(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – On the 50th anniversary of “A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane, an interfaith jazz ensemble plus the First Church singers of Between the Banks will pay tribute to Coltrane’s groundbreaking composition in the 9th annual Good Friday experiment in music and meditation at First Church on Friday, March 25, at 7pm.
Musicians include Carlton Maaia II, Charlie Tokarz, John Haddad, Jon Grenoble, Dianne de Mott, Eva Perri, Elizabeth McCarthy, Brian Staubach, David McDermott, and James Lumsden.
A free will offering will be taken for Church World Service, an ecumenical relief network providing aid for Syrian refugees fleeing their war torn nation.
“At the heart of authentic jazz as well as true spirituality is the blues,” says James Lumsden, pastor of First Church on Park Square. “People of all faith traditions – and no particular spiritual tradition – know the blues. We know hard times, suffering, and fear. But that’s not the end of the story: there is also a love greater than ourselves that brings us hope and solidarity, too. Jazz master John Coltrane was able to kick his heroin addiction when he experienced this sacred love – and dedicated the rest of his life to sharing hope and healing through music.”
“This musical meditation,” Lumsden added, “blends Coltrane’s composition with contemporary poets as well as music by Ann Heaton, George Harrison and others. Using the Good Friday story as an archetype, our pilgrimage in sound and silence honors every person’s quest for hope and love in the midst of sorrow and grief. The music is beautiful, the poems are challenging and the community is open.”
First Church on Park Square describes itself as “an open and affirming congregation in the United Church of Christ.” For 250 years, it has been blending compassion for the wider community with support of the arts and music. It is the founding congregation in Pittsfield.