Duke Ellington’s Sacred Jazz

Bethel A.M.E. Church

Between 1965 and 1973 Duke Ellington wrote and performed three Sacred Concerts of music which premiered in San Francisco, New York, and London. Though Ellington did not consider these works to be a “Mass,” he did call these concerts "the most important thing I have ever done."

The performances will feature choirs from local churches including People’s Baptist Church, Bethel A.M.E. Church, and Roxbury Presbyterian Church, as well as featured soloists Christina DeVaughn, Dr. Debora Jackson, Jonathan Gramling, Missy Holman-Wright, Michael Bradley, Vivian Cooley-Collier, along with members and faculty of the Boston City Singers, and tap dancer Shaina Schwartz.  A jazz piano trio (Paul White, piano; Kaela Kaumeheiwa, acoustic bass; and Yoron Israel, percussion) will anchor the performance. Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist Dolores Handy and Barry Gaither, Executive Director of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, will narrate. Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond from Bethel A.M.E. Church and Reverend Liz Walker from Roxbury Presbyterian Church will open each concert at their respective venues with words of welcome and remarks.

Bethel A.M.E. Church - 40 Walk Hill St, Boston, MA 02130

Thank you to our supporters!

Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our 2019-20 Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, and to the many individual donors whose generosity supports Neighborhood Arts. Celebrity Series is also grateful to the following corporations, foundations, and government agencies for their support in the 2019-20 season: 

Stephanie L. Brown Foundation

Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation

Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation

Stifler Family Foundation 



    National Endowment for the Arts  Outside the Box             

Neighborhood Arts is also made possible by support from the LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts for All Endowment & Innovation Funds of the Celebrity Series of Boston. 



Robin Baker

Associate Director of Community Engagement