All Nite Soul celebrates the jazz ministry of Saint Peter’s Church, the “jazz church.” It is New York City’s longest continuously-running, all-night jazz festival.
Each year All Nite Soul honors a musician, chosen from a pool of nominees, whose life’s journey has intersected the important place of jazz music and jazz spirituality in the church. Musicians and fans come to celebrate this living legend as groups play, quite literally, all night long.
In the late 1960s, Pastor John Garcia Gensel, supported in large part by Ruth Ellington and her brother, Duke, along with other jazz legends, including Eddie Bonnemère, began All Nite Soul as a way to celebrate the importance of jazz in the church. It was a novel idea then and continues to be an inspiration now.
Past All Nite Soul honorees include the late Dr. Billy Taylor, Sarah MacLawler, Frank Wess, the late Benny Powell and the late Jane Jarvis. So many of these festivals include memorable performances by these and other saints of the
jazz ministry. The list is long and multi-generational, so to mention even a few great performances would be to miss many. Come see and hear for yourself!
The festival takes place the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend. Typically a band related to the musician being honored will play for Jazz Vespers at 5:00 P.M., with the concert beginning at 7:00 P.M. and running into the early hours of the next morning. Hungry Soul’s Café is open most of the night and original memorabilia of the honoree is typically on display.
Support jazz in the church and check out the upcoming All Nite Soul as an observer, a volunteer or a musician.