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Vespers for the Feast of the Transfiguration

Salt + Light Media

Thursday, August 3, 2017

On Salt + Light TV Saturday August 5th at 10pm ET / 7PM PT and Sunday August 6th at 8pm ET / 5PM PT

The Film

Filmed live in February 2015 at Saint Peter’s Church in NYC as part of their celebrated “Jazz Vespers” series, Vespers for the Feast of the Transfiguration is a documentary style film that presents a reimagined Vespers service incorporating elements of jazz and popular music to encourage congregational participation and ecumenical worship. The film presents a guided viewing experience of the service, featuring the J.J. Wright Trio with bassist Ike Sturm and drummer Nate Wood, interviews from Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, CM, President of DePaul University and J.J. Wright, and footage from the visually stunning St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Chicago, IL. The interviews serve to illuminate the rich tradition of Christian Prayer and show how the incorporation of musical forms such as jazz can enliven and encourage a holistic worship experience. Vespers for the Feast of the Transfiguration is directed by Tom Sandak, and produced by J.J. Wright, Ted Reilly, and Tom Sandak.

The Service

Wright’s Vespers is a contemporary take on the traditional Christian Liturgy of the Hours, which is prayed daily by religious and lay persons around the world. The album incorporates contemporary jazz into the familiar Vespers form, resulting in a holistic listening and worship experience. Listeners can expect the trio, which includes bassist Ike Sturm and drummer Nate Wood, to create a revolutionary blend of Gregorian Chant psalm tones, recognizable hymns and even popular artist Sufjan Stevens’ "The Transfiguration". Drawing from the documents of Vatican II and Pope Francis’ most recent exhortation to sacred musicians, the service is designed to encourage all congregational members toward “full, conscious, and active participation”, regardless of musical ability. The mix of the familiar and the novel demands listener’s interest and draws them into a new encounter with an ancient form of prayer. Fr. James Martin, Jesuit priest and author of "Jesus: A Pilgrimage", notes: "I love J.J. Wright's glorious music, and his new Transfiguration Vespers are composed and performed in his inimitable style: lively, prayerful and inspiring, artfully mixing both the traditional and modern. He's one of the most talented and creative musicians working today.”
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