Wynton composes a mass for the Abyssinian Baptist Church

On April 10, 11 & 12, 2008, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will premiere a special mass composed by Wynton Marsalis to commemorate the 200th anniversary of The Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Combining jazz and gospel traditions, this liturgy of the Abyssinian service is the first time collaboration for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III and the church choir.

In remarks on Tuesday 15, to the 400 in attendance at the press conference, Wynton explained:

“Our music is so rich, songs like ‘Go Down Moses,’ ‘There is a Balm in Gilead’…What was in these songs was the depths of our ancestors’ tears. We’re going to spend much time studying and researching the material and it will be performed with heft and intellectual weight and integrity that befits a celebration of 200 years of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. The music will be performed by some of our greatest musicians, many of whom have deep roots in the church. It will be about our lives, and about our great and great, great grandmothers’ and grandfathers’ lives.”

The bicentennial, Abyssinian 200: True to Our God, True to our Native Land, will be an 18-month celebration commemorating America’s first mega church and its remarkable spiritual, social and political contributions to the cultural landscape of America.

Single tickets will be available for sale on September 10th at by calling 212.721.6500 or at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office at Broadway and 60th Street in New York City.
Concert tickets in Rose Theater: $30, $50, $75, $95, $120

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  1. Has the Abyssinian 200 Mass been recorded? If so, how could I find a copy of it?

    Rosemary Blanchard on Feb 16th, 2011 at 4:15am

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