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St. Gabriel's grooves with jazz service

Episcopal Church marks Pentecost with powerful music


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: DAVID WILSON - Jessica Israels, John Moak, Chuck Israels and Dan Balmer perform a jazz tune by Thelonious Monk at St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church First Friday Dinner celebration. The church will host an all jazz service featuring the Israels on Sunday.If you go to the right place, you can hear big names in jazz perform live in Washington County.

Earlier this month, the music of Duke Ellington, Henry Mancini, Hoagy Carmichael and Theloniouos Monk filled St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church at 17435 N.W. West Union Road in Bethany.

The players making the music were some of the best in the Pacific Northwest, virtuoso guitarist Dan Balmer, John Moak on trombone, the legendary Chuck Israels on bass and vocalists Jessica and Margot Israels leading the band.

“You don’t have to play traditionally sacred music in church to feel the Holy Spirit," says LouAnn Pickering, vicar at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church. "By bringing jazz to this community, we hope to inspire the spirit and a love of the arts.”

The recent two-hour concert was part of the St. Gabriel’s First Friday Dinner.

St. Gabriel's is gearing up for another jazz concert.

On Sunday morning, Pickering and the rest of St. Gabriel’s congregation will celebrate their eucharist with more top-notch jazz. This time Chuck Israels, who has played with such greats as Bill Evans and John Coltrane, will return to the sanctuary.

Israels, his daughter Jessica, along with other instrumentalists, will perform with the St. Gabriel’s Choir. The musicians will treat the audience to several pieces written by the late Duke Ellington.

“Sunday, May 19, is Pentecost," says Pickering. "It commemorates the Holy Spirit’s dissension upon Jesus’ disciples — very powerful stuff, so of course we need powerful music, and we know the Israels family can deliver.”

The jazz service begins at 10 a.m. and is open to the community.

“As Episcopalians, we welcome all people, and music and jazz at our church is just tremendous,” says Pickering.




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