[Dixielandjazz] Playing in Churches

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Jan 8 14:54:52 PST 2005

Larry asked about playing in Churches and seemed a mite put off if they were
going to ask what religion the band was, especially after Tom Wood related
some unhappy experiences.

Best advice I can give you Larry is GO FOR IT.

We do a fair amount of church gigs and lots of gigs at Retirement facilities
run by churches. The band is 2 Agnostics, 2 Practicing Catholic, 1 fall away
Catholic and 1 Fall away Protestant.

Female Companions include 1 Agnostic, 1 Jewish, 1 Shinto, 1 Catholic, and a
changing group of unknown religious affiliation.

Our mix has never interfered with our Church bookings. Or those in Religion
based Retirement Homes. NEVER.

Closest any of us ever came to getting asked about what religion we were is
when we were doing a Jazz Vesper Service in a Presbyterian Church and the
guest Preacher was a Beautiful Single Lady of about 40 years. She and I were
discussing order of service, and songs, and what I would say about the songs
before we played them.

After the discussion, she was mightily impressed about what I would say
about, E.G.  "Take My Hand Precious Lord", and "Just A Little While To Stay
Here". She asked brightly:

"Are you a Church Man?"

I replied simply, "No" and that was the end of the discussion.

We do eliminate song references to "Jesus" in a Jewish Temple, or Unitarian
Church, etc., but that's just common courtesy.

Most churches these days (other than the right wing-nuts of all
denominations) are pretty laid back about the heathens, preferring to
espouse the philosophy that we (including themselves) are all sinners.

At least those here in the Eastern USA. :-) VBG

Steve Barbone 

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