The Jazz Psalms

On June 19, 1982, the service of Jazz Psalms was first celebrated at Valparaiso University. The Jazz Psalms are settings for eight piece jazz band, vocal soloists and choir composed by Andy Tecson in memory of Elsa Marty. In November of 1982, the band recorded the Jazz Psalms at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago. The extraordinary texts of the Psalms are filled with the joys and sorrows of life, and they resolutely proclaim God’s presence in our lives. The Jazz Psalms includes a creation Psalm (Psalm 104) for baritone soloist and jazz band, a Psalm of both lament and triumph (Psalm 42) and Psalms of celebration. For a more in depth discussion of the Jazz Psalms, see the accompanying article originally published in the Christian Century.

The Jazz Psalms have been celebrated in churches in New York, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Chicago, including at the jazz vespers series at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan, with the late Pastor John Garcia Gensel leading the worship and the Gregg Smith Singers as the choir.