Home Jazz Jazz infuses the local church with the spirit of New Orleans

Jazz infuses the local church with the spirit of New Orleans


BEIJING (Heart of Illinois ABC) — A church in Beijing came alive this weekend with music most wouldn’t associate with a traditional church service: jazz.

As the season of Lent begins this week for the Christian community, upbeat music was introduced to kick it off on Sunday morning, courtesy of the Lamoine River Ramblers. St. Paul United Church of Christ held a service exploring the roots of the musical style. It reflects the genre’s history in the churches of New Orleans, where jazz is played at all kinds of events, from parties to funerals. This is a tradition that has lasted seven years in the parish, always celebrated a week before Palm Sunday. In addition to bringing a new cultural perspective, it reflects the open and inviting nature of the services organized there.

“The arts are one of the things that are elevated in this congregation,” says Reverend Forrest Krummel, “whether it’s painting or drawing, music, dancing, drama. It’s just part of what St. Paul’s United Church is.

A reception followed the festivities, where attendees socialized while enjoying complimentary refreshments.

The strong community is just one of the reasons congregation members are proud to get involved. The church’s director of multicultural arts and fine arts, Sharon Samuels Reed, shares that sentiment.

“It’s a part of the United Church of Christ,” she said. “All kinds of diversity are welcomed and embraced…and I think it’s a celebration worthy of being a part of.”

Mass is one of the busiest in the church, with numbers reaching the same levels seen on major holidays, such as Christmas Eve.

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