Jazz Vespers

This month, be sure to join us in-person on Sunday, January 16th at 5:00pm when our Jazz Vespers series continues at St. James — our special guest for this live performance is John Stowell on guitar.

Musical accompaniment by Mike Horsfall on piano, Laurent Nickel on bass, and Brent Follis on drums. Pastor David Knapp is the liturgist, and Valarie Griffiths Brown is the vocalist. We invite you to attend here at St. James and we ask you to make a freewill donation (offering) to help support our musicians as we continue our 2021-2022 season. Although we have resumed our Jazz Vespers series in-person at St. James — please remember that you may still enjoy our prior Jazz Vespers on video.

You may continue to find links to all of our previous Jazz Vespers recordings by navigating to “Communications > Music” on the main navigation menu at the top of the page. Or you can click here to be linked directly to the “Music” page.

NOTE: Unfortunately — there is no recording of our 5:00pm Jazz Vespers Service from September 19th, 2021.

This 45 minute jazz musical setting of the Evening Prayer liturgy is held on the third Sunday of each month.  Professional jazz musicians and vocalists lead this reflective service with scriptural reading, psalms, hymns, and prayer.  Preludes and postludes from the broad jazz repertoire precede and follow the service.

JAZZ VESPERS ON SUNDAY, January 16th at 5:00pm, features John Stowell on guitar.

John Stowell began his successful career in the early 1970’s with private study with guitarist Linc Chamberland and pianist John Mehegan. Both men were valuable mentors to John, allowing him to play with them as he progressed in his development. Several years later he met bassist David Friesen in New York City, and they formed a duo that recorded and toured prolifically for seven years, with performances in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.

In 1983, John and David joined flutist Paul Horn and Paul’s son Robin Horn (on drums) for a historic tour of the Soviet Union. This was the first time in forty years that an American jazz group had been invited to play public performances in Russia. In 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2012 John returned to Russia, playing in numerous cities. His two sold-out performances in Kursk may have been the first appearances there by an American jazz musician.

John continues to tour, record and teach internationally. He has been Artist-In-Residence at schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, and in the United States and Canada. He served as assistant director and performer in Oregon Public Broadcasting’s PDX Jazz Summit in 1991, and since 1995 has been a contributing columnist for a number of magazines, including “Downbeat”, “Guitar Player”, “Canadian Musician”, “Soundcheck” (Germany), and “Guitar Club” (Italy).

John is joined by our St. James house band: Mike Horsfall, piano; Laurent Nickel, bass; Brent Follis, drums; and Valarie Griffiths Brown, vocals.

Next month’s featured artist: Noah Simpson on trumpet. Noah will be our special PDX Jazz Festival artist.

The Jazz Vespers series is alive and well at St. James! Jazz services are held at 5:00pm every 3rd Thursday of the month, with the prelude music starting at 4:50pm. The service consists of an original jazz-tinged liturgy, composed by Marguerite Luc, that involves the congregation and the cantor accompanied by a jazz trio. The pastor’s message is linked to a chosen jazz tune, which is performed after the sermon. The service is punctuated by thematic jazz standards featuring a special musical guest.

Our new 2021-2022 roster is now available. Laurent Nickel and Brent Follis are still featured on bass and drums. There will some returning special guests, such as David Evans, John Stowell, Haley Horsfall, Allen Mair, and the Kevin Deitz/Laurent Nickel bass/cello duo, as well as some wonderful new artists: Noah Simpson, trumpet; Lee Elderton, woodwinds; Mieke Bruggemann, bari sax; and Lars Campbell, trombone.

The New 2021-2022 Jazz Vespers Guest Artist Roster:
Sep. 19th, 2021 – Lars Campbell, trombone
Oct. 17th, 2021 – Israel Annoh, percussion
Nov. 21st, 2021 – Mieke Bruggeman, baritone sax
Dec. 19th, 2021 – Allan Mair, flute & alto flute
Jan. 16th, 2022 – John Stowell, guitar
Feb. 20th, 2022 – Noah Simpson, trumpet
Mar. 20th, 2022 – Lee Elderton, woodwinds
Apr. 17th, 2022 – Ryan Meagher, guitar
May 15th, 2022 – Kevin Deitz, bass; Laurent Nickel, cello; Mike Horsfall, vibes
June 19th, 2022 – Haley Horsfall, vocals & percussion
July 17th, 2022 – David Evans, woodwinds
Aug. 21st, 2022 – John Moak, trombone

NOTE: After each Jazz Vespers at St. James, please join us for an art exhibition and reception, held in the Pioneer Chapel, organized by the Visual Artists’ Group. A new artist is featured each month.



NOTE: New “St. James Jazz Vespers – We’ll Be Together Again” CD Released!

The new CD, “St. James Jazz Vespers – We’ll Be Together Again”, has arrived! These musical highlights are a collection of tunes played during the pandemic shutdown from July 2020 to July 2021 by The Mike Horsfall Trio and guests of the St. James Jazz Vespers. You can purchase one for $20 at the St. James office. Enjoy! Keep an eye out as well for the St. James Jazz Vespers in February 2022 when we will once again be part of the PDX Jazz Festival!



NOTE: “Come Sunday – Jazz Standards from Jazz Vespers” CD Released.

The recording “Come Sunday” was jointly produced by St. James Lutheran and St. Luke’s Episcopal churches. The Mike Horsfall Trio, with Laurent Nickel on bass and Brent Follis on drums, is featured on the CD, along with some guest performers. CDs are available at the front desk for $20 — all proceeds benefit Jazz Vespers.



The Jazz Vespers at St. James Lutheran Church is held at 5:00pm every 3rd Sunday of the month. It is a welcoming, inclusive, meditative message, delivered in part by a beautiful, original liturgy, punctuated with select jazz standards throughout. The music is performed by the Mike Horsfall Trio, and features a special guest each month. All are welcome.