1st July 2012: Jamming at St. James

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18 Responses to 1st July 2012: Jamming at St. James

  1. Liette Michaud says:

    As a member of the church involved in the Session, Chair of the Official Board and member of the choir, I must say that It was a wonderful way to participate in the Montreal Jazz Festival which is quite natural as St. James United Church is located in the Quartier des spectacles as well as engage in an uplifting spiritual experience which involved the ministry of music (by accomplished jazz musicians). Kudos to all of them who expertly drew us into a paradoxical state of energised contemplation and especially to Matt Herskowitz who played like the virtuoso he is on an upright piano! Dr. Cornett’s statements created the link between the history of jazz, scripture and the evolution of humankind’s attitudes towards civil rights and human rights and engaged our minds. As a professional chorister, I confess that I would have appreciated hearing vocalists during this presentation. Philip Crozier, the Director of Music and organist at St. James played a short postlude using the “Vox Humana” pipes on the newly-restored organ but that was the closest thing to a human voice that we heard, apart from Dr. Cornett. I had not attended last year’s celebration so cannot compare but, with all due respect, I would have appreciated a shorter service. Also, it was unfortunate that July 1st was not recognized. Usually, on July 1st, the soloist or pick-up choir will sing “O Canada” with the congregation. (The music and words are in the “Voices United” hymnbook.) Furthermore, part of St. James United Church’s history showcases an active involvement in human rights. The congregation has welcomed speakers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Coretta King (widow of Martin Luther kIng Jr.) and the Honourable Micaelle Jean, former Governor-General of Canada. Our present Minister has invited survivors of the Shoha to speak to the congregation. So, I believe that it was a marvelous service and that it can be improved as it would be glorious to have it become a regular event and have the theme intertwined with the church’s history, ongoing outreach and worship.

  2. First, as being member of St-James church, I want to thank Mr. Corbett for the energy he brought to this unique experience. Merçi beaucoup! de tout coeur.
    Cet amalgame de liturgie et de jazz fut un moment fort de l’été. Les 3 musiciens furent simplement fabuleux tous à leur façon, solo ou en duo.
    Merçi infiniment à eux trois.
    Wishing we will keep on celebrating jazz next year in our own way, with spirit & love.

  3. Darlene says:

    An incredible experience to be in the grand St. James with light filtering in….and then to hear the freedom of jazz and outstanding talent! There was a spirituality that I felt as I was lost (in a great way!) in the improvisation. This feeling of enlightenment through music and Dr. Cornett’s connections to religion imbued a unique connectedness in a church that I have never quite experienced before. Thank you to the musicians and to Dr. Cornett for this true morning…you have amazing vision!

  4. M. Lafrenière says:

    Many thanks to St James Church for hosting this unique event, to the extraordinary musicians for their talent, passion and generosity and to Dr. Cornett for his imagination, scholarship and resourcefulness – and also passion – in bringing together all of the people and elements to make this special event possible. Congratulations. A reminder that music certainly ranks among the more divine of humanity’s offerings.

  5. The church service with “Jamming at St. James” was a wonderful experience! The artists were simply fantastic with so much talent to offer to the public. The connection to music and the Bible is very significant and it would be great to hear Jean-Pierre Zanella, Charles Ellison and Matt Herskowitz once again performing on a Sunday morning at St. James United Church.

  6. Kevin R. Mason says:

    God loves people, and He gave music to all of his creation. The birds show us the beauty of music daily. It’s one of His many blessings. I don’t see the jazz that was played at Jamming at St. James as being outside of the worship experience. Thanks to Dr. Cornett’s love for music and God, jazz can be welcome in church. Perhaps someone will moved by the shared talents of Jean-Pierre Zanella, Charles Ellison, and Matt Herskowitz, and encouraged to enter God’s house more often.

  7. Sheila Horne Mason says:

    Jamming at St. James was a wonderful, illuminating experience for me. It was a joy to listen to all three of the outstanding musicians, Matt Herskowitz, Jean-Pierre Zanella, and Charles Ellison. Professor Cornett’s historical reflections on the connections between jazz and spirituality were truly informative. I look forward to this event next year! This is the second time I’ve attended, and it has become part of the Montreal Jazz Festival experience. Jamming at St. James is also a welcome opportunity to slow down and reflect. As much as I enjoy the Festival, it can get quite hectic. This Jazz Liturgy was a nice respite for body and soul.

