[Dixielandjazz] Jazz Church Services - Redux.

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Jan 7 07:53:44 PST 2005

Have been getting a lot of off list requests/questions about this thread.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about
playing Church Services.

Steve Barbone

Same sermon/order, for past 3 years for the "Jazz Funeral For Past Year." as
performed in the Unitarian Church mentioned in original post. The
congregants love it, and love burying their faux pas of the past year in the
coffin up front next to band.

There are short readings during the service. And a short sermon about
letting go of the past and seeking a brighter future.

Congregants are the usual church audience as this is a usual Sunday Service,
albeit with a twist. Age range from infant to 85 or so. They also gather
after the service for coffee, cake, etc., in the gathering room downstairs.

This was a relatively new Church building. great acoustics. However, we've
also performed at Old Pine St. Church in Philly, built circa 1750. Also
great acoustics.

Have done Sunday Morning jazz church services at 4 different churches in the
Philadelphia area in past year. (2 Presbyterian. They seem to go for it)

Also do Sunday evening vesper services, next one in March.

Estimate at least 25 churches in the Philadelphia area are doing some type
of jazz service, and/or a jazz vesper service. Maybe a lot more. We have not
targeted the market and so have no real knowledge of potential. Suspect the
market potential is excellent. We could probably generate 25 gigs a year,
easily, at churches if we sent promo to all of them. However, our Saturday
Night schedule is strong and we sleep late most Sundays.

Old Pine Street Church in Philly has done a once a month Jazz Vesper service
5 to 6 PM since 1986. (Presbyterian)

We have played in Presbyterian (several), Episcopal, Catholic, Lutheran, Non
Denominational, Methodist and Unitarian churches at jazz services/vespers
over the past couple of years.

Yes, churches are a great place to play. Acoustics are usually excellent and
the congregants respond to the music.

We charge $100 a man, no leader fee. Usual time 1 hour. This is below our
usual band fee and viewed as part contribution to a worthy cause.


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