The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Yardley is breaking the mold and hosting a jazz concert within its congregation. This first “Jazz & Joe” will feature the The Jazz Sanctuary Quintet on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.
Typically, the first styles of music that come to mind for church are hymnals and gospel. And with few exceptions, jazz and religion do not often come together.
But Jay Daniels, music director at Incarnation, wants to invite the entire community out for an evening of jazz. As a vocalist and pianist in the genre, he is inviting the Jazz Sanctuary from Philadelphia to mix things up.
“Coming to a religious service is not always the most comfortable for people. And so this is a way that we can invite people to come to our church in a secular setting that is possibly more comfortable and inviting for them.”
The Jazz Sanctuary is a non-profit, existing thanks to donations from individuals and business owners. This allows the Quintet, composed of five highly regarded players, to perform non-gratis at churches and charitable organizations.
After a performance filled with Duke Ellington and Cole Porter comes coffee and dessert. This caffeine puts the “Joe” into “Jazz & Joe.”
And if this evening draws a crowd, Daniels says there is a good chance for future venues within the church. He wants to use music to build rapport with the community.
“Not only with the Jazz Sanctuary, which they’ve already said they’d be willing to host bi-monthly concerts, but we’re also wanting to look at building a concert series including classical musicians, folk, and even some work with the African American spirituals.”
The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation is located at 1505 Makefield Road in Yardley. A $5 donation is encouraged, though the event is free.