Wynton Marsalis: Hitting The Road With Gospel Celebration

Jazz great Wynton Marsalis is hitting the road with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Damien Sneed, and the 70-piece Chorale Le Chateau for the “Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration Tour.” The historic hand–clappin’, tambourine-slappin’ celebration scheduled to take place in performing arts centers and churches in the U.S.

The tour will include songs from Marsalis’ composition “Abyssinian Mass,” a landmark collaboration of jazz, gospel, instrumentation, and vocals. The Abyssinian Gospel Tour kicks off in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Oct. 3 and ends in Boston, Massachusetts on Oct. 27.

Since Marsalis composed and recorded “In This House, On This Morning” two decades ago, he has remained committed to projecting a theme of universal humanism — and raising a joyful noise —while reflecting the form of the African American church service.

Never has Marsalis coalesced the codes of sacred and secular expression more successfully than with the 2008 extended work “Abyssinian Mass,” commissioned to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church on West 138th Street in Harlem.

In select cities, “Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration Tour” will include education initiatives curated by conductor Sneed and utilizing the talents of gospel artist and educator Karla Scott to engage thousands of high school age choir students to community choir members.

In workshop settings, the young participants will study and perform select movements from Abyssinian Mass. These workshops will be supported by online videos featuring Sneed discussing the history of gospel music, cultural background and its relevant styles, as well as specific rehearsal techniques.

For a detailed tour schedule, visit wyntonmarsalis.org.

Abyssinian Mass

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