John Rapson, director of Jazz Studies at the University of Iowa, will be at St. Johnâ€™s Episcopal Church in Powell at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 15, to share his jazz settings for the Eucharistic service.
He will be joined in both performances by Ronnie Bedford, percussion; Jeff Troxel, guitar; Craig Olson, saxophone; Robert Rumbolz, trumpet; and Parker Brown, bass; as well as cantors from St. Johnâ€™s.
Rapsonâ€™s liturgical compositions donâ€™t “swing” in a stereotypical jazz sense as they are based on ancient chants. He sets the chants in an improvisational style utilizing the harmonic language of jazz. Rapson doesnâ€™t consider it a performance as much as a prayer service that includes congregational responses and participation.
Jazz historian Mark Gridley has characterized Rapsonâ€™s music as “extending several trends that were first demonstrated by Charles Mingus and George Russell.”
Rapson is a composer, trombonist and recording artist for MoMu Records, Music and Arts, Sound Aspects and Nine Winds, whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms.
The public is welcome to attend the services.
This performance was made possible by a grant from the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming.
St. John’s would like to thank Robert Rumbolz for his efforts to bring this event to St. John’s.