Beliefnet
The Jazz Theologian

Schluss_moonlight_jazz_1 Jazz community takes various forms.

Paul F. Berliner in his book, "Thinking In Jazz:  The Infinite Art of Improvisation," has this to say about community in the jazz tradition.

"For almost a century, the jazz community has functioned as a large educational system for producing, preserving, and transmitting musical knowledge, preparing students for the artistic demands of a jazz career through its particularized methods and forums."

In addition to formal institutional training and necessary musical lessons there are a number of Informal ways that fall under the category of "Hangin’ out and Jammin’" 

Apprenticeships:  Learning from each other.  Drummers hang out with drummers and horn players with horn players.  "Commonly, performers of the same instruments enjoy a special fraternity."  I wonder what it would be like to develop the spiritual giftings of people along this model. The goal of this kind of jazz community is to have peer to peer exchange with veterans and novices sharing together.

Jam Sessions:  "As essential to students as technical information and counsel is the understanding of jazz acquired directly through performance.  In part, they gain experience by participating in one of the most venerable of the community’s institutions, the jam session.  At these informal musical get-togethers, improvisers are free of the constraints that commercial engagements place upon repertory, length of performance, and the freedom to take artistic risk."

I’m working on what some of the corelations might by to the Christian life.  The concept of apprenticeships seems rather straight forward to me.  But what about jam sessions…do you have any thoughts as to how this concept might play itself out in Christian community?  Are there any equivalents to this in Jesus ministry?

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