Celebrations Of The Lives Of Jazz Musicians

The loss of a loved one, whether unexpected or anticipated, is a time of deep and varied emotion. Within the jazz community, the death of a musician is felt by family, friends, colleagues and lovers of jazz alike.

Saint Peter’s Church is committed to accompanying people at the time of a death with individual pastoral care as well as opportunities for memorial gatherings. Often facilitated in partnership with the Jazz Foundation of America, these public memorials include performances and tributes by a variety of artists and others of the jazz world.

God meets death by giving new life. Certainly that new life is hard to see from the perspective of loss. The love we have for each other brings deep sorrow when parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend, Lazarus. Gathering together as a community to celebrate the life of a loved one gives voice to sorrow as well as the joy of remembering, and gives opportunity for the community to experience God’s promise of being united in love with all those beloved to us and to God.

What to expect

Typically, jazz memorials are held Monday evenings. As coordination of musicians and scheduling is often complex, family members or others wishing to hold a public memorial at Saint Peter’s Church should contact Ike Sturm, the director of music for the jazz ministry, in advance of planning.

A pastor is always available to provide care, both at the time of death and in the weeks and months that follow it. Solace may also be found within the community of Saint Peter’s Church where Jesus himself promises, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Saint Matthew 11:18).