Vespers for the Feast of the Transiguration

Vespers for the Feast of the Transfiguration is a liturgical service composed by J.J. Wright for jazz piano trio (piano, bass, drums), cantor, and congregation. The service follows the format of Vespers from the Liturgy of the Hours. It includes simplified settings of traditional Gregorian Chant psalm tones and antiphons adapted from popular music including Sufjan Stevens’ The Transfiguration. This ecumenical service incorporates elements of jazz and popular music, interweaving chant melodies and improvisational meditations. The formal structure and musical/textual elements illuminate the thematic content of the feast while welcoming participants into the traditional narrative, which concludes by fostering personal encounter with the mystery. Using the documents of Vatican II as its foundation, most especially Sacrosanctum Concilium, the service is designed to encourage the congregation towards “full, conscious, and active participation”; it creates an inclusive environment where all can participate equally, regardless of musical ability. 

Filmed live at St. Peter's Church in New York City, a place famously associated with jazz music, look for the release of audio and film in 2016.