Calvary Presbyterian has always offered new musical ideas to its congregation over the years under the guidance of music director Alden Gilchrist. Last year he celebrated 60 years at Calvary. Gilchrist also brought in Dave Scott and his jazz quartet. Jazz has never really been far from church worship, with heavy influences in gospel.
The Rev. David Brown is now running the Jazz Worship series at the church on “special Sundays at 6 p.m. through June.” Scott says, “Jazz is at the center of the service. Hence our tag line, ‘Discover the spiritual side of jazz.’ We have intentionally themed worship services — they are truly ‘worship’ services.’”
A past theme, explains Brown, was “Jazz: A Metaphor for Life” — how the genre of jazz lends itself to an exploration of life: its musical forms, its history, its culture, its spirituality. Wynton Marsalis describes it as an invitation into the “joy of seriousness.”
Scott is the performer-in-residence. On March 18, the quartet featured five of Scott’s compositions based on biblical texts. Guests included KCSM’s Sonny Buxton, Mark Inouye (principal trumpet for the San Francisco Symphony), and the Marcus Shelby Trio.
Jazz Worship: Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore Street (at Jackson); April 15, May 20, June 17 (weekly during July & August); (415) 346-3832, www.calvarypresbyterian.org