  8. I enjoyed the service tremendously and I agree with the comments above. Jazz liturgy is inspiring and I would love to participate in similar events.
    Having heard many jazz concerts what struck me most here was a certain humility and simplicity of the music combined with mastery over the instruments. This simplicity and the possibility to be really close to the musicians gave me the sense of intimacy in sharing a special moment of communion.
    I’m grateful to Saint-James and Professor Cornett for giving us this precious opportunity.

  9. What a great and very, very cool experience it was to participate in Dr. Cornett’s Jamming at St. James! I have to confess that I was not expecting a real “jazz liturgy” service, and once again, I was really impressed by how Dr. Cornett brought jazz and religion together, comparing the pure freedom and connectivity of musical improvisation with that of a communal religious service or experience. I totally felt like I was a part of the service, and was pleasantly surprised to find how well our musical selections fit in with the service; or rather how well Dr. Cornett made them fit in! Perhaps he had an idea of how it would all work before-hand, or perhaps he was also “improvising” (Dr. Cornett is a great improviser, btw!) and found the connections, or the ‘flow’, on the spot, while helping to guide us there as well. I know I certainly felt the flow! I found it a very real, honest and beautiful experience, and Jean-Pierre and I had a great time performing in it. I have participated in many of Dr. Cornett’s “Dialogic Sessions” in the past, but this was the first performance in a real church service of this kind, with both the public and the musicians being treated to something very unique and special. I agree with Jean-Pierre: if religious services were all like this, there’d be a lot less conflict in the world! Focusing on the freedom to open up one’s soul through a beautiful shared experience makes it a truly ecumenical service. I imagine the Unitarians would love it, anyway;). Thanks again to Dr. Cornett for imagining and organizing this special musical service. Although there have been many jazz liturgy services, it takes someone like Dr. Cornett to help us make the connection that makes it all relevant to each of us.

  10. Noëlle says:

    I enjoyed both the readings and the music due to Dr Cornett’s interesting approach of Jazz Liturgy. I also appreciated the experience of a church that welcomes all human beings without exception!
    The music was excellent. A special thanks however to Matt Herskowitz for his performance of Bella’s Lament. I felt deeply moved by this composition.
    Noëlle

  11. Susan Arbit says:

    Although this was not a traditional service, I felt it was a spiritual experience. The music was excellent, but its appropriateness would not have been apparent to me without Dr. Cornett’s commentary and explanations re context. His Introduction to Jazz Liturgy set my mind for ecumenical involvement through the music. It certainly helped that all the musicians played with such accomplishment. I thoroughly enjoyed it all.

  12. Daniele says:

    I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Annual Jamming at St-James this past Sunday, July 1st, 2012. From what I have come to expect and appreciate about events organized by Dr. Cornett, I can say without any hesitation that it was once again a totally inspiring and moving community experience. Last year’s event was unforgettable! The words, the sounds & the surroundings are good for the soul as much as for the eyes and ears. What an incredible and unique opportunity to get up close & personal with talented local artists & get connected through music. Thank You Dr. Cornett, thank you to all the people at St-James Church for offering us this great gift! Looking forward to next year!

  13. Louise Grim says:

    My friend and I really enjoyed the music. The service was a bit long, but enjoyed the linkage of music and spirituality. Thank you for providing us with this experience and wonderful musicians.

  14. John says:

    Good Sermon. Good musicians. Good music. Good Good Good. Better than Sunday School. I enjoyed it greatly.

  15. I assisted the 2nd annual Jamming at St. James with my family because we believe the arts are important. We also want our daughter to have this similar value! We had a splendid time! Dr. Cornett is important to the art community – thank you for organizing this event.

  16. Suzanne Ledoux says:

    Expérience extraordinaire, des musiciens plus que doués dans un lieu sacré, ce ne pouvait être qu’un privilège d’y assister.
    Toutefois, j’aurais apprécié que la publicité soit plus précise en ce qui a trait à la célébration religieuse.
    Bien sûr, j’aurais apprécié plus de musique !

  17. Kirsten H says:

    I had the opportunity of attending the 2nd annual Jamming at St. James. It was an amazing experience – Jazz and liturgy belong together!

  18. Jean-Pierre Zanella says:

    I loved it!!! It was really a beautiful experience to play in the St-James church. I love the idea of having all these people gathered to share the connection between music and religion
    ( in it’s widest and true sense).Religion (religare in latin) means to connect which is something we should remind ourselves all the time, that way there would’nt be any religious war.
    I wish long life to dr. Cornell’s project, it’s a great initiative!!!!

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