For saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart, jazz has been a lens through which he makes sense of the world around him. A native of Guadeloupe, Schwarz-Bart has led projects inspired by Gwoka music from his homeland, Voodoo traditions from Haiti, and spiritual music from Cuba. Schwarz-Bart’s latest project finds him exploring yet another folkloric tradition—Jewish liturgical music.
Schwarz-Bart remembers being moved to tears by Jewish liturgical chants throughout his childhood, and as a tribute to his father, selected several chants for jazz treatments. In Schwarz-Bart’s version of “Oseh Shalom” below, the solemn prayer for peace is filled with joyful energy.
In explaining some of the motivations for the project Schwarz-Bart noted:
The world of jazz, while continually exploring Jewish folk music with the development of the Klezmer genre, has left Jewish sacred music untouched. Yet I feel that this music carries a universal message far beyond its religious context. And I’m hoping to celebrate that message with all people of the world.
The Jazz Gallery is thrilled to host the premiere of The Jewazz Project this Friday, January 15th. Please join us for an evening of celebratory and life-affirming music played by tight-knit band.
Jacques Schwarz-Bart and The Jewazz Project play The Jazz Gallery on Friday, January 15th, 2016. The group features Mr. Schwarz-Bart on saxophone, Tony Tixier on piano, Desmond White on bass, and Curtis Nowosad on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $22 general admission ($12 for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.