This work follows Jesus from the temptation in the wilderness, to the washing of the feet and the last supper, the prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, the verbal duel with Pilate, the crucifixion and resurrection.
The Jazz Passion was premiered in March, 2010 at Saint Luke Lutheran Church in Chicago.Â Pastor David Abrahamson wrote the libretto for this new telling of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.Â His verse is faithful to the Gospel, and is filled with wit, eloquence, and power. Three composers, Bobby Lewis, Bobby Schiff and Andy Tecson, contributed to writing segments of the Passion, and they use a wide array of musical styles to explore the grace, mercy and sacrifice of Jesus in the last days of His ministry.Â This appears to be the first time that the Passion of Christ has been set to music using jazz.
Bobby Lewis (www.bobbylewis.com ) has participated in close to 10,000 recordings. He has played trumpet in the studio and in concerts with a wide array of the leading jazz performers of our time, ranging from Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the Chicago Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony.
Bobby Schiff (www.bobbyschiffmusic.com ) has recorded and performed throughout the nation as a pianist with artists such as Mel Torme, Peggy Lee and Marvin Hamlisch.Â He has also served as a National Trustee and National Vice-President of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammy's). He has produced and written music for thousands of recording sessions.
Andy Tecson has led the ChurchJazz ensemble (www.churchjazz.com ) since 1982. His other compositions include the Jazz Psalms (written in memory of Elsa Marty and premiered in 1982 at a Lutheran conference in the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University), the Chicago Jazz Mass, and settings of more than a hundred hymns for jazz band and congregational singing. The ChurchJazz band has been heard internationally on the BBC, nationally on CBS for an ELCA Christmas program, and performed at numerous churches and church assemblies throughout the United States, including the installation of Bishop Chilstrom, an ELCA church-wide assembly in Chicago, an ELCA church-wide assembly in Minneapolis, and a Metropolitan Chicago Synod Assembly at Carthage College.
Â The Jazz Passion is the fifth recording of the ChurchJazz band. Andy served on the Capital Campaign Cabinet of Advocate Christ Hospital, and has served on the board of Lutheran Social Services of Illinoisâ€™Â Cornerstone Foundation.
David Abrahamson (www.stlukechicago.org ) has been pastor of St. Luke Church for more than thirty years and is active in numerous ministries, including serving as Board chair of Lutheran Life Ministries, past chair of the Alumni Association of Lutheran School of Theology inÂ Chicago, and a member of the governing board of Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.