An accomplished bassist and leading composer of sacred jazz works, Ike Sturm designs and curates innovative programs at Saint Peter’s Church. As Director of Music for Jazz, Sturm composes music for weekly liturgies and has toured the U.S., Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Norway with his band, Evergreen. His Jazz Mass was awarded 4 1/2 stars by Downbeat and was named one of the “Best CDs of the Year.” The same magazine described his 2015 Shelter of Trees album as “undeniably beautiful.” His latest project is a collaboration with guitarist Jesse Lewis called ENDLESS FIELD. Their debut album was released in 2017 on the Biophilia label.
Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was born in Panama, emigrated to New Orleans and then to Chicago and New York City, becoming a legendary pianist/bandleader/arranger/composer, and Louis Armstrong’s long-time collaborator and musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering bassist/guitarist/vocalist and holder of advanced degrees from Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Ruth Brown. Not surprisingly considering her pedigree, Catherine Russell is a one of a kind musician and vocalist. A graduate of American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Catherine has toured the world, performing and recording with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Carrie Smith, Toshi Reagon, Wynton Marsalis, Dr. John, Joan Osborne, Vince Giordano, and many others, appearing on over 200 albums.
Ike Sturm: bass, leader
Catherine Russell: voice
Melissa Stylianou: voice
Frøydis Grorud: saxophone
Helge Nysted: piano
Thomas Hvale: drums
About Jazz Vespers
Each Sunday at 6:00 P.M. an open community gathers for prayer and reflection on the lines of sacred scripture and jazz.
The community is diverse and includes people who live near and far, native and new New Yorkers, and people visiting New York City. Oftentimes churches will bring groups from their home congregations. Others are not Christians or are exploring Christianity for the first time in this supportive environment. Musicians from New York and throughout the world come to play.
As at every other liturgy of Saint Peter's Church, everyone is welcome.