Church is site for two concert series

November 20, 2009
By

Jillian Taratunio


Photo by Ken Brooks
JP Concerts, which started last May, makes use of the acoustics and ambiance of St. John’s Church for the series offering a range of performances.

SUMNER HILL—Jamaica Plain has a new music venue open to the public with a dramatic ambiance and excellent acoustics, according to music event organizers. St. John’s Episcopal Church, at the corner of Roanoke and Revere streets, is now hosting for two music series—JP Concerts and Night Song, live music often performed by local musicians.

JP Concerts debuted in May 2009, and has featured a wide range of performances, including jazz, Spanish guitar, a chamber orchestra, a voice and trumpet duo, an interactive theatre presentation and a piano recital. A series of free concerts takes place on the first Thursday of every month; other concerts are $10 or less.

“JP Concerts is an opportunity for the church to make its sanctuary, which has surround-sound acoustics, accessible to the community without making them feel they have to join the church,” said Peter Terry, artistic director of JP Concerts.

Terry said he hopes the concert series will play a part in developing the cultural life of JP, ultimately making it a vibrant community for live music.

“Instead of residents having to leave JP to hear good concerts, we want to provide affordable concerts for them in their own neighborhood,” said Terry, a JP resident.
Ken Brooks, organizer of JP Concerts and Minister of Music at St. John’s, said the concert series offers a local venue to musicians who live in the area.

“There are so many young artists in JP who are starting out. We’re able to give them a venue, as well as encouragement and support. We want them to know that the church is on their side,” said Brooks.

Brooks said JP Concerts is a way for the church to open its doors to the community other than on Sunday mornings. “It’s a way for the church to be a good neighbor and to take advantage of the space we have,” said Brooks.

Night Song, directed by Daryl Bichel, fuses Gregorian chant, Renaissance choral music and instrumental jazz. The second season of live performances begins on Nov. 29, and will continue every Sunday from 7 to 8 p.m. until the end of May.

Bichel, a JP resident, said Night Song appeals to people of almost any age and religious background, because “a lot of people aren’t focusing on the text. They’re letting the music transport them to another place.”

He said Night Song is designed to be a contemplative experience, and to bring people a sense of peace, tranquility and calm to their busy lives.

“It’s meant to offer people a time and space where they can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life just to be quiet, to be still, and to center themselves,” said Bichel.

For more information about Night Song, visit www.nightsong.org or call 312-8328.
JP Concerts’ next event is Bel Canto, an opera performance featuring soprano Elisabeth Gondek, pianist Scott Nicholas and countertenor Yaacov Zamir. It will take place on Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. at St. John’s, located at 1 Roanoke Avenue. Tickets will be sold at the door for $10.

For more information about JP Concerts, visit www.jpconcerts.org or call 617-874-4009.