Spirituality and All That Jazz

Rev. Pat Williamson, Senior Minister

Rev. Pat Williamson, Senior Minister

Dear Friend…

At a recent staff meeting, we were speaking, and a staff member shared that someone had approached her and ask, “What does spiritually have to do with Jazz? Well first I believe that God is everywhere present and that music is healing and inspirational. It is all God, to quote Walter Starke. Music stirs our souls and helps us to remember our divinity.

Well back to the staff meeting. We begin to have fun brainstorming about jazz and spirituality. Blaine McCutchan, one of our sound board operators expressed his ideas in a most passionate way, and I ask him to write a few words for this article. Well he did and he gave me permission to share. Thank you Blaine!

Article by staff member Blaine McCutchan

Blaine McCutchen

Blaine McCutchen

So… is there a spiritual connection with Jazz? Or is this just a euphemism (expression). While I was growing up I listened to sacred music every Sunday in a traditional church setting so I can readily identify and understand a connection there. What about Jazz, why not Country music, why not any kind of music!

Exactly! Every Sunday I listen to wonderful music at Unity Golden Valley that appears magically as bookends to an inspired message. Many times I listening to the lyrics that seem to have a deeper meaning and speak to me personally at precisely the right moment in time. Sometimes it’s the rhythms, timing, collaborations. At times I think I know the intentions of the musicians and vocalists as they add their own “special” interpretations to a song or piece of music. I feel connected when I listen, hum, or sing.

Jazz is a music genre that is rooted in everything it means to be human and in relationship. It’s complex and at times can be confusing to the listener. It is inspired, coming from the instincts of the musicians and vocalists that are creating music in the moment… Listening to their own inner voice and those that are around them. Jazz is beautiful and rich. It takes focus and practice to play with someone else. But the effort… Ooh the effort, and results from letting go and connecting to others around us is rewarding beyond measure.

Music is a metaphor. How we play in the world is the practice.

So, Listen… Let go… Collaborate… Create.