Resources: April 2019: International Jazz Day

downloadable PDF file:  Women of Faith Resources April 2019

April Quotes

by Margaret Felice in A Book of Grace-filled Days

“Change and new life are always possible.”  (p. 121)

“What would it have been like to be in a crowd listening to Jesus?”  (p. 126)

“God has done the impossible by rising from the dead, so don’t rule anything out.”  (p. 133)

Featured Day: April 30, International Jazz Day

In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated April 30th as International Jazz Day. Jazz, UNESCO believed, could unite all people on the globe. International Jazz Day gathers communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts on all continents to celebrate and learn about jazz and its impact. Each year, a different global city is selected to host International Jazz Day. Sydney, Australia is the 2019 Global Host City.

We also can find online what activities are planned in the USA and in other countries the world over.  For additional information:

International Jazz Day
National Today – International Jazz Day

Lectio Divina: Scripture and prayer for meditating

Read each selection a first time.  What word or words call out to you?  Read the selection a second time. Ask the words or words calling to you:   “What is it you want to say to me today?”

A spirituality of jazz part one: Slip Slidin’ Away:  This first article of a three-part series tells us: “ jazz has some insights and tools that can help us live more faithfully and joyfully as people of faith.”

A spirituality of jazz part two: Call and response:  This article invites us to “LISTEN for God’s call and WAIT to respond in a way that is uniquely our own.”

A spirituality of jazz part three: Improvisation:  This article invites us to understand how: “God’s spirit inspired bold and creative acts of faith in a whole group of vastly different people ALL of whom listened to tradition – cherished it and were nourished on it – so that when the right time came they could also make it completely new.”

For additional International Jazz Day “food for thought” and contemplation:

Songs of David: Christian Jazz Artists: The Christian Jazz Artists Network seeks to promote the connection between spirituality, creativity, jazz, and our faith in God.

Audio Divina:  Music accompanied by images

Enjoy the following selections and let your heart and soul be touched by the music, the words, and the rhythm.

Smooth Gospel Jazz Session 1:Titles of songs are on Brother John’s YouTube site. Enjoy this smooth jazz music as you study, read, or work around the house.

Jazz Meets Hymns – Young Joo Song.  You will recognize a number of these hymns. Enjoy them.

DJ Mac Cummings Gospel Jazz Mix Volume 15:  There is a listing of the songs on the YouTube site.

For Spiritual Reading

Jazz: Prayers from the People: This essay is about how prayer can be like Jazz.

A Jazz Mass? – The Vexing Legacy of Mary Lou Williams, by Ian Marcus Corbin in Commonweal,
November 21, 2012.  A convert to Catholicism, Williams performed and used jazz in service to healing others. She is one of few women who excelled as instrumentalists and artists in the field of jazz.

Visio Divina: Art for Prayer and Meditation

“Visual images are another doorway to sacred awareness. They can touch into our desire to grow in intimacy with God. So, we encourage one another to let ourselves be touched by the colors, shapes, figures and symbols that capture our attention most as we are praying. While gazing at an image ~ a painting, a photo, an icon, a sculpture, a piece of pottery … something may leap out at us, calling our attention to something of God just waiting to reveal itself to us.”

(Ideas inspired by Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman in their book, Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction.  See also Abbey of the Arts.)



Let this image speak to you of the contrasts in jazz music and how it can influence the soul or call us to prayer.



Jazz facilitates movement and dance. What does this woman inspire in you as she dances and responds to the music in her heart?



Do you remember hearing Jazz music or the Blues as you were growing up? Who were your favorite musicians or singers of jazz? If you are too young for this, ask your parents or grandparents about the influence of Jazz in their lives. What do the colors and shapes in this artwork suggest about jazz music?

Featured Websites on Jazz from around the World

The International Jazz Day Global All-Star Concert held in St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 30, 2018 and published on YouTube by the United Nations on May 20, 2018.  The concert featured performances by artists from Russia, Germany, USA, Mali, Italy, Morocco, Israel, Cuba, Japan, Australia, Panama, and Brazil. Enjoy the different flavors of jazz, a longstanding “music for the soul.”

Down By the Riverside |Playing For Change |Song Around The World:  See this classic jazz song performed for change around the world.


From the Leadership Team of Gatherings for Women of Faith
May you enjoy a Blessed International Jazz Day!