Eunice LaFate's paintings to inspire his music. A number of youth artists – both from SsAM's congregation and from the larger community – in turn used his music to inspire their live painting.
I truly enjoyed the Jazz Vespers. It was such a soothing type of evening but at the same time very energizing. We listened intently to the music and then watched those blank canvases come to life through the artistry of the children under the direction of Eunice LaFate.
Even the audience got involved, as we were encouraged by Jonathan Whitney to walk around and watch the children at work while enjoying the music in the background. No real talking going on with us – just moving around, taking photos, quietly smiling, as we were simply in awe of it all.
|Eunice LaFate poses with the young artists of Jazz Vespers.|
It was an evening of truly amazing music and the first time something so interactive has happened at the Jazz Vespers! But, hey, we know SsAM is known for being first at so many great things in this community. I suspect this will not be the last time that something like this happens.