Thursday, August 13, 2015
SF WEEKLY -- When it came time to unveil San Francisco’s newly completed Grace Cathedral, it was decided that there would be a “jazz mass” performed, and Guaraldi, by then a Grammy-winning local hero and graduate of SF State, was tapped for the job. He spent 18 months working with a choir in San Rafael every Saturday to create a groundbreaking piece of work that remains largely overlooked by his fans. His performance of the jazz mass on May 21, 1965, at Grace Cathedral is considered the first time mainstream jazz was heard during an American church service. In an effort to remind fans of this piece of jazz history, Sacramento-based pianist Jim Martinez and his quartet will lead a 50th anniversary concert presentation of Guaraldi's Jazz Mass at 2pm Aug. 15 at Grace Cathedral. The Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church Choir, directed by John McDaniel, and several members of the original St. Paul’s Church Choir who performed alongside Guaraldi and his trio in 1965 will perform with Martinez.