The Sacred Music of Mary Lou Williams at the Church of St. Joseph of the Holy Family Easter Sunday - April 8, 2007


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The Sacred Music of Mary Lou Williams
The Church of St. Joseph of the Holy Family
405 West 125th St. at Morningside Ave.
New York (Harlem), N.Y.

Mass at 10:00AM sharp
Easter Sunday - April 8, 2007

Aaron J. Diehl - piano and musical director
Etienne Charles - trumpet
David Wong - bass
Carmen Intorre - drums

The Choir of The Church of St. Joseph
conducted by Jeffrey Easter
J'Nai Bridges & Timothy Springs
guest singers

Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981) lived and played through all the eras of jazz from the spirituals through to the avant-garde. Initially sounding like James P. Johnson, she played a duo concert with Cecil Taylor in her late sixties. Ms. Williams had a deep conversion experience in mid-life and was baptized into the Roman Catholic faith in 1957. This was not only personally redemptive for her, but it lead to the composition of sacred works intended for liturgical use. These works included three complete Masses.

On Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007, music drawn from all three of Ms. Williams' Masses will be played and sung during the celebration of Mass at the Church of St. Joseph of The Holy Family on 125th St. in Harlem.

Aaron J. Diehl, who is the usual pianist at the church, is also a senior at Juilliard and will be at the piano. He will be assisted by members of his regular working trio with David Wong on bass and Carmen Intorre on drums. Etienne Charles, another brilliant young Juilliard student, will be heard on trumpet.

The music will be sung by the Choir of the Church of St. Joseph lead by Jeffrey Easter who will also sing some of the solo parts. J'Nai Bridges and Timothy Springs, voice students at The Manhattan School of Music, will sing the other solo sections as well as in the ensemble.

This is an actual celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy (the Mass). There is no admission. A free will offering will be taken up. All are welcome.

The IND (A - D - C trains) will get you close to the church. The IRT (#1) will bring you to 125th Street a number of blocks to the west of the church.

The Office for Black Catholics of The Archdiocese of New York honored Mary Lou Williams (posthumously) with its Pierre Toussaint Medallion in 2006.

This story appears courtesy of Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services.
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