Jazz, Improvisation and Spirituality

In this jazz-influenced service, Martin Manley, who has played jazz piano for many of our services, will illustrate for us how music informs and inspires his spiritual life. He will give illustrations at the piano of some of the key concepts of jazz and relate those to the historical genesis of jazz rooted in the musical traditions of African-American slaves. The talk will focus on improvisation as one of the key elements of jazz and explore how this relates to the concepts of “flow” and “being in the moment.” Turning to the relationship of music and spirituality he will discuss whether music can ever really be considered to be divinely inspired and touch on the paradox that many transcendent musicians are actually deeply flawed human beings.

Worship leader: Martin Manley

Worship Associate: Sarah Kostka

Music: Martin Manley

Share via: