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Duke Chapel To Hold ‘Jazz Vespers’ Service March 17

Event is free and open to the public


Duke Chapel Dean Luke Powery sings with the John Brown Big Band during a Jazz Vespers worship service.

Duke Chapel will hold a "Jazz Vespers" worship service Tuesday, March 17, in collaboration with the Duke Jazz Program.

The service, which combines the form of the traditional evening vespers liturgy with the musical improvisation of jazz, begins at 7:30 p.m. in the chapel and lasts about an hour. The event is free and open to the public.

Duke music professor John Brown and his Big Band will provide musical direction for the service. Chapel Dean Luke Powery, students and local ministers will offer Scripture readings, poems and prayers. The service will include three stations for different forms of prayer. (Click here to watch a brief video about Duke Chapel's Jazz Vespers:

The chapel's C. Eric Lincoln Minister for Student Engagement, Joshua Lazard, is organizing the service.

"Jazz is a musical tradition that has roots in the church," Lazard said. "With Jazz Vespers, we feel like the music is, in a sense, coming home to an environment that is led by the Spirit."

Occurring during the church season of Lent, the service will have a theme of lament and its music will include elements of the blues.

Musical selections include: "We've Come This Far by Faith," "Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child," "Precious Lord" and "Down by the Riverside